It is obvious that dumbbells are highly preferred over barbells for many reasons. They are much smaller, take up less space, and allow you more mobility while working out. Plus, you can easily stock up on dumbbells and use them at home.
Below we will cover three great dumbbell workouts for men that require only one pair of weights. Using this handy and very versatile equipment you should be able to increase your strength.
A Short History of Dumbbell Lifting
Dumbbells were created a mere two thousand years ago. Back in the day they were referred to as “haltere”, or a rock with a handle. The dumbbell’s ancestor was also used for lifting weights and even other events such as the long jump. The “nal”, used by Indians, was another dumbbell species that was commonly used during ancient times. Many thought this tool resembled a club. Weight lifters, wrestlers, and other sportsmen used this to increase their muscle size and strength.
Years later the English developed the dumbbell and was seen as a way to silently build weight. You can find dumbbells almost everywhere today and they have become one of the best options in terms of weight exercise equipment. They are also popular because they can be used in the gym or at home.
The Good Uses of Dumbbell Lifting
Range of movement and variety of activity are just a few reasons that many people prefer dumbbells over barbells and other exercise equipment. The following are some benefits that you may not realize you are getting when utilizing dumbbells:
- Due to the compactness of dumbbells you are allowed access to dynamic motions
- Dumbbells may be safer, especially when working alone
- Dumbbells offer you a much wider variety of movements
The Ultimate Dumbbell Workouts for Men
Listed below are three go-to exercises for your new dumbbell workout routine:
1. The Bent Press
Purpose: The purpose of this exercise is to develop greater pressing ability and strength in multiple planes.
Instruction: Hold dumbbells in both hands at shoulder height. Make sure that you feet are positioned as if you were going to perform a windmill and hitch your hips to one side. Push the dumbbell up while keeping your opposite hand toward the ground. Return to the starting position and repeat.
- Beginners: start with 15% of your body weight and perform 5 reps per arm
- Intermediate: start with 25% of your body weight, again performing 5 reps per arm.
- Advanced: start with 35% of your body weight, 5 repetitions per arm
- Expert: start with 60% of your body weight, 5 repetitions per arm
2. The Straddle Press
Purpose: The purpose of this exercise is to strengthen your hips and hamstrings while increasing flexibility
Instructions: Begin by sitting in a bestride position with your dumbbells at shoulder height. Press the dumbbells over your head, making sure not to lean backward during the exercise. Notice that your legs should be completely straight during the workout. Return to your starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
- Beginner through Advanced instruction is the same as for Exercise #1.
- Expert: start with 50% of your body weight and complete 5 repetitions for each arm.
3. The Windmill
Purpose: The purpose of this exercise is to develop should strength and increased stability. This is great for MMA athletes, martial artists, and wrestlers.
Instructions: Hold one dumbbell above your head and attempt to keep your arm straight throughout the whole exercise. Keep your feet hip width apart and repeatedly turn them 45 degrees toward the arm that is above your head. First, hitch your hips to the correct side and then slowly reach for the ground. Look upward at your dumbbell the whole time and rotate your arm and shoulder. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side.
- Beginners: start with 20% of your body weight and perform 5 reps per arm
- Intermediate: start with 35% of your body weight and perform 5 reps per arm
- Advanced: start with 50% of your body weight and perform 5 reps per arm
- Expert: start with 75% of your body weight and perform 5 reps per arm
Correct and Safe Dumbbell Use:
You should be following a number of dumbbell workout rules in order to decrease the likelihood of injury and to get better results out of your routine. Before beginning dumbbell training you should ALWAYS be performing warm-ups. This is to prepare your muscle for the extra strain you are about to place on it. Secondly, be sure so pick the right dumbbell for you. If the dumbbell is too heavy you risk overstraining your muscle. If you experience pain at any point in your workout you need to immediately reduce the amount of weight you are using and perform less repetitions. If the pain continues, make sure to rest and see a doctor. Before beginning any workout regimen you should first perform the tasks using lighter weights.
You can spice up your home gym by buying a complete set of dumbbells and performing the three exercises mentioned in this article in order to increase your endurance and muscle strength.
In my opinion; if you are just beginning to lift weights you should stick to a one hour personal training session and ask for a demonstration of each of the workouts mentioned previously in this article. Be sure to take notes, understand how to correctly perform the movement, and then try to do them on your own at home. Be sure not to rush, as this may cause injury. It may not seem like a lot, but an hour of one-on-one training could just be the push you need to performing workouts at home and open the door to a lifetime of health and happiness.