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What are Different Types of Weight Lifting Exercises?

By Lori Kilchermann
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Weight lifting exercises are typically focused on a particular area of the body, such as the arms, chest and back. When designing a program of weight lifting exercises, it is wise to seek the advice of a professional. This will ensure that the most beneficial weight lifting exercises are used to build up the target areas of the body that are most in need of development. Bench presses, curls, military presses and flies are some of the most common types of these exercises.

In most weight lifting exercises, the chest is the target area of development. The bench press is the most recommended type of weight lifting exercise for this region of the body. By using the chest muscles to push the weight up and then stretching the muscle group as the weight is lowered, the chest is readily developed and results are soon seen. The bench press is also one of the weight lifting exercises that targets more than one area of the body. The shoulders, upper arms and neck also benefit from the bench press.

The upper arm is the next most targeted area of development in most gymnasiums. The curl is perhaps the most beneficial exercise to develop the biceps. Beginning with a heavy, yet manageable, weight on a curl bar or dumbbell, the lifter slowly lifts the weight from the hip to the shoulder while keeping the elbows tucked in to the waist. By concentrating on perfect form and slowly returning the weight to the starting position, this type of exercise is able to develop the biceps and add size to the muscle group.

By kneeling on a bench and slowly raising the dumbbell to the rear of the body, another upper arm muscle group, the triceps, is targeted. This muscle helps the biceps to appear larger and fuller by adding some size to the back of the upper arm. A well-developed tricep is also beneficial to giving a fully-developed upper arm image when viewed from the rear. Other exercises that target the biceps and triceps are rope pull-downs, reverse curls and dips.

By designing a balanced regimen of weight lifting exercises, the average lifter is able to develop a well-defined and sculpted body with only a minimal amount of exercise. For those wishing to build muscle mass and develop a physique capable of competition, extreme dedication to exercise and diet is a must.

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Discussion Comments
By anon278232 — On Jul 05, 2012

I would suggest considering more full-body weightlifting exercises, such as the Olympic lifts.

By ElizaBennett — On Jun 02, 2012

@rugbygirl - That's a really good suggestion. I actually haven't tried it, but I do belong to a gym so I should really call and find out if I am entitled to a free session!

Another safe and easy way to get started with weight lifting exercises, especially for beginners, is to take a group exercise class. My old gym had thirty-minute classes, one for the upper body and one for the lower. And my new one has this intense sixty-minute barbell class called Body Pump. You don't get the personal attention that you do with a trainer, of course, but I like the group environment for staying motivated!

You learn great exercises that you can also do on your own.

By rugbygirl — On Jun 02, 2012

Anyone trying to get started with weight lifting routines should really consult a personal trainer. Many gyms have a free session or two available for new members (or even old members who didn't use it before). My gym actually gave me two free sessions; the first one was mostly talking about my goals and preferences and the second was actual exercise.

The trainer will help you choose the best exercises for your body type and your goals and will teach you to perform them correctly. It's great if you can work out regularly with a trainer, but even if not, one or two sessions can keep you from getting hurt.

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