Weight plates are some of the most common pieces of equipment in most gyms. They are mostly used in combination with barbells and so most people think of them for only one exercise: lifting.
But the simplicity of a weight plate makes it an incredibly flexible piece of equipment. Among other things, you can use it to build your endurance, boost your strength, and improve your balance.
We will look at ten of the best plate exercises for you to try in your next workout routine. But first, let’s think about your core.
Your abdominals, obliques, and deep core muscles like the transverse abdominis are integral to all these exercises to increase your overall muscle gain.
Your core has even been considered by some experts as the basis for all of your weightlifting strength.
The workout we describe below will cause your core to work a lot harder than usual. If you are going to be doing a lot of reps, the tension in your deep inner-core muscles will be increased. Although some people train abs mostly with crunches or other similar exercises, the main jobs for your core are antiextension and antiflexion.
For example, when lifting a heavy plate, it can put a lot of stress on the internal structures and can sometimes cause injury. Working on antiextension exercises is a good way to help the muscles of your spine control these functional movements. Some examples of antiextension exercises are planks and reverse crunches.
As for antiflexion, your spine tends to bend to the side with your shoulders, which can also lead to injuries. Some good types of antiflexion bending exercises for you to do in the gym as a beginner are side planks.
Hyperextension exercises can also be useful if you want to strengthen your back as well as your core. These exercises have most often been used during physical therapy to treat conditions that might have developed in the lower back, such as herniated disks.
This exercise mainly targets the chest, but you will feel it in your arms and shoulders as well. The way you perform this movement is simple.
Just follow the step by step instructions below:
You can also superset this exercise with push-ups to make the chest portion of this workout a bit more intense. Simply do your reps with the plate press, and then roll over and start doing some push-ups as well.
Instead of just regular push-ups, you can also do push-ups with plates. Especially when done as a superset with the plate press, this move is mostly for intermediate lifters and it really targets your shoulders, chest, abs, and arms.
Much like the previous exercise, this move is mostly for intermediate lifters and it really targets your shoulders, chest, abs, and obliques. You should obviously already be familiar with doing planks before you attempt them with plates.
This move targets your shoulders, back, and abs. It is mostly for beginner to intermediate lifters.
This move targets your deltoids, shoulders, and upper back. It is mostly for intermediate lifters.
This move mostly targets your chest muscles (pecs), as well as your triceps and deltoids. It is mostly for intermediate to advanced lifters who already have quite a lot of experience with weight training.
Also known as the overhead press, this move specifically targets your triceps, chest, abs, butt, and thighs. The full movement consists of taking the plate and holding it over your head. Even though you are mostly working your legs, you will feel a lot of upper body engagement too because you are holding the plate.
This move is for beginner to intermediate lifters, and it targets your triceps, thighs, abs, butt, and lower back. The squat reach can help you experience less pain on a daily basis. Never hyperextend your lower back when doing this exercise. This can place too much strain on your back and on your lower body, which can lead to injury.
This move particularly targets your triceps, abs, butt, thighs, and lower back. It is a fairly simple exercise that can be perfect for beginner to intermediate lifters.
This move mostly works your biceps, triceps, and upper arms in general. Once you complete one side for this exercise, switch hands and repeat the same number of repetitions on the other side.
Never go all the way down to the point where your elbows move backwards with this movement. Always keep them in front of your hips to keep constant tension on the biceps as you perform your repetitions. If you want to make this exercise more intense, you can always use more weight by using multiple plates as you perform the movement.
Again, if you want to make this exercise a little more intense, take another plate, stack it up, and perform the same range of motion.
Crunches are especially effective for your abs and they can lead to great improvements in your core strength when you do them with plates. The movement is much the same as it would be for regular crunches.
When doing this movement, always maintain proper form. This means more than just going on your toes and your elbows and holding that position. You should almost be pulling your toes in, pulling your elbows towards your toes, and flexing your core as hard as you can at the same time.
You can use all these exercises to create a total-body home workout. If you complete three to five rounds of up to twenty reps per exercise, we guarantee that you will really be feeling the burn. It's recommended to do each exercise one after the other. As soon as you finish your reps for the first exercise, move onto the next exercise as quickly as possible, taking no longer than thirty seconds of rest between exercises.
Complete one round, and then rest for about a minute before your next round. Remember that for something like the single-arm plate row, you have to do about twenty reps per side. With something like the plank, there are no reps but you should put as much weight as you can on your back and hold it for as long as you can.
Also, you may not be able to use any free weights at all with some movements such as the squats or planks. Just using your bodyweight can be enough as you are beginning. Try to use as much weight as you can, but if you get tired or start to fatigue, reduce the weight immediately.
Planks and squats come with the risk of injury to your back or to your shoulders. Always warm up properly before you start and learn the proper form for all of the weight plate exercises long before you actually start doing them.
An intense full body workout in a home gym does not have to be complicated, and you don't really need a whole lot of sophisticated machines or even any dumbbells or kettlebells. One plate is all you need to complete an extremely effective cardio workout, which will probably leave you feeling sore for many days afterwards.
Movements with plates are some of the best exercises you can do to improve your cardiovascular function, respiratory efficiency, muscular bulk and definition, articulation and mobility of joints, coordination, and endurance. When you are doing plate work for the first time, your mental health has a big part to play too as you get used to some of the movements.
These types of exercises have allowed bodybuilders and even amateurs to add plenty of impressive muscles to their bodies. Plates can have a tremendous anabolic effect on all of your muscle groups.
For maximum effect, always follow a comprehensive nutrition plan combined with a useful supplement like the Hyperbolic Stack Advanced Pump for Endurance & Recovery to build muscle.
If you are concerned about weight loss and you are trying to burn fat at the same time, you might prefer to try the Whey ISO Shredded Stack Fat Loss with Whey Isolate Protein and Aminos. Using a supplement like this can work well when you eat a nutritious diet and use proper weightlifting form.