As far as timeless weight training tools go, dumbbells may take the cake. Dumbbell workouts offer impressive fitness results contributing to the overall strength and development of not only the arm muscles but the legs, back, shoulders and core. Dumbbells vary in weight to cater for any fitness level, whether you’re a body builder looking to squeeze in that at home pump or you're trying to intergrade some light rehabilitation exercises into your routine. Although small dumbbells are mighty in their ability to offer well-rounded full body workout to increase strength or intensify your cardio session. Dumbbells can easily be stored into most spaces at home and taken out in a flash when you get that impulse to workout. In this guide some exercises may require a flat surface to use like a flat bench, however a chair or other firm surface will work fine.
As the name suggests this exercise was coined by Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, so it's probably worth giving it a go. The overhead press targets all sections of your deltoids giving the muscles at the top of your upper arms a rounder form. Compared to barbell and standard overhead presses, the Arnold Press keeps muscles under tension for longer meaning you can work with lighter weights and still see excellent results. Over time with this exercise, you will develop fuller, more defined shoulders while simultaneously improving your posture.How to do an Arnold Press:
- Sit on a bench or chair with dumbbells in each hand, keep arms bent.
- Complete a bicep curl and hold when you reach your chest.
- Spread arms to each side laterally.
- Press your arms up and twist hands so your palms face forwards.
A prime example of how dumbbells can offer a full body workout is with the goblet squat. The goblet squat works out major muscle groups including the quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings and calves whilst improving your posture and form. Easy enough for anyone to do, goblet squats when done with control will also engage your core muscles, back and forearms. For this exercise you can go up a weight grade if you carry more strength in your lower body compared to upper.How to do a Goblet Squat:
- Hold the dumbbell with both hands from underneath the top of the weight.
- Lift the dumbbell and hold against your chest.
- Squat whilst maintaining a straight back and head forward.
- Stand back up and repeat.
Back Day? The dumbbell bent-over row is a must! This multi-joint exercise targets muscles in the upper and middle back as well as incorporating effort from the chest and upper arm. As well as building muscle through this compound exercise, the bent-over row will improve the stability of your spine. The bent over position does wonders in increasing muscle fibres recruiting in your back as opposed to vertical pulling exercises. The focus on the back, puts you at risk of strain if this exercise is not done with proper form.
How to do a Bent-Over Row:
- Stand with legs shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
- Hold dumbbells in each hand with your palm facing inwards.
- Bend over at a 45-degree angle.
- Pull the dumbbells up towards the die of your chest.
- With controlled form lower the weights to starting position.
If you’re wanting to turn up the difficulty then the lateral raise is sure to give your arms a burn. Don’t let the simple movement fool you, even with light weights this exercise can be tough. Lateral raises are another way to build stronger and larger shoulder muscles as well as target the muscles in the upper back and core. For this exercise it is important to control your movement and not swing the dumbbells outwards.How to do a Lateral Raise:
- Stand or sit with dumbbells in each hand at your side.
- Slowly lift the weights out to the sides until your arms are parallel with the floor.
- While lifting keep your back straight and brace your core.
- Slowly lower arms back down to your sides.
Russian Twists with a Dumbbell
Russian Twists are a great ab workout that challenges all the muscles in your core especially your obliques. The rotational movement works to stabilise your spine and fire up muscles around your waist. The extra weight of the dumbbell will make the rotating movement more difficult and strengthen arm muscles. Using dumbbells will also strengthen your core leading to multiple physique benefits like good posture, stability and increased spine protection.How to do Russian Twists:
- Start seated with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
- With one dumbbell in both hands lean back slightly and lift feet off the floor.
- Slowly twist the torso from the left to right bringing the dumbbell with you as you twist.
- In between each twist pause at the centre.
If you can't make it to the gym, then dumbbells will be your saving grace. The vast weight range make dumbbells suitable for all fitness levels and any type of fitness regime. Dumbbells make a great addition to any home space as most dumbbell exercises don’t require heaps of room. Shoulders, arms, core and back are just some of the target areas that a dumbbell workout can strengthen. With dumbbell exercises the sky is the limit so grab your dumbbells and get moving.
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