Trending Free Weight Exercises for Toned Arms and Legs

Free weight training is one of the best ways to tone your muscles. One of the biggest advantages free weights have is that they force your body to work the stabilizer muscles, which machines don't do. They can also be incorporated into nearly every form of exercise running, aerobics, or even yoga. However, be careful when using free weights since they are more likely to lead to injury. Here are some of the best free weight exercises for toning the arms and legs. Remember you are going for tone, so do more reps with lighter weight.
Dumbbell Hammer Curl
An easy exercise that hits the biceps with positive resistance on the way up, and the triceps with negative resistance on the way back down.
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Holding the weights with your palms facing up. Bring them up to your shoulders, and slowly take them back down – taking advantage of the negative resistance. For an added twist, (literally) rotate the weights 90 degrees on the upward movement, and back to the palms flat position on the downward.
3 Sets, 20 Reps Each
Shoulder Press
This is a great exercise for the entire arm, but it also shapes and tones the shoulders, so you will have an even look. These can be done with either dumbbells or a bar. For example, we'll use dumbbells.
Feet should be shoulder width apart, and the weights should be held above the shoulder, at the side, about ear level. Bring the weights straight up, almost straightening your elbow, but not quite. Bring down, and do it again.
3 Sets, 20 Reps Each
Lunges are ideal for all the major leg muscles, but especially the quadriceps. It's also convenient and easy since all it takes is a couple of free weights to give it that extra kick.
From a standing position, put one foot forward like you are taking a big step – but keep it to where you can stay balanced. Bend the knee, and lower yourself forward while keeping your back straight. Hold the weights at your sides, and use them for balance.
3 Sets, 20 Reps Each Per Leg
Squats are nothing new, but they are amazing and one of the best exercises for your legs and your whole body. There are several variations, like holding cowbell weights to your chest instead of a bar across your trapezius.
Feet shoulder width apart, with the weight bar resting on your trapezius (never the back of your neck). Hold the weight bar with your elbows bent, and at a comfortable distance from your body.  Step away from the rack with baby steps, and squat. Keep your back straight, and never take your hips further down than your knees.
3 Sets, 20 Reps Each

1 comment

  1. Thanks for posting these. so I would love to get toned up again...after 2 babies..i really do lol but when I attempted to take this very famous class that everyone raves about, it's an hour & you are supposed to still burn calories afterwards, I felt soooo lost . half the class I was on the eliptical then we had to do the exercises posted on a board, and all they said was the name of it. I had no idea what i was supposed to do lol i felt so lost I never went back I know what a hammer curl was supposed to be :)