What free weight should I buy? I want to work on toning and building my arms, chest, and buttocks. I can't afford the gym and I'm on a budget. Also, does running help build muscle? I'm really skinny I weigh 135 lbs and i'm 5'11. I'm 21. Should I purchase dumb bells or a bench press?
You can do just about anything with dumbbells that you could do with a barbell, but not the other way around; so if you do not have enough money to get both, get dumbbells. You can use something besides a weight bench to do flys and dumbbell presses that will target your chest. Running doesn't really help you build muscle but is great for your heart and helps you lose fat. There are a ton of books and things that can tell you how to exercise all the muscle groups without much equipment; the Body Sculpting Bible is one, as is the Naked Warrior, but having a friend that is into body building is probably a good place to start, and is free. :)
dumbbell if you buy the changing weight ones with a bunch of weight. their is an endless number of excursizes that you can do with dumbbells. with the bench press all you can do it the bench press, power cleans, front squats, deal lifts, military press, snatch, curls, tricep extensions. that sounds like a lot of different things but if you keep doing those same things then your body will get use to it and they wont be that effective. dumbbells excersizes curls, tricept extensions, french press, dumbbells press, chest flys, rows, seated curls, preacher curls, contraction curls, shoulder press, arnold press, front and side raises, shoulder flys, DB squats, DB dead lifts, step ups, push up rows, hammer curls, twist curls, DB swings DB snatch, DB power clean, DB over head squats, squat and press, and soooo many more there is an endless possibility with dumbbells if you have enough weight. i say go with the dumbbells.
bench press. because when you increase on your weight then you will have to buy a new set of dumbells but if you increase on bench press you'll only have to buy an extra 5 pounds of weight or w/e you want to increase by. dont worry about toning because if you weigh 135 pounds at 5'11 you would need to put on weight. toning will also come if you add muscle. i would recommend for you to get a bench press and protein powder.
Dumbells. And head over to the library, they should have a selection of books which will show you what exercises to do with them...and you'll be able to effectively tone and strengthen your muscles. Best of luck and have fun.
Running makes you more skinny. It does build leg muscles and burns fat. I'd buy dumb bells because I just use dumb bells more. I think there's more of a variety you can do with them.