Free Weight and Body-weight Exercises to Get Stronger

The best exercises to get stronger are free weight, barbell, compound exercises.

  • Free weights force you to balance the weights yourself. Your muscles must work harder which leads to bigger strength and muscle gains.
  • Free weights allow you to control where the bar goes. You’re not forced into fixed, unnatural movement patterns that can cause injury.
  • Barbells allow you to lift much heavier weights than dumbbells or kettle bells. You can use both sides at the same time.

To be safe, start light so you can practice proper form first. Don’t go heavy if you’re new to lifting weights. Learn to walk before you try to run.

The bulk of your strength training program should consist of the five compound barbell exercises below. Together, these exercises build total body strength and muscle.

These are the two best body-weight exercises that you can use to assist the main barbell exercises. These two extra exercises are great for upper-body strength and to build bigger arms.