Dumbbell Your Way To Fitness
Not just bulging biceps, dumbbells can help you tone and strengthen your entire body
If you think lifting dumbbells is only about getting bulging biceps, you are off the mark. Dumbbells are key to weight training that can help you burn fat, increase flexibility and balance, and also strengthen your bones. Here are some easy exercises using dumbbells that can help you stay fit.
Upper Body Strength
Bent over reverse fly: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and hang your arms perpendicular to the ground with your elbows slightly bent. Bend (in front) at about 90 degrees and pull your abs in. Slowly, raise the dumbbells laterally out (on the sides), tightening your upper back and the area between your shoulder blades. Keep your elbows fixed and your shoulders contracted. Lower the dumbbells slowly. Remember to breathe out when going up and breathe in when coming down.
Bicep curl: Hold a pair of dumbbells and bend your elbow, slowly moving your hand towards your shoulder. Only move your forearm from the elbow joint and keep your upper arm and wrist still. Curl all the way up, but do not touch your shoulders. Slowly, go back to the original position. Repeat this 15 times.
For a Strong Core
Russian twist: Sit with your knees bent and your feet pressed firmly onto the floor, holding a dumbbell with both hands close to your chest. Lean back a little and lift your feet up a few inches, keeping your spine straight. Twist the torso to the left, bringing the dumbbell close to your left hip. Slowly return to the centre and repeat the exercise on the right side. Repeat this 15 times.
Ab slam: This move is great for your abdominal muscles. Lie straight on the exercise mat with your knees bent at 90 degrees. Grab one dumbbell with both hands and straighten your arms overhead and behind you. Do a quick sit-up, bringing the dumbbell between your legs and tapping it on the ground. Repeat this 15 times.
Lower Body Muscles
Goblet squats: Besides working your legs, goblet squats also help shape up your arms, shoulders, core and back. Stand with your feet slightly wide (wider than hip-distance) with your toes pointed out. Pin your elbows to your rib cage and hold a weight right under your chin vertically, with your hands cupping the top end (round) of the weight. Slowly bend your hips and knees to lower your body (like you would in regular squats) as much as you can. Hold that position for a few seconds, and then slowly go back to the starting position. Repeat this 15 times.
Forward lunge: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, with a dumbbell in each hand. Bring your right foot forward and bend the right knee at a 90-degree angle, until the right thigh is parallel to the floor and the left knee is close to the ground. Press it down through your right heel as you return to the centre. Repeat this 15 times with each leg.