Straight to the Bar

All Things Strength


Blast from the Past : Plate Exercises
Written By : Scott Bird
UPDATE 28/6/12 : One of the guys featured below, Unbreakable‘ Adam Glass, has just announced that Volume 2 of the Industrial Strength Grip DVD will be available shortly. This contains a whole lot of information on the various types of plate exercises noted below.
To give you an idea, check out the video here – featuring a super simple one-plate arm workout. Good stuff.

Over the past eight years this site’s amassed an enormous amount of content. To help you find the highlights, I’ll be taking an occasional wander through the archives.

Whilst weight plates are typically used in conjunction with various types of bars and machines, there are several great exercises using only the plates themselves. Here are just a few of the Plate Exercises we’ve looked at over the years :

  • Grip Flips
    First up, one we looked at on Google+ recently : Grip Flips. Brilliantly simple.
  • Wide Plate Pinch

    This is one of the first pieces of DIY Equipment I made, and also one of the simplest – consisting solely of two nuts, two bolts and a length of chain (perhaps 2′ or 3′). If you’ve got large hands (you’ll need them for this), give it a shot. Great way to train.

    To assemble it : loop one end of the chain through a plate, and ‘tie it off‘ using one of the nut+bolt pairs. Pass the other end of the chain through another plate, and hold it there using the second nut+bolt.The picture shows it in use.

  • Front Plate Raise

    Eye level

    Eye level.

    I first tried this out in 2005 after reading an article by The Renegade‘, Coach John Davies. And yes, it’s definitely a keeper.
    The movement itself really is as simple as the name suggests. Grab a plate by the sides (angled down a bit, as if driving a bus) and straighten your arms in front of you. Raise it until you’re looking through the hole, and lower it again. That’s it.

    As this is pretty close to an isolation exercise (for the anterior deltoid) I tend to slip these in after a bit of pressing.

  • Plate Juggling
    Looking for a challenge?

    Nice one.
  • Plate Curl
    Finally, a staple of Strongmen everywhere – the Plate Curl. Beautiful thing.
    Over to Unbreakable‘ Adam Glass :

    Love it.


Final Thoughts

In terms of equipment, Plate Exercises are about as simple as they get. Put the barbell to one side for a minute, and give them a go.

Further reading

Want more? Take a look at these :

There’s also an incredible array of articles and videos on this site. Use the search box at the top of each page, or swing by the contact page.

UPDATE 22/04/21 : You might also be interested in Mike Beatty's wonderful article 'What are Bumper Plates?', which is a detailed look at Bumpers. Highly recommended.




Over to you. Drop us a line on Twitter ( @scottbird ), or add a comment below.



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Straight to the Bar is the online home of fitness enthusiast Scott Bird, and looks at the many training approaches, essential techniques, uncommon exercises and superb equipment to help you become as strong as humanly possible. In short, this site is the home of all things strength.

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Written By Scott Bird
Scott is a long-time fitness enthusiast (Jan 2004!), writer and photographer living in Sydney, Australia. If you share the passion for spending a bit of time under a bar, welcome. Love hearing how everyone else trains. You can connect via X (Formerly Twitter), Facebook and the various networks listed in the sidebar.
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