High quality Dumbbells from the best manufacturers.
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High quality Kettlebells from the best brands in the UK.
Olympic Weights from the best brands in the UK.
Standard weights from the best UK retailers.
Wrist Weights from the best shops in the UK.
Cheap Medicine Balls from the best brands in the UK.
High quality Wrist Weights from the best UK manufacturers.
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No sure which weights to buy? To help you get started we have prepared a guide to the best weights to buy and how you can best use them.
Types of free weights
There are many types of free weights that you can find in a gym. The most common free weights are barbells, kettle balls, and dumbbells. Below is a simple explanation of each:
Barbells – A barbell is a long metal bar with grips engraved on the bar to help lifters maintain a good grip. Disc plates can be attached at each end to increase the weight of the barbell. Clips are often attached to prevent plates from sliding off. Common exercises that include the use of barbells include: Bench Press, Barbell curls, and Squats.
Kettlebells – The best way to describe a kettle bell is to say it is a cannonball with a handle attached to it. Kettlebells are generally used for swinging exercises used to build strength and endurance. Exercises that use a kettle bell include a jerk, clean, and windmill.
Dumbbells – The most common free weight used is the dumbbell. A dumbbell is a short metal rod with weighted plates on each side. Dumbbells can either have a fixed weight or allow for the weight to be adjusted. Common exercises that include dumbbells are: Dumbbell bench press, bicep curls, Arnold’s, and overhead shoulder press.
Your body – As already mentioned, your own body weight is considered a free weight. You can use your body weight to build your strength and endurance. In fact, you use your own body weight on a few of the most important exercises: the pushup, pull-up, and dip. Each of these can however benefit from the addition of weights, through weight belts being added for pull ups and dips for example.
Advantages of Free Weights
It has long been debated about the effectiveness of free weights over the use of machines. Thankfully, recent research points to the use of free weights as the most beneficial to the body. From a purely physical standpoint, there are a few advantages of free weights. One major advantage is that free weights have shown to increase strength gains much faster then machines. Second, free weights have been shown to build mass at a much faster pace then machines.
However, you should also note another major advantage of free weights: They take up less space. In today’s world, people are in such a hurry so they may not have time to get to a gym. This is where a home gym can be a major help. Machines are often enormous in size and a pain to put together. You can simply order a set of dumbbells and that’s all you need to get a quick workout. Plus, machines limit you to what exercises you can perform. A dumbbell set can give you a wide variety of exercises you can perform for all parts of your body.
Weight Machines vs. Free Weights
Just because free weights are more effective to building strength in mass does not mean machines are worthless. Machines focus primarily on a specific body part. Exercises that use free weights are often designed to work larger groups of body parts. Also, machines can allow you to cut and tone your body much faster by allowing you to perform more repetitions. In addition, certain machines are designed purely for use with free weights, an example of this would be weight bench which is specifically designed to allow the chest press and chest flys to be performed.
The overall benefit of weights
The best practice is to incorporate both machines and free weights into your workout regime. The more you mix up your workout the better you will see results. Performing the same exercise each week will work the same muscle fibers but ignore other muscle fibers that a similar exercise would work. This is why a healthy mix of both free weights and machines will constantly help you increase strength and muscle mass.
However, until you gain some strength, avoid using heavy weights. Unlike machines, free weights require more balance and stability. If you are not used to lifting weights, you probably do not possess much of either and this can lead to injury. Start by using machines and eventually work your way up to free weights. In the end you will be much better off and injury free.