Dumbbell workouts are ideal for toning and building muscles, as well as shedding pounds. You might know that when you build muscle, you lose fat but you can also shed pounds just by adding weight to your cardio activities. If your goal is to just develop strength or definition, you have your choice of arm and back exercises, from beginner to weightlifting guru. The amount of weight you use during your workouts is up to you and depending on your goal, should gradually increase over time.
You have a lot of muscles in your arms, back and neck, all of which require different exercises to become strong but if you want to focus primarily on your arms, then you may want to do some of the following dumbbell workouts. Aside from the common curls that help define your forearm and build up your biceps, you can also strengthen your arms by lifting a lighter dumbbell above your head.
Put the dumbbell in your right arm, lift it straight over your head and support the area right above your shoulder with your left hand, thus forming an L shape. Once you are in position and your arm has the support of your opposing hand, slowly bend your elbow so the dumbbell goes behind your head and back. Raise the weight back to the starting position, do a few repetitions, then switch arms.
Another of the dumbbell workouts you could use to build up or tone your arms is to hold a weight in each hand while power walking. By pumping your arms out and slightly up, as opposed to doing a full curl, you build more strength and muscle because your arm has to hold the position instead of finishing the full curl with which you may already be familiar.
Since this can become exhausting, you may want to do a brisk walk with the dumbbells, staying close to your starting point, then return them and go back for your walk or jog, the latter of which you should not do using weights.
Some of the dumbbell workouts you do to tone your arms also tone and strengthen your back but just to be sure your reaching every muscle, here are a few exercises you can try. Start with something light if you are new to working out or have back problems, such as a kneeling row.
Simply kneel your left knee on a bench and place your left hand in front for added support and so that your back is straight. Slightly bend your right knee so that it does not lock, pick up the dumbbell with your right hand and then begin lifting up and down, doing 10 to 15 repetitions before switching to your left arm.
If you have more experience working out, you may want to do more challenging exercises, such as the dead lift. Start this workout by putting one dumbbell in each hand, then bend your knees, pop out your caboose by flexing at your hips. This should put you in a semi-standing frog position, as your back should be at a straight angle, not straight up but also not bent.
Once you are in the correct position, put your arms straight by your sides, though not touching your body, then raise yourself up, go back to starting position and repeat.
When exercising, you should try to do at least one of the dumbbell workouts for each part of your body so that your muscle strength and tone is evenly distributed. Of course, you are free to focus on any part of your body so it can look and feel the way you want it to but still strive for uniformity. Lastly, do these exercises safely by using a spotter, getting clearance from your doctor if necessary, learning the proper way to use equipment and possibly hire a trainer.
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