For anyone interested in getting an effective workout, dumbbells are a must.
The entire range of exercises you know can be improved by incorporating dumbbells, upping the intensity and providing you with the opportunity to build lean muscle and tone targeted zones.
Using dumbbells in your workout will allow you to focus on multiple muscle groups simultaneously, bringing some concentrated potential to your core, legs, chest, and arms.
The Farmer’s Walk
This exercise is often performed with only a single dumbbell, and it’s best known for being used in exhibitions at fitness competitions like Strongman gatherings. Grab the heaviest dumbbell you can reasonably manage, and walk with it.
Because the dumbbell will upset your balance, you need to use your core muscles to keep your body centered.
Not only are you improving your muscular endurance in your arms, but you’re improving your ability to keep fine-tuned control over your abdomen.
Single Armed Dumbbell Rows
This will engage your biceps, and your back. Since there aren’t many safe ways to engage your back in a dumbbell workout, you’d be a fool to pass this one up.
Using a bench for support, you’ll work one side at a time, corresponding your hand and your leg. Try starting with your left side, and then alternate to your right. With your right knee resting on the bench, support your weight with your right arm.
Try to keep your abdomen perpendicular to the bench. Clench your abdomen, and keep your back flat. Gradually row the dumbbell in your left hand until you’ve extended above your torso.
With a full row, you should be able to feel your upper back being engaged.
Alternating Dumbbell Curves with an Incline
You’ll need an inclining bench with this. A 60 degree incline will work the best. Grasp both dumbbells with your palms facing inward.
This is called a neutral grip.
As you curl your bicep in, your hand should rotate until your palm is in the vertical position. Don’t move your upper arm in line with your palm – make sure you’re keeping it down against your side.
After you lower down, switch arms.
Dumbbell Torso Pushups
Have you ever considered using dumbbells with your pushups? It’s a great way to maximize the efficiency of your pushups by incorporating your chest, triceps, and shoulders.
For dumbbell torso pushups, you’ll need two dumbbells. Don’t exceed five pounds per dumbbell – in many cases, 2.5 pounds will be enough. Get into the pushup position with the dumbbells in your hands, while they’re resting on the ground.
Do a pushup like you normally would, but as you raise, alternate lifting your arms off of the ground. Raise one arm into a full extension, twisting your torso and pivoting your weight onto one foot.
Come back down, and switch arms.
A lot of the time, people recommend doing shoulder presses with a barbell rather than a dumbbell.
Shoulder presses with dumbbells are great for people who want the freedom to alternate arms, concentrating the weight on one side rather than distributing it.
You’ll get maximum control over the muscle groups you’re toning by opting to use dumbbells.
Either alternating or lifting simultaneously, grip the barbells with your palms facing upward. Raise the barbells up from your shoulders to a full extension, above the head.
You can do this while you’re sitting down, or you can use a vertical bench with a back support if you’re looking to avoid impact on your back muscles.
This is primarily a great way to work your deltoids, but your triceps will also get a piece of the actions.
The Lying Fly
This exercise is designed to target the chest. Though it’s similar to a bench press with dumbbells, you’re getting better control over your pectoral muscles while also engaging your triceps.
When you’re laying face up on your workout bench, grasp your dumbbells and hold your arms out to your sides with a 90 degree bend in your elbow.
Your upper arms should be perpendicular to the ground. In one smooth movement, raise both of your arms up vertically to hoist the weights above your head.
Come down to the starting position, and repeat.
A lot of Olympic athletes use toe raises to strengthen their calf muscles, which are largely overlooked by many popular exercises. Stand upright, with your back straight.
Grasp two dumbbells. Use the front of your feet to lift your body up off the ground, balancing on the front of your toes while keeping your back straight and your arms at your sides.
If you want to up the intensity, you can curl the dumbbells to your chest with each raise, either by alternating them or curling them both at once.
It will be more difficult to balance this way, so you may want to work up to incorporating the curls until you’re comfortable with your balance during a proper toe raise.
These are a very popular exercise because they’re simple and effective. Almost anyone can do a bicep curl, gradually increasing the amount of weight on the barbell to keep the exercise challenging.
Since this exercise works both your biceps and your forearms, it’s a great way to even out your muscles by providing uniform toning. Start with the weights resting down but your sides, and curl your arms until the barbell nears your pecs.
To save time, you can lift both dumbbells at once.
Dumbbells are an invaluable piece of equipment to keep in your home gym.
Adjustable dumbbells provide you with the best value for money, and they allow you to add weight in smaller increments for a smooth transition to heavier lifts. Light dumbbells, primarily 2.5 pound weights, are even great to use while jogging.
You can incorporate dumbbells into nearly any exercise, and it’s impossible to deny the benefits you’ll see from adding a higher intensity strength training into your regular workout.