ading up barbells. They can make a great replacement for dumbbells and kettlebells. If you’re looking for functional exercises that go beyond just using your body weight, weight plates are a great option. Grab a weight plate and target weak spots, challenge your core, and give your abs the resistance they need to get to the next level.
Weight Plate Row
Bent-Over Rows utilize free weights and gravity as resistance with movement. One of the original big-muscle moves, the Weight Plate Bent-Over recruits the back, glutes, and legs to stabilize the body.
START: Hold a weight plate by the edges at arms’ length, stand with feet shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in the knees.
FINISH: Hinge forward at the hips so your back is as close to parallel to the floor as you can get it while maintaining a straight spine. Push your hips back and keep arms straight, hands in front of shins. Squeeze your shoulder blades down and together and pull the weight plate straight up to the chest. Pause, and then lower to start and repeat. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.
The staggered stance deadlift is a total game-changer. You can pull more weight with this variation than you can with the traditional single-leg deadlifts. The benefit of the slight split in the stance is that the hips are allowed more freedom to move. In addition, this stance can help trainees squat deeper when ankle mobility is limited.
START: Holding a weight plate by the edges in front of your chest, stand with feet hip-width apart. Get in a staggered stance by moving your left foot a few inches behind your right, heel up, toes on the ground, and knees bent.
FINISH: Hinge forward at the hips, press hips back, and keeping your arms straight, lower your torso so your back is as close to parallel with the floor as you can get it while maintaining a straight spine. At the bottom of the deadlift, the weight plate should be just below the knees and parallel to the floor. Pause, and then reverse motion to return to start. That is one rep. Perform all reps, then repeat on the opposite side. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.
Walking Lunge With Twist
The lunge is a great lower body exercise, it strengthens the glutes and legs and it improves the flexibility of the hips. Adding the twist to this movement forces you to engage your core and work on your abs and oblique at the same time.
START: Hold a weight plate by the edges in front of your chest, take a giant step forward with your left foot, and immediately lower into a lunge.
FINISH: At the bottom of the lunge, rotate your torso and the weight plate to the left. Return to face forward, and then push through your lead foot to return to standing. Step forward with the right leg, rotating your torso to the right. That is one rep. Continue, alternating sides. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.
Lateral Lunge With Push
The Side Lunge is an excellent lower body exercise because it directly targets the inner and outer thighs, hips, and glutes and indirectly works the calves as well.
START: Hold a weight plate by the edges in front of your chest, feet at hip-width.
FINISH: Step your right foot far out to the side and lower into a lateral lunge, keeping knees above toes and pressing hips back. At the bottom of the lunge, extend your arms forward to press the plate straight ahead of you, pause, and return to the chest. Reverse the motion to return to start, and then repeat on the opposite side for one rep. Continue, alternating sides. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.
Dead Bug With Weight Plate
The Dead Bug exercise is an essential part of any fitness program. It can yield various health benefits and give you a better shape.
START: Hold a weight plate by the edges, lie face-up on the floor with arms extended toward the ceiling, legs bent at a 90-degree angle so shins are parallel to the floor, and toes pointed up.
FINISH: Press your low back into the floor and extend one leg so the heel hovers above the floor, return the leg to start, and repeat on the opposite side for one rep. Continue, alternating sides. Do 3 sets of 12 reps.