When I first started working out, I didn’t know how important strength training was. I also had this notion that only body builders really needed to do it. The truth is, strength training is so important for anyone trying to live an active lifestyle. It not only helps you burn more calories, but it helps you gain flexibility, and it can even help your body do active things much easier.
Dumbbells are a great way to kick up your workout routine. They can add a bit of a challenge to your regular schedule as well and do some mild strength training. The best part is, as you get stronger, you can add heavier weights. I recommend starting with a weight that feels most comfortable to begin with. Even a 5 Lb weight dumbbell can really take your workouts to the next level. Here are some great ways to incorporate dumbbells into your workout routine and kick things up a notch.
CAUTION: As you do these, make sure you are holding your core (abs) in tight and coming all the way up. You also want to keep your spine as straight as possible not one to help support your body, but to avoid injury.
Shadowboxing with Dumbbells Stand like you would for a squat with your legs slightly bent at the knee and spread wider apart to a comfortable position. Make sure to hold your back straight. Hold one dumbbell in each hand and bring each arm across to the opposite direction, punching the air. Do as many reps of this as you find comfortable, but I like to do 20 (10 each arm) per set with a 30 second rest in between.
Squat with Dumbbells This is your typical squat, but instead of just holding your arms out in front of you as you come down, hold a dumbbell in each hand and bring your arms out to the side as you squat down. As you come up, bring your arms down to your sides. Do as many reps of this as is comfortable for you, but I typically do 20 per set with a 30 second rest period between each set.
Dumbbell Punch Stand either in a squat (for more of a challenge) or straight with your buttocks and core held in. Place a dumbbell in your left hand and at your side. Bring it up in a typical bicep curl and then extend it out, twisting your elbow and wrist like a punch. Bring it back to a curl and then back down to your side. You can make this even more challenging by doing both arms at the same time, or you can do one set of 20 per arm with a 30 second rest between sets.
Lunge with Dumbbells This is a typical lunge with the addition of dumbbells. To do a lunge, make sure your back is straight and bring one leg forward bent at the knee while holding a dumbbell either in a bicep curl position or straight down in both hands.. Switch legs and do 20 reps on each leg with a 30 second rest between sets.
Written By Christine Tolhurst from Saved By Grace Blog
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