In our office we, among other strengthening equipment, use free weights. These are basic and widely used methods to achieve desired increase in strength.

dumbbell set imagedumbbell set imageThere are different types of free weights. The dumbbell refers to a type of free weight, which is used in weight training where the weights are created in a shape as depicted in images on the left, and on the right. Inexpensive varieties consist of cast iron, sometimes coated with rubber or neoprene for comfort. They can be used individually or in pairs with one in each hand but generally they are used in pairs. The figure on the left shows a dumbbell that has six weight options depending on the selector position.

ankle weight The next type of free weight is the ankle/wrist weights as seen in the image on the right. They are relatively inexpensive and can be used just about anywhere and with an extensive number of exercises. They come in a variety of weights. Typically in physical therapy the available weights are from 2 through 5 pounds. They are also colored for easy identification, 2 lbs (white), 3 lbs (beige), 4 lbs (blue), and 5 lbs (black). There are also ankle weights that are adjustable. A 5 lbs adjustable ankle weight has 10 1/2 lb inserts which can be removed to match the exercise tolerance.

Free weights are great when used properly and with a proper plan of exercise. You can find unlimited suggestions on the Web, but there is nothing better than being evaluated by a professional physical therapist who will start you at a safe level and insure that you don't injure yourself by starting out exercising at a level that your body is not ready for.