Weight plates aren’t just for loading up barbells. Here’s how to use one to tone every muscle.
GRAB a 10-pound plate with cutouts. Multiple grips let you target muscles in ways dumbbells (or a barbell) can’t. And your hands are fixed when you hold it (like with a weight machine), so arms stay in sync doing moves such as raises or presses—meaning you firm evenly.
YOUR EXPERT Sarah Koste, head trainer with P.E.P.P.E.R. (Practical Exercise Personally Planned Equals Results), a private training company in New York City
HOW Do move 1 for 1 minute. Rest 10 seconds. Perform move 2 for 1 minute. Rest 10 seconds. Continue through all exercises, then do the whole thing again. Complete the routine three times a week on alternate days.
Squat 2.0 Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding plate at inside grip at chest, elbows bent. Squat (as shown). Stand, press weight straight forward, then bring it back to chest. Continue squatting and pressing for 1 minute. (Works: Triceps, chest, abs, butt, and thighs.)
Plank Plus Start in a plank with plate under chest. Grab plate with right hand and slowly drag it toward right side. Then grab plate with left hand (as shown) and slowly drag it toward left side. Continue for 1 minute. (Works: Shoulders, chest, abs, and obliques.)
On Your Toes Stand with feet together, toes on plate, heels on floor, arms at sides. Rise onto the balls of feet (as shown); pause, then lower heels to graze floor. Continue for 1 minute. (Works: Butt and calves.)
Halo Effect Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding plate at outside grip, arms extended overhead. Bend elbows and rotate arms to move plate around head in a circle (as shown). Continue for 30 seconds. Switch direction; repeat. (Works: Shoulders, biceps, triceps, back, and abs.)
Booty Firmer Sit with knees bent, right foot flat, left heel on center of plate, arms behind you, palms on floor. Push plate forward (as shown). Drag plate back to start. Continue for 30 seconds. Switch sides; repeat. (Works: Butt and hamstrings.)
Side Slide Start in a side plank on left forearm with plate on floor in front of you. Pull plate under torso with right hand (as shown), then rotate into right-side plank. Repeat on opposite side. Continue for 1 minute. (Works: Shoulders, abs, obliques.)
Calf Carver Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes on floor, heels on plate (to activate calves), knees slightly bent and hands clasped together at chest. Squat (as shown); pause, then return to start. Continue for 1 minute. (Works: Butt, thighs, and calves.)
Get a Raise Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding plate at inside grip with arms extended forward. Keeping arms straight and elbows soft, slowly raise plate overhead until biceps meet ears (as shown). Return to start. Continue for 1 minute. (Works: Shoulders, back, and abs.)
Reach for It Lie faceup with knees bent, feet flat, holding plate at inside grip with hands at chest. Sit up and press plate forward at a 45-degree angle (as shown). Draw plate to chest as you lower back to floor. Continue for 1 minute. (Works: Shoulders and abs.)
Photos: Larsen & Talbert