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Exercise - Weight Lifting - Free Lifting

Individuals tend to take up free lifting if they’re aiming to achieve a toned physique.

Free Lifting 

What is free lifting? 

Individuals tend to take up free lifting if they’re aiming to achieve a toned physique. However, virtually everyone can benefit in some way through weight lifting, even if that is from an increased level of physical activity. 

Weight lifting with free weights describes any type of training whereby the weights are not connected to any other apparatus or equipment, hence the descriptive ‘free’. You are able to move the weights freely and the only force you are working out against is gravity.

There are 3 main types of free weights that athletes use to tone their bodies. These are dumbbells, kettlebells and barbells. Throughout this page we will explore each of these pieces of equipment in more detail.

Exercise – Weight Lifting – Free Lifting

         Exercise – Weight Lifting – Free Lifting

Free Lifting FAQs

What Is Free Lifting?

Weight lifting with free weights describes any type of training whereby the weights are not connected to any other apparatus or equipment, hence the descriptive ‘free’.

What Is Weightlifting Good For?

Weight lifting has a range of benefits including improved posture, better sleep, gaining bone density, maintaining weight loss, boosting metabolism and a large list of positives.

Is Free Weights Or Machines Better?

With free weight exercises, you have the benefit that they can work more muscles in less time than with machines.

Does Lifting Weights Burn Belly Fat?

There is a suggestion that strength training is better at helping people lose belly fat compared with cardio because weight lifting burns almost exclusively fat.

Can You Build Muscle With Just Free Weights?

If you are wanting to gain a lot of lean muscle mass, you can do so it with just a set of dumbbells.


Dumbbells are arguably the most popular type of free weight and a great piece of equipment for weight lifting experts and novices alike. These weights are a fantastic addition to your workout routine whether that’s at the gym or at home.

This type of weight is very effective as you are able to isolate muscles in both sides of your body and work out these areas individually. Because of this, your training is more efficient and doesn’t leave you with a ‘weaker side’ 

What types of exercise can you do with dumbbells? 

  • Lateral raises: this exercise involves holding a weight in either hand by your sides next to your thighs, then slowly lifting your arms outwards until they’re parallel to the floor. Your back should be straight and your elbows should be slightly bent. 
  • Bicep curls: for this exercise, you should hold the dumbbells, palms facing out and one in either hand in front of your thighs. Then curl your arm up towards your chest and back down again.




Kettlebells are ideal if you regularly practice functional training. Their shape allows you to mirror more natural movements in comparison to dumbbells. However, with kettlebells you are limited in terms of the maximum weight.

As opposed to trying to lift the heaviest kettlebell possible, it is much more effective to take your time and complete more reps to increase stamina and endurance. 

What types of exercise can you do with kettlebells? 

  • Sumo squat: for this workout, you must hold the kettlebell with both hands, between your legs and complete a squat motion. Slowly raise back up to complete the exercise. This additional weight adds tension to the target muscles.
  • Kettlebell swing: standing up straight with the kettlebell held in both hands with your palms towards you,  will help you best position yourself for this exercise. Then, you should bend your knees and drive your hips back slowly. Push your hips forward in a swift motion until the weight swings up to shoulder height.



Which type of free weight you use is dependent on the physique you’re trying to achieve. If your exercise goals are to build your muscles as large and strong as possible, then you want to be lifting the heaviest weights possible. This is easiest to do while maintaining a perfect from with barbells.

Lifting barbells help you to workout both sides of your body in a similar way to dumbbells, however since you’re adding kilo’s it is important to maintain stability. This is most efficient when a barbell is used. However, barbells do not do all of the work for you, it is still crucial to engage your core.

What types of exercise can you do with kettlebells? 

  • Bench press: for this exercise it is crucial that your arms remain locked and above your chest. By pressing your shoulders into the bench and keeping your glutes tight, you will be able to bend your elbows down and press the barbell weight back to the top.
  • Bent over row:  in this exercise you should begin with a shoulder-width grip on the bar and a torso bent over at an angle of 45°. The exercise should see you pulling the bar into your stomach then lowering it again in a controlled manner. Be sure not to move your upper body, if you are then try lighter weights.

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