Working out doesn’t have to mean complicated machines down at the gym; you can improve your strength and burn fat with a set of dumbbells at home if you know which exercises to do with your weights.
As a beginner it’s important to make sure you are using your dumbbells correctly so if you can get some instruction before you start, it’s a good idea, or you can check out some online workouts to get the techniques correctly.
If you have any concerns or health issues then it might be a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting out a new routine using dumbbells, but when you use them correctly, the health benefits will become obvious, including:
- Boosting your metabolism
- Burning calories
- Increasing muscle strength
- Increasing overall fitness
Here are some simple exercises which beginners can try at home:
- The bicep curl
Take a dumbbell in each hand with your arms straight down, and then slowly lift your dumbbells up towards your shoulders. Hold them for 30 seconds before lowering them down again. Repeat this action to work your biceps.
- The tricep stretch
Take one dumbbell in both hands and hold it up over your head, keeping your arms close to your ears. Slowly and carefully bring your arms down to lower the dumbbells until your elbows reach 90 degrees. Bring the dumbbell back up again and repeat this movement to work your triceps.
- The waist bend
Bend from the waist but make your back straight throughout this exercise. Take your dumbbells and stretch your arms down so they are perpendicular to the floor. Then gradually bend your arms and use your shoulder muscles to bring the dumbbells up towards your body. Then gradually lower them down again and repeat this movement.
- The thigh raise
Stand straight, holding your dumbbells in each hand, resting against your thighs, before gradually raising the dumbbells up in front of your body. Once the dumbbells are at shoulder height, hold them for a moment, before lowering them back down again.
- The side raise
Hold the dumbbell in each hand, while standing up. Gradually lift them up and hold your arms out to the sides keeping them straight as you raise them. When you get to shoulder height, start to lower your arms back down again.
- Chest stretch
Lie on your back on the floor and take one dumbbell in each of your hands. Place your arms at an angle of 45 degrees before moving the dumbbells up and into your chest. Once you reach the top the dumbbells will be touching and you need to hold them here before lowering them back down.
- The lunge
Start off in a standing position, holding both your dumbbells down by your sides. Step forward with one leg to start your lunge. Bend your knee and then step back to the start. Step forward with your other leg. Repeat the movements on both sides.
- The squat
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and rest them on your shoulders. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and slowly bend your knees to lower into a squat position while keeping your back straight. Hold there for a moment before raising yourself back up. Repeat the motion.
- The foot raise
Stand on the floor with a dumbbell in each hand, holding them down by your side, and then raise yourself up onto your toes as much as you can. Hold that position before lowering back down.
Here are some extra tips for using your dumbbells at home safely:
Make sure your dumbbells are heavy enough to provide a challenge but not that they exhaust you or hurt you. You might need to start with very low-weight dumbbells as a beginner but then as you get fitter you can increase the weight. You could use adjustable dumbbells to make changing the weight easier.
You should be able to feel the movement in the muscles which you are working out and you can always check your form in the mirror to make sure you are retaining your posture correctly.
Make sure you give yourself time to rest between workouts as your muscles actually grow and strengthen during the rest time. Try working out every other day to allow for a full recovery time for your body.