Barbells, Dumbbells and Kettlebells: A Guide to Free Weights


Free weights are primarily used to increase upper body strength. But they can also be used to exercise the muscles all over the body and can even be used as part of an effective cardio workout. In short, they are essentials in any good home gym.


But there are many types of free weights to choose from, making choosing the right one potentially tricky for new users. Which weights should you be choosing? Here we look at the main types.




Dumbbells are what people often picture when they think of free weights. Consisting of two weights connected by a short bar, they are compact, versatile and practical. They are easy to use and can quickly be incorporated into a workout. The general idea is to start with light weights and progress from there.


Like other free weights, they are primarily used for building muscle strength and mass. They are mainly used for upper body workouts, but they can be incorporated into other types of workouts.


You can often buy weight sets with several different weights included. Some dumbbells are fixed weight while some are adjustable, and they also come with different coatings.




Barbells consist of a long bar with weight plates fitted to each end. They are popular in the gym and are typically used by more serious athletes and professionals. They are used to build strength and mass, and while they are primarily for upper body workouts, they can also be used for leg workouts.


They are not ideal for beginners, and ideally you will build up some strength before moving onto these – they can get very heavy! You will also need a spotter to help you use the heavier weights, which is important for your safety.


There are different types of bars to choose from, and the main difference is between standard bars and Olympic bars. These are specific types of barbells that are stronger and are able to take heavier loads. They have thicker ends and they are designed to be used with Olympic weight plates rather than standard plates.


Curl bells are another type of barbell, and they are designed to take the weight off your wrists so you can enjoy all the benefits without straining your wrists. However, they usually hold less weight than standard barbells.




Kettlebells are simple and highly adaptable free weights that can be incorporated into a wide range of workouts. They comprise of the bell, which is the heavy round weight, and a handle, and they come in a wide range of weights and designs.


You can use kettlebells to do a wide variety of exercises like squats, presses and deadlifts. You can also use them for full-body workouts and even cardio.


Overall, they are a convenient and practical type of free weight that help you build strength and work on your cardio without needing anything else. If you know what you are doing, you can enjoy a great workout with a single kettlebell.


Choose Your Weights


As you can see, there are several types of weights and weight sets to choose from, so take a look at them and decide which is the right option for you. You may even find that you want to incorporate all these weights into your workout.

Be sure to check out our range of home gym equipment, perfect for working out in the comfort of your own home. Regardless of your experience, we’ve got a great selection suitable for anyone looking to keep active whilst in lockdown.

Once you have decided, make sure you invest in high-quality weights that will last longer and help you enjoy a better workout. And don’t forget to invest in weight storage to look after your weights properly.

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