How to Get Bigger Calves Reading 15 Best Weight Plate Exercises to Amplify Your Training 12 minutes Next How Much Does a Barbell Weight
ifast weight plate

Being a lover of exercise and a home fitness enthusiast I am always scouting for versatile workout implements that are effective and don’t occupy much space. Thus it’s such a thrill to discover weight plates which are flat, round discs that you often find lying on top of barbells. But do you know they can be used for more than just adding resistance while lifting?

Weight plates are an extremely adaptable implement that can target almost every major muscle group in your body. From smashing your abs to scorching your deltoids, these unsung heroes bring the pain. So let us take a look at some of my favorite weight plate workouts that will leave you feeling like you have been barbequed from head to toe.

15 Best Weight Plate Exercises For You

1.Plate Push-Up

Plate Push-Up

Target Muscles: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps

How to do it:

  • Assume a push-up position with your hands placed on the edges of a weight plate instead of the floor.
  • Keep your body in a straight line and engage your core.
  • Bend your elbows out to the sides as you lower your chest towards the plate.
  • Push back up to the start by straightening your arms.

2.Plate Sit-Up

Plate Sit-Up

Target Muscle: Abs

How to do it:

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground.Hold a weight plate against your chest with both hands.
  • Engage your core by drawing your navel towards your spine.Exhale and contract your abdominal muscles to initiate the sit-up.
  • Slowly lift your upper body off the ground while keeping your lower back in contact with the floor.
  • Continue to rise until your torso is perpendicular to the ground or until you feel a comfortable stretch in your abdominal muscles.
  • Inhale and lower your upper body back down to the starting position in a controlled manner.

3.Plate Front Raise

Plate Front Raise

Target Muscles: Shoulders

How to do it:

  • Stand upright holding a weight plate by its edges at hip level with palms facing inwards.
  • Raise the plate out to the sides until it's shoulder height by lifting your arms straight out.
  • Squeeze your shoulder muscles at the top of the movement.
  • Lower back to the starting position with control. 

4.Plate Halos

Plate Halos

Target Muscles: Shoulders, Core

How to do it:

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart holding a plate vertically in front of your chest.
  • Keeping arms straight, rotate the plate in a circular "halo" motion around your head and body.
  • Move in one direction for half the reps, then switch directions.
  • Keep your core braced throughout the movement. 

5.Plate Deadlift

Plate Deadlift

Target Muscles: Back, Legs

How to do it:

  • Stand with a weight plate on the floor in front of you.
  • Hinge at the hips to lower your torso until you can grip the edges of the plate.
  • Keeping your back flat, drive through your heels to stand up straight, squeezing your glutes.
  • Allow the plate to hang at arm's length once upright.

6.Standing Plate Press

Standing Plate Press

Target Muscles: Shoulders, Triceps

How to do it:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lift the weight plate to chest height.
  • Engage your core to stay stable.
  • Fully extend your arms and push the barbell forward. Pause briefly and extend your arms fully.
  • Slowly push the weight plate back to the starting position.

7.Overhead Plate Press

Overhead Plate Press

Target Muscles: Shoulders, Triceps

How to do it:

  • Stand up straight, place the barbell on your shoulders, palms facing each other
  • Tighten your core muscles, straighten your arms, and press the barbell directly over your head.
  • Pause at the top of the movement and squeeze.
  • Lower the board back to the starting position in a controlled motion.

8.Side Bend

Side Bend

Target Muscles: Obliques

How to do it:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell with one hand at your side.
  • Engage your core to stay stable.
  • Slowly bend your torso to the side, away from the weight plate, focusing on using your obliques.
  • Lower the weight plate as far as is comfortable while maintaining control and feeling a stretch on one side of your waist.
  • Pause briefly at the bottom of the movement.
  • Straighten your torso and return the weight plates to the sides of your thighs to return to the starting position

9.Chest Squeeze Press

Chest Squeeze Press

Target Muscles: Chest, Triceps

How to do it:

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a weight plate in front of your chest with hands close together.
  • Engage your core for stability.
  • Press the weight plate forward by extending your arms straight in front of you.
  • As you press the weight plate forward, squeeze it together using your chest muscles.
  • Pause briefly at the fully extended position, feeling the contraction in your chest.
  • Slowly reverse the movement and bring the weight plate back to the starting position. 

10.Plate Drag

Plate Drag

Target Muscles: Back, Shoulders, Core

How to do it:

  • Place the weight plate on the ground and place your toes on its edge in a push-up position
  • Engage your core and maintain stability. Drag the weight plate forward
  • Continue for the set distance or time using your upper body and core muscles.
  • Stand up straight and return to starting position.

11.Plate Pinch Carry

Plate Pinch Carry

Target Muscles: Grip, Forearms

  • Choose two weight plates of the same size and weight. Stand next to a weight plate with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Squat down and pinch the outer edges of the weight plates between your fingertips and thumbs. Lift the weight plate off the ground and stand straight
  • Hold the weight plate while walking. Take small, controlled steps and keep your upper body stable.
  • Place the weight plate back on the ground, release your hands, and rest.

12.Plate Pinch

Plate Pinch

Target Muscles: Grip, Forearms

  • Stand next to a weight plate with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place the weight plate vertically on the ground, smooth side facing out.
  • Bend down and hold the weight plate between your fingertips and thumb, creating a pinch grip.
  • Focus on squeezing the weight plates together with your fingers and thumbs, engaging the muscles in your hands and forearms.

13.Russian Twist

Russian Twist

Target Muscles: Obliques, Core

How to do it:

  • Sit upright on the floor with knees bent and feet planted.
  • Holding a weight plate against your chest, lean back slightly.
  • Twist your upper body to one side, keeping the plate close to your body.
  • Contract your obliques to twist to the opposite side in a controlled motion.

14.Plate Swings

Plate Swings

Target Muscles: Full Body

How to do it:

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and a plate held at chest height.
  • Pushing your hips back, hinge at the waist to lower the plate between your legs.
  • Keep your back flat and engage your core.
  • Drive your hips forward to swing the plate up to shoulder height.

15.Overhead Triceps Extension

Overhead Triceps Extension

Target Muscle: Triceps

How to do it:

  • Stand upright holding a weight plate overhead with both hands.
  • Keep your upper arms stationary next to your head.
  • Bend at the elbows to lower the plate behind your head.
  • Straighten your arms to return the plate overhead for a triceps squeeze.

When implementing weight plate exercises, it's essential to prioritize proper form and technique to maximize the benefits and minimize the risk of injury. Start with lighter weights and focus on controlled, deliberate movements before progressing to heavier loads. Additionally, consider incorporating weight plate exercises as part of a well-rounded training program that includes traditional strength training exercises, cardiovascular conditioning, and mobility work.

Benefits of Weight Plate Exercises

IFAST weight plate


Weight plates can be used in various exercises targeting different muscle groups, offering versatility in workout routines. From compound movements like squats and deadlifts to isolation exercises like bicep curls and lateral raises, weight plates provide a wide range of exercise options.

Strength and Muscle Growth

Weight plate exercises are effective for building strength and muscle mass. By challenging muscles with resistance, weight plate exercises promote muscle hypertrophy and enhance overall muscle development.

Functional Fitness

Many weight plate exercises engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, mimicking real-life movements and enhancing functional fitness. This helps improve everyday activities and athletic performance by enhancing coordination, stability, and mobility. 

Core Stability

Weight plate exercises often require core engagement for stability and balance, leading to improved core strength and stability. Strengthening the core muscles helps prevent injuries, improve posture, and support spinal health.

colored bumper plate

Increased Calorie Burn

Weight plate exercises can contribute to calorie burn and fat loss when incorporated into a well-rounded workout routine. High-intensity weight plate workouts can elevate heart rate and metabolism, leading to greater calorie expenditure and improved body composition.

Accessibility and Convenience

Weight plates are widely available in fitness facilities and can also be used at home with minimal equipment. They are relatively affordable and versatile, making them accessible to individuals of all fitness levels.

Progression and Adaptability

Weight plate exercises offer opportunities for progression and adaptation as strength and fitness levels improve. By gradually increasing weight or adjusting exercise intensity, individuals can continue to challenge themselves and achieve new fitness goals.

Mental Health Benefits

Regular physical activity, including weight plate exercises, has been linked to improved mental health and well-being. Exercise releases endorphins, which can reduce stress, anxiety, and symptoms of depression, promoting overall mental wellness.

Related: Full Body Barbell Workout

weighted push up


Don't be afraid to get creative and experiment with different weight plate exercises and variations. The versatility of this simple tool is limited only by your imagination. By thinking outside the box and embracing unconventional training methods, you'll continually challenge your body, break through plateaus, and unlock new levels of strength, power, and overall fitness.

Furthermore, weight plate exercises can be an invaluable resource for those training at home or in minimalist settings. With a few weight plates and some creativity, you can craft an effective, full-body workout that targets every major muscle group and movement pattern. This accessibility makes weight plate training an excellent option for individuals with limited equipment or those seeking a cost-effective way to enhance their fitness journey.

FAQs About Weight Plate Workout

Q1: What are the benefits of using weight plates for workouts?

Weight plate workouts offer several benefits:

  • Versatility - Plates can be used for a wide variety of exercises targeting different muscle groups.
  • Space-efficient - You don't need a full home gym setup, just some plates.
  • Affordable - Weight plates are generally inexpensive compared to bulky equipment.
  • Adjustable resistance - You can increase or decrease the weight by adding/removing plates.
  • Functional training - Many plate exercises mimic real-life lifting and carrying movements.

Q2: What types of weight plates are best for home workouts?

For home use, rubber or rubber-coated weight plates are recommended. They are durable, quieter than metal plates when dropped, and less likely to damage floors. Bumper plates are also a great versatile option.

Q3: How much weight should I start with for plate exercises?

Start light, around 5-10 lbs per hand/side, until you master the proper form for each exercise. Gradually increase the weight as you build strength and confidence with the movements. Listen to your body and progress at your own pace.

Q4: What are some good weight plate exercises for beginners?

Beginner-friendly plate exercises include plate front squats, plate lunges, pushups on plates, sit ups holding a plate, and basic plate raises like front raises and lateral raises. Start with just the plates' bodyweight.

Q5: Do I need any special equipment besides the plates?

While not required, useful accessories can include resistance bands (to loop around plates), a weight bench, a yoga mat for floor work, and small sandbags or weight vests to add load besides plates.

Q6: How do I program weight plate workouts?

Incorporate plate exercises 2-3 times per week, rotating upper body, lower body, and full-body workouts. Aim for 2-4 sets of 8-15 reps per exercise depending on your goals. Allow proper rest between sessions.

Q7: Are weight plate workouts safe for all fitness levels?

Weight plate workouts are suitable for most fitness levels when done correctly. However, those with injuries or limitations may need to modify or avoid certain exercises. Listen to your body and work within your capabilities.

Q8: Can weight plates replace traditional gym equipment entirely?

While weight plates provide a versatile and effective workout tool, it's best to incorporate them as part of a comprehensive program. Barbells, dumbbells, cables, and machines provide variety and target muscles in unique ways.

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