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9 Full-Body Olympic/ Bumper Plate Exercises You Need to Try

You do not need bulky, expensive training equipment to work out your body from various angles. At Archon, we are firm believers that simplicity and efficiency in workout routines (and equipment) help to establish a long-term exercise practice and consistent lifestyle. Whether you have been bending the bar for years or just starting to initiate your fitness journey, you can get great results with just a small selection of bumper plates and these incredible bumper plate exercises to tone your whole body.

While gyms are great fitness settings thanks to their wide range of equipment, professional assistance, and exercise inspiration they can be costly over time. You are likely paying for equipment you rarely or never use, as well as maintenance fees for the gym. In addition, the novel Coronavirus pandemic has made it a bit uncomfortable to be at the gym. For one, wearing a mask while you exercise can be uncomfortable. Then of course there is the risk of contracting the virus. By following these simple exercises, you can jumpstart into a fit & healthy lifestyle with nothing but a set of your handy weight plates.

Why Resistance Training Is Best for Fitness

Cardio is great for burning calories, but many cardio workouts also burn muscle. If you do not want to burn away the hard-earned muscle you are building, you need to implement resistance training.  Resistance training has a lot of key benefits for your fitness journey including:

Boosting Your Resting Metabolic Rate: Your resting metabolic rate is the measure of how fast your body burns calories when you are at a rest. Because muscles require more energy(calories) to maintain than fat, you naturally burn more calories at rest when you have more muscle. So, building more muscle achieves the same goal as cardio, even when you’re not active.

Optimizing Your Workout: Compound exercises are movements that engage several different muscles at the same time. Rather than spending time on an individual muscle, resistance training helps to increase muscle mass and tone your body in different areas at once. This also stimulates more muscle growth hormones.

Working Larger Muscles to Burn More Calories: as we mentioned, muscles need energy to be sustained. The larger muscles in your body need even more energy, especially when you move or engage them. Working muscles like your glutes, quads, abs, chest and back torch calories, helping you look and feel more in-shape. 

Increasing Upper Body Strength – Cardio creates a lot of lean muscle in your lower body. Avid runners work their legs, but their upper body is likely not getting the same attention. This can eventually lead to poor posture and back issues. Athletes can have more control on what and how they train with strength training. 

Increasing Mobility: Most people, especially women, see resistance or weight training as just increasing the size and strength of your muscles. This tends to scare people away from this type of training. However, resistance training is also about improving your body’s functionality such as your balance and stability. It also helps keep your joints healthy.

Reducing Risk of Injury: Yes, you can get hurt from improperly working out, however the fact is that stronger muscles are better at supporting your body and sensitive areas such as joints and delicate connective tissues. 

Training with Variety:  Overtime, regular cardio training can be difficult to get motivated about, especially if you’re doing the same thing. With strength training, there is an incredible variety of ways that you can train and build on your progress, which can help make training more fun and motivational. 

Building Strength Helps Improve Health for the Long-term: Our bodies are at more risk of injury and disease as we get older. Building strength in your body by increasing your muscle mass helps us promote health and reduce our risk of injury in the future. 

Everyone can benefit from some form of resistance training. The best part is you have total control of how intensely you want to train. If you have never tried resistance training before, or if it’s been some time, you can try some of these simple bumper plate exercises to get you started. 

9 Compound Exercises with Just Olympic Plates or Bumper Plates

Sometimes the gym is way too packed, and you can’t get to a machine. Sometimes you really do not want to leave the house and would rather work out at home. Wherever you are, these upper body, lower body, and core workouts can be completed with just plates. Try them out!


Muscle Targets: Shoulders, Chest, Abdominals, Obliques

plate switch - core exercises - bumper plate core exercise - Olympic plate core workout

  1. Start by getting into a plank position with fist at eye-level, spine straight, and muscles engaged. 
  2. Four to five weight plates are stacked on one side of you (start with them on the right.)
  3. Using your left arm and grab each plate one by one, stack them to your left.
  4. Once all plates are stacked on the left, use your right arm to grab each plate and stack them to your right. 
  5. Repeat the process, speeding up as you go.


Muscle Targets: Shoulders, Back, Abdominals 

bumper plate raises - Olympic plate raises -

  1. Standing, feet hip-width apart, hold a plate with both hands (inside grip). 
  2. Extend arms forward, keeping arms straight and elbows soft.
  3. Slowly raise the plate overhead.
  4. Slowly drop arms back to start. 
  5. Repeat.


Muscle Targets:  Deltoids, Shoulders, Upper back

lateral raise plates - lateral raise workout - plate lateral raises - Olympic plate workout

  1. Standing, feet hip-width apart, hold one plate in each hand (with inside grip) 
  2. Hold plates at your sides.
  3. Raise your arms out from your sides, with slight bend in elbow, until arms are parallel with the floor.
  4. Slowly lower arms to your sides. 
  5. Repeat.


Muscle Targets:  Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps, Back, Abdominals

bumper plate Halo- Olympic plate halo - Plate workout - plate exercise

  1. Standing with your feet hip-width apart, hold a plate with both hands (outside grip)
  2. Extended arms overhead
  3. Keeping a bend in the elbows, make a circle or “halo” around your head with the plate, until you return to the starting position. 
  4. Switch directions after one set. 
  5. Repeat.


Muscle Targets: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Upper back

bumper overhead press - olypic plate overhead press - olympic plate exercise - bumper workouts

    1. Standing with your feet hip-width apart,  chest raised upwards and back slightly arched.
    2. Hold a bumper plate with both hands at your chest. 
    3. Press the plate overhead,
    4. Lower plate close to your face, not the starting position. 
    5. Repeat.


Muscle Targets: Triceps, Abdominals, Glutes, Quads, Low Back

bumper plate exercise - olypic plate exercise - bumper squat reach - plate squat

  1. Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, hold one plate close to your chest. 
  2. Lower down to parallel squat.
  3. Extend arms forward, pressing plate away from you. 
  4. Pull the plate toward your chest and rise from the squat position.
  5. Repeat. 


Muscle Targets: Glutes, Quads, Hamstrings

  1. Press your back flat up against a flat wall.
  2. Hold a bumper plate in both hands, at about chest height.
  3. With your back pressed against the wall, lower down to a parallel squat. 
  4. Hold the plate at your chest or place the bumper plate on top of your legs.
  5. Hold for as long as possible. 


Muscle Targets: Triceps, abs, butt, thighs, lower back

side bend bumper plate - side bend olympic plate - side bend exercise - bumper/olypic plate exercise

  1. Standing straight with feet shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Hold one bumper plate with your left hand, place your right hand on your waist. 
  3. Bending your waist to the left, lower the bumper plate toward the floor. 
  4. Return back to the straight position engaging sides (obliques) as you rise up.
  5. Repeat.
  6. Switch to the other side after one set.


Muscle Targets: Biceps, Abdominals, Obliques, Back

olympic plate workout - bumper plate workout - russian twist plate - plate Russian twists

  1. Sit with your legs together, feet on the floor, knees bent, and back straight.
  2. Hold the plate at your chest, slightly away from you.
  3. Lift your legs, let them hover over the floor. 
  4. Twist your upper body and move the plate to the right, engage your core. Do not let the plate touch the floor.
  5. Twist your upper body to the left, moving the plate to the left. 
  6. Repeat as many times as possible.

If you feel challenged by some of these movements, don’t be discouraged. You likely are trying to activate muscles that you never even knew you had. It takes time and regular training to get your body adjusted to certain exercises and build strength. If you’re finding it too difficult, you can try doing these exercises without weight at first, building the form, then adding the weight later. 

ARCHON Plates for All Fitness Levels

Archon fitness equipment is designed for two things: durability and inclusivity. We believe everyone can and should have access to great fitness equipment to support a healthy lifestyle for the long run. Our equipment is made for commercial and personal use, so you can use them at your gym or your home. 

We have a large selection of bumper plates ranging from 10 pounds to 45 pounds. We also offer bumper plate sets so you can increase your weight as your body gets stronger. Take your equipment and your fitness journey to the next level. Visit our website at to check out our bumper plate selection and other fitness equipment and accessories. 

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