When it comes to the gym, weightlifting, in particular, there’s usually one equipment that comes into mind. And that’s dumbbells. What makes this piece of equipment so popular is that there’s almost an endless amount of exercises you can perform with them.
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And with the range of weights levels available, they are perfect for men, women, young, old as well as the experienced and most inexperienced of trainers. Dumbbells can be used to improve all aspects of your health. Here are 7 dumbbell exercises you can try.
1. Dumbbell Squats
Just like a traditional squat with a barbell, hold the dumbbells by your sides (deadlift position), or in line with your shoulders (shoulder press position), and squat. Ensure that you stick your bottom out while performing the movement as well as keeping your shoulder in line with your body and your back straight. Repeat this motion and get at least 8-12 reps. If you can do more, increase the weight if you can’t reach that amount, decrease.
2. Bicep Curls
Bicep curls are generally done with either a barbell or dumbbells. The only difference is that with dumbbells, you can coordinate and focus on each arm at a time. Ensure your back is straight, shoulders locked in, keep your elbows at your side at all times and stabilize your wrist. The only thing moving is your forearms. Raise your forearm using the strength of your biceps, once you feel a contraction in the muscle, gently lower it down and repeat this motion until you can feel the burn in your biceps.
3. Chest Press
This exercise is relatively straightforward, yet extremely effective for building a stronger and thicker chest. What makes dumbbell chest presses unique as opposed to the traditional barbell press is that you need to focus on stabilization in each arm and both pectoral muscles. This balancing technique helps to strengthen your whole arm as well as chest, just like a bench press. Start by pushing out the weights, then lowering it to your body, repeating this motion. Be sure to keep your arms shoulder-width apart.
4. Chest Fly
While chest press focuses on increasing the size and strength of the chest, chest flies focus on the shape and balance of the pectoral muscles. Laying a flat or incline bench, hold the weights out shoulder-width apart, and slowly lower them outwards until your pectoral muscles stretched. Then slowly bring them back together into starting position. The only joint that is moving will be your shoulders. Everything else should be in a stable position.
5. Tricep kickback
This is one of the best exercises for triceps as it completely isolates the rest of the body and focuses on squeezing the triceps. Using a bench, lean on it with one arm and knee that is opposite to the arm you are working on. Keeping your back straight with your elbow in line with your body, push your forearm back, squeezing your triceps. The only joint moving in this exercise is your elbow.
6. Dumbbell row
The dumbbell row is one of the essential exercises when developing a stronger back. At the same time, this exercise will also help to strengthen and increase muscle mass in your biceps as well. Just like the tricep kickback, you’re going to need to use a bench to stabilize as well as keeping your back and neck straight. With the dumbbell in a neutral grip, pull the dumbbell towards your body, hold it to activate your back and biceps before lowering it down. Coordinate between both arms before calling it a set.
7. Shoulder press
Holding the dumbbells in by your shoulders as a starting position, push them upwards above your head. Slowly bring them down back to starting position and repeat the motion. This exercise can be done in a standing or seated position. Be sure to stick your chest out, keep your back straight and stabilize your arms at all times. This is one of the absolute best exercises for building size and mass in your shoulders.
It’s important to know your weight limits and to perform with the correct technique and motion. By not doing the exercises correctly or lifting weights that are too light or too heavy, your workouts will be ineffective, and you risk getting injured. Its always important to plan your workouts, get a proper warm up and engage with a personal trainer or someone who can spot you.
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