• Español

Resistance Training With Free Weights: Exercises

Your Care Instructions

Here are some examples of exercises for resistance training. Start each exercise slowly. Ease off the exercise if you start to have pain.

Your doctor or physical therapist will tell you when you can start these exercises and which ones will work best for you.

How to do the exercises

Chest fly

Picture of the chest fly exercise
slide 1 of 3
  1. Lie on a bench or exercise ball, and hold the weights straight up over your chest. Do not lock your elbows. You can keep them slightly bent if that is comfortable for you.
  2. Slowly lower your arms, keeping them extended, until the weights are level with your chest, or slightly lower.
  3. Slowly raise your arms until you are in the starting position.
  4. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
  5. Rest for a minute, and repeat the exercise.

Lateral raise for the outer part of the shoulder (deltoid)

Picture of the lateral raise exercise
slide 2 of 3
  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  2. Bend your arms 90 degrees with your elbows at hip level. With your palms facing in, hold the weights straight in front of you.
  3. Slowly lift the weights and your elbows out to the sides to shoulder level, keeping your elbows bent. Keep your shoulders down and relaxed as you lift. If you find you are shrugging your shoulders up toward your ears, your weights may be too heavy.
  4. Slowly lower the weights back to your sides.
  5. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
  6. Rest for a minute, and repeat the exercise.

Biceps curls

Picture of the bicep curls exercise
slide 3 of 3
  1. Sit leaning forward with your legs slightly spread and your left hand on your left thigh.
  2. Hold the weight in your right hand, and place your right elbow on your right thigh.
  3. Slowly curl the weight up and toward your chest.
  4. Slowly lower the weight to the original position.
  5. Repeat 8 to 12 times.
  6. Rest for a minute, and repeat the exercise.
  7. Do the same exercise with your other arm.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

Last Revised: November 4, 2011

© 2006-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Care instructions adapted under license by Kaiser Permanente. This care instruction is for use with your licensed healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.


The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.

More to explore