There are several different kinds of upper body weights, and each may be used for different exercises or in varying situations. Free weights, kettleballs, rubber exercise bands, suspension training equipment, and resistance training equipment are all used for upper body weight training. In addition, common household items and even one's own body can also be used as upper body weights.
Free weights, including dumbbells and barbells, can be used for virtually any upper body exercise. An exercise bench can also be used in conjunction with free weights, though it is not necessary. One benefit to using free weights is that there are a wide range of different weights that can be tailored to any fitness level.
Kettleballs are also included in the category of upper body weights. A kettleball is a weighted ball with a handle on it. As with free weights, these items come in different sizes and weights so a wide variety of people can use them. Kettleballs can be used for exercises like the shoulder press or bicep curl, for example. They can also be used for exercises that require a different range of motion than free weights.
Rubber exercise bands are also used for upper body weight training. They are used much like free weights except that they use resistance rather than actual weight to work out the muscles. These bands basically consist of stretchy rubber tubing with handles or closed loops attached to the end. Some rubber exercise bands can also be cut to the appropriate length for the user. These upper body weights work well for training at home because they take up very little space.
Suspension training equipment is also a good choice for home training. This type of equipment elevates either the hands or the feet using different straps and can often be a more challenging workout than traditional machines. This is because the equipment often secondarily requires the user to work his or her core muscles so that the body becomes stabilized. Suspension training equipment is easily portable and doesn't weigh very much.
Resistance training equipment are machines most often seen in gyms. These kinds of upper body weights have different types of resistance: some use sliding weights, some use electromagnetics, while others use hydraulics. The equipment can be adjusted to suit the height and strength of the user and, unlike free weights, proper exercise form is less of an issue because the machines work on a fixed path. Another benefit to resistance training machines is that they are generally safer, since they do not involve the risk of dropping a weight. Since each machine may only work one specific body part, these types are often utilized mostly in gyms as opposed to home training.
Household items or one's own body can also be used as upper body weights. For example, bicep curls can be done using water bottles. One's own body can be used as resistance along with a chair, for example, when doing a reverse push up. This option means that anyone can begin working out the upper body with or without a gym membership or specific exercise equipment.