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Dumbbells

Front Squat

Front Squat

A.

Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a weight in each hand at shoulders with palms facing each other and arms bent with elbows pointing downward.

B.

Keeping arms fixed and chest lifted, take 5 seconds to lower into a squat until hips drop below knees, then hold that position for 5 seconds. Take 5 seconds to return to start. 

Mistakes and Tips:

Scale down: Do move without weights
Scale up: 
Stand facing a wall with feet hip-width apart and big toes touching a wall throughout reps; this will force your chest to stay lifted.

Deadlift

Deadlift

A.

Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a weight in each hand resting on thighs. Take 5 seconds to lower weights toward floor, bending knees softly, shifting hips back and hinging flat torso forward until upper body is parallel to floor. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Reverse movement to return to start.

Mistakes and Tips:

Scale down: Hinge torso toward parallel at a standard, rather than slower, pace.
Scale up: Take 5 seconds to reverse the movement to return to start.

Forward Lunge

Forward Lunge

A.

Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a weight in each hand with arms by sides. Step left leg forward and take 5 seconds to lower into a lunge, bending legs 90 degrees. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Push through right heel to return to start. 

Mistakes and Tips:

Scale down: Perform the move without weights.
Scale up: Take 5 seconds to rise out of lunge and return to start.

Overhead Sit-Up

Overhead Sit-Up

A.

Lie faceup on floor with legs extended and wider than hip-width apart and feet flexed, holding a weight in each hand. Press weights straight up over chest with palms facing forward to start.

B.

Sit up, pressing legs into floor and pushing weights toward ceiling until torso is upright and weights are over shoulders. Take 5 seconds to lower to start. 

Mistakes and Tips:

Scale Down: Do move without weights
Scale Up: Also take 5 seconds to sit up.

Windmill

Windmill

A.

Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, holding a weight in left hand with arms by sides. Press weight overhead with palm facing forward, look up at weight, and let toes turn slightly toward right to start.

B.

Take 5 seconds to lower flat torso over right leg, bending right leg softly and hinging from hips, keeping left arm over shoulder with gaze fixed on weight, and reaching right hand to right foot. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Reverse movement to return to start.

Mistakes and Tips:

Scale down: Lower flat torso over right leg at a quicker, standard pace.
Scale up: After holding static phase, also take 5 seconds to reverse the movement to return to start.

Row

Row

A.

Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding one weight in left hand with arms by sides. Bend knees softly, shift hips back, and hinge flat torso forward 45 degrees (right hand can rest lightly on right thigh) to start. Pull left arm up, bending elbow straight back, until weight reaches chest. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Take 5 seconds to lower to start. Switch sides; repeat. That's 1 rep. 

Mistakes and Tips:

Scale down: Lower to start at a quicker, standard pace.
Scale up: Also take 5 seconds to pull left arm until weight 
reaches chest .

Side Bend + Pause

Side Bend + Pause

A.

Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding dumbbells in hands by sides. With core engaged, bend at the waist to lower right dumbbell a few inches. 

B.

Engage left obliques to return to starting position. Repeat on the left side. Continue alternating, pausing at the top before switching to the opposite side. 

Dumbbell Rows

Dumbbell Rows

A.

Stand holding dumbbells in front of thighs, palms facing forward. Hinge forward slightly with knees softly bent. 

B.

Pull dumbbells back next to ribs, sending elbows straight back and squeezing shoulder blades together. Slowly lower back to starting position. 

Sway Back: Side Bend & Cat-Cow

Sway Back: Side Bend & Cat-Cow

A.

Side Bend + Pause

B.

Cat-Cow

Mistakes and Tips:

This imbalance usually comes with having rounded shoulders, because they cause your back to hunch over. (This is another reason to stand up from your computer/desk periodically to get your body moving.) To correct sway back, you want to focus on improving flexibility and mobility of your thoracic spine, which is your middle to upper back.

Rounded Shoulders: Dumbbell Rows & Chest Stretch

Rounded Shoulders: Dumbbell Rows & Chest Stretch

A.

Dumbbell Rows

B.

Chest Stretch

Mistakes and Tips:

This imbalance often comes from spending too much time sitting or on the computer with poor posture. To correct this imbalance, you want to work on strengthening your back muscles and also by stretching out your chest. 

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