When it comes to getting fit, there’s a lot more to it than just getting onto a treadmill, exercise bike or cross trainer at the local gym. You have to find opportunities to build your strength and give your entire body a workout to not only maintain your fitness level but hopefully to increase it too. In this article we take a look at how weights can assist in your fitness regime and look at the different types of weights available.
How will weights help improve my fitness?
By using weights during your fitness regime, you are adding resistance which effectively makes your muscles work harder when you exercise. Weights will therefore help you to build strength during your workout and can improve the tone of your muscles. Using weights will also make your heart work harder which helps to improve your cardio-vascular fitness level.
What type of training weights are available?
There are a wide range of training weights available with the most popular being dumbbells. Dumbbells are small hand-held weights which come in various weights from 0.5kg upwards. They can be used alone to help tone biceps or can be used within another exercise such as whilst on a walker or treadmill, or while doing squats for example. As well as pre-weighted dumbbells, you can also buy bars and separate weights which will allow you to gradually increase the weights you are using over time or alter them for different exercises.
Hand weights are very similar to dumbbells but are typically easier to hold, Where dumbbells generally come in plastic coating or raw metal, hand weights are usually covered in soft foam and have a smaller grip area than dumbbells, making them more comfortable to hold. They are also less likely to slip out of your hand as the foam offers better grip. Most hand weights are completed by Velcro straps for greater efficiency too.
Another popular type of weights which can be used to make your fitness training more effective are wrist weights. These are weights which are usually sewn into fabric and strapped around your wrists. They are usually held in place with elastic or Velcro straps to ensure they don’t move whilst you are training. The main advantage of wrist weights over dumbbells is that they can be used hands-free. They can therefore me used during virtually any type of other workout from on the cross trainer to floor exercises.
Ankle weights are very similar in design to wrist weights except instead of being placed around the wrists; they are strapped around the ankles. Ankle weights are ideal when using a stepper, when jogging or going on a treadmill. They can also be used on cross trainers and whilst performing floor exercises to increase resistance.
Kettlebells are slightly less popular than the above options but still offer the same benefits of increasing resistance and therefore making both your heart and muscles work harder. Kettlebells are weights which feature handle loops on the top. They can be used in a similar way to dumbbells but have the added bonus of being able to be swung backwards and forwards. This swinging motion works by increasing the weight of the kettlebells, providing even more resistance during your workout.
As training weights and training accessories come in a range of different finishes and different weights, price can vary greatly. It’s best to choose a reputable brand to ensure high quality and value for money.
An article by Simon Vasquez who loves writing health and fitness articles.