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Free Weight Exercises

This is an excerpt from Fitness for Life 6th Edition With Web Resources-Cloth by Charles B. Corbin & Guy Le Masurier.

Seated Overhead Press

Weights: barbell

This exercise requires two spotters, who stand by the lifter's shoulders on either side of the bench. If you are serving as a spotter, keep your hands under the bar with your palms up. Be ready to take the bar if the lifter loses control (especially at the top of the lift), if the barbell begins to move backward, or if the lifter begins to tremble.

  1. Sit on the end of a bench in front stride (split-foot) position.
  2. Hold the barbell at chest height in preparation for pushing the bar vertically. Grasp the barbell with your hands facing away from your body and positioned slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Tighten your abdominal, back, and arm muscles. Tip your head back slightly.
  4. Push the bar straight up, directly overhead.

Caution: Do not let the bar go forward or backward. Do not lock your elbows. Do not arch your back.

This exercise uses the muscles at the top of your shoulders, between your shoulder blades, and on the back of your arms.

Knee Extension

Weights: weighted boot or ankle weight

One person can help the lifter put on the boot or ankle weight.

  1. Put the weight on one foot or ankle. Sit on a bench with your lower leg hanging over the edge. Grasp the bench with your hands.
  2. Lift the weighted boot by extending your knee until your leg is straight.

Caution: Lift slowly. Do not lock your knee when you extend and do not kick your leg upward.

  1. Repeat the exercise with your other leg.

This exercise uses the muscles at the top of your thighs (quadriceps). The fourth quadriceps muscle, the vastus intermedius, lies beneath the rectus femoris and therefore is not shown in the illustration.

Half Squat

Weights: barbell

Note: This exercise can be done only if a squat rack is available.

  1. Stand in a side-stride position with your feet shoulder-width or slightly farther apart. Your toes should point straight ahead or be slightly turned out. Keep your head up and your back straight.
  2. Hold the barbell across the back of your shoulders at the base of your neck with your hands slightly farther than shoulder-width apart and your palms facing away from your body. Point your elbows toward the floor with your forearms perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Squat until your knees are at a right angle, then rise. Keep your heels flat on the floor. Do not let your knees get in front of your toes. Focus on a spot on the wall slightly higher than your standing height. Look at this spot for the duration of the lift - when lowering and when straightening.

Caution: Do not round your back. Do not lean too far forward at your hips or let your knees get in front of your toes. Do not squat too deeply.

This exercise uses the muscles on the front of your thighs (quadriceps) and your buttock muscles (gluteal).

Seated French Curl

Weights: dumbbell

This exercise requires one spotter.

  1. Sit on the end of a bench with your arms extended overhead and your palms facing up.
  2. Hold one end of a dumbbell in both hands above and behind your head. Tighten your abdominal and back muscles. Slowly lower the weight toward the back of your neck until your arms are fully flexed at the elbows. Keep your elbows high.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position, moving only your elbow joints. To determine your 1RM for this exercise, use the triceps press.

This exercise uses the muscles on the back of your upper arms (triceps).

Bent-Over Dumbbell Row

Weights: dumbbell

This exercise requires no spotters.

  1. Hold the dumbbell in one hand and rest your opposite hand and knee on a bench to support the weight of your trunk and protect your back.
  2. Pull the dumbbell upward until it touches the side of your chest near your armpit and your upper arm is parallel to the floor.
  3. Slowly lower the weight.
  4. Repeat the exercise with your other arm. To determine your 1RM for this exercise, use the seated row.

This exercise uses your biceps muscles, your shoulder muscles, and the muscles between your shoulder blades.

More Excerpts From Fitness for Life 6th Edition With Web Resources Cloth