You are here

5 Weight Plate and Barbell Exercises It's Time to Try

  • Courtesy of Reebok x Les Mills

    Ditch the Dumbbells

    If you want svelte, toned arms, cardio is not the answer. Because if you don't have the muscle in the first place, there's no way you can show it off. "You have to create the shape [first], and weight training is the simplest way to do that," says Lissa Bankston, ReebokONE and Les Mills Master Trainer. Building lean muscle helps shape rounded shoulders, define triceps and biceps, and carve a strong back. (Not to mention all these other things that really happen when women lift heavy.)

    That's why Bankston created this upper body strength workout. Not only will you feel like a total badass moving through these moves, but they also prove that you don't need to wait for the bodybuilder next to you to be done using the dumbbells. The weight plates work just as effectively, and allow you to target each side in isolation, says Bankson—you just need to adjust your grip.

    To complete the routine, do 10 reps of each exercise before moving onto the next. Do 3 sets, then walk away knowing you look hot AF.

  • Courtesy of Reebok x Les Mills

    Triple Dead Row

    • Start standing with feet hip-width apart, holding a barbell with an overhand grip in front of thighs.
    • Hinge forward at the hips with a flat back and knees slightly bent, holding a barbell in front of knees.
    • Row the barbell up toward belly button, pulling elbows straight back. Slowly lower barbell back down. That's 1 row.
    • Do 3 rows, then return to standing. That's one rep. Do 10 reps.
  • Courtesy of Reebok x Les Mills

    Biceps Curl with Plate

    • Start standing with feet hip-width apart, holding weight plates (5 to 15 lbs) in hands by sides with palms facing in.
    • Keeping elbows tight to sides, curl the weights toward shoulders, palms facing shoulders.
    • Slowly lower back to start. Do 10 reps.
  • Courtesy of Reebok x Les Mills

    Triceps Dip

    • Start sitting with feet flat on the floor, knees bent, and hands behind hips, fingertips pointing forward, gripping on a barbell (that won't roll). Lift hips off the floor.
    • Slowly bend elbows and lower body as far as possible.
    • Squeeze triceps to straighten arms and lift body back to start (don't use your butt to help you lift). Do 10 reps.
  • Courtesy of Reebok x Les Mills

    Triceps Push-Up

    • Start in a high plank position with hands shoulder-width on a barbell (making sure that it won't roll).
    • Lower torso, bending elbows straight back along ribs, until chest is level with elbows.
    • Push away from bar to return to start. Do 10 reps.
  • Courtesy of Reebok x Les Mills

    Plate Snatch

    • Start standing position with feet together, holding one weight plate in both hands in front of thighs.
    • In one movement, lift plate directly overhead and jump forward to land with feet wider than hip-width apart, toes pointed out, in a squat position.
    • Reverse movement to return to start. Do 10 reps.


Lauren Mazzo

Lauren Mazzo is a digital editorial assistant for FITNESS and SHAPE. She's an Ithaca College alumna, a Rochester, NY, native and an NYC transplant.  More →

More from Lauren
  • You'll Never Guess the Secret Ingredient In This Vegan Tiramisu
  • Avocado Has Officially Made Its Way Into Ice Cream
  • Doing This Aerial Hoop Workout Basically Makes You An Acrobat