Smartypantz, taking it one day at a time.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

8 Essential Dumbbell Exercises

By Bob Greene, BFA, MFASpecial For eDiets
Weight training helps burn body fat and can help you to look lean and tight. Bob provides a refresher on the 8 essential dumbbell exercises.
The Squat
Target area: Upper legs (quadriceps and hamstrings)
Starting Position:
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes and knees pointed slightly out. Keep your back straight and your head up. Hold a dumbbell of the appropriate weight in each hand, with your palms facing inward. There should be a slight bend in your knees.
Active Phase
Contract your abdominal muscles. Gradually lower your body until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Never let them go past parallel to the floor. Pause, then push up from your heels (not your toes) before gradually returning to the starting position. Be sure that your torso is leaning only slightly forward throughout the exercise. Control your movement throughout the entire exercise, inhaling on the way down and exhaling on the way up. Continue until the entire set of eight to ten repetitions is complete. If you are performing multiple sets of this exercise, take a deep breath, wait 15 to 30 seconds, then begin your next set.
The Lunge
Target area: Upper legs (quadriceps, hamstrings and calves)
Starting Position:
Stand erect with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your back straight and your head up. Hold adSecbbell of the appropriate weight in each hand, with your arms down at your sides and palms facing inward. There should be a slight bend in your knees.
Active Phase
Contract your abdominal muscles. Step forward until your front knee is directly above your ankle, never forward of it. Pause, then return to the starting position by pushing off of the front foot. Control your movements throughout the entire exercise, inhaling upon stepping forward and exhaling on the return. Continue until the entire set of eight to ten repetitions is complete. If you are performing sets of this exercise, take a deep breath, wait 15 to 30 seconds, then begin your next set.
The Chest Press
Target area: Chest and back of upper arms (pecs and triceps)
Starting Position:
Lie with your back flat on a bench and with your knees bent. Keep your back flat against the bench with little or no arch. Hold a dumbbell of the appropriate weight in each hand, slightly above chest level and with your palms facing forward.
Active Phase
Contract your abdominal muscles. Gradually raise both dumbbells up until your arms are fully extended above your chest. Do not hyperextend your elbows. Gradually return the dumbbells back to the starting position. Control your movements throughout the entire exercise, exhaling upon raising the dumbbells and inhaling on the return. Keep your head and back firmly against he bench throughout the entire exercise. Continue until the entire set of eight to ten repetitions is complete. If you are performing sets of this exercise, take a deep breath, wait 15 to 30 seconds, then begin your next set.
The Shoulder Press
Target area: Shoulders
Starting Position:
Sit upright on a chair with your back supported and your feet flat on the floor. Keep your back flat against the back of the chair with little or no arch. Hold a dumbbell of the appropriate weight in each hand, slightly above shoulder level and with your palms facing forward. Keep your elbows out to the side.
Active Phase
Contract your abdominal muscles. Keeping your palms facing forward, raise the dumbbells up and inward until the inside ends of the dumbbells are nearly touching each other and are directly overhead. Do not hyperextend your elbows. Pause, then lower the dumbbells gradually to the starting position. Control your movements throughout the entire exercise, exhaling upon raising the dumbbells and inhaling on the return. Also, be sure to keep your head and back firmly against the back of the chair throughout the entire exercise. Continue until the entire set of eight to ten repetitions is complete. If you are performing sets of this exercise, take a deep breath, wait 15 to 30 seconds, then begin your next set.
The Butterfly
Target area: Upper back (trapezius, latissimus dorsi)
Starting Position
Sit upright on the end of a chair and keep your feet flat on the floor. Keep your back flat with little or no arch. Hold a dumbbell of the appropriate weight in each hand, slightly above shoulder level and with your palms facing inward. Keep your forearms parallel to each other, about four or five inches apart, and your elbows pressed against the front of your body.
Active Phase
Contract your abdominal muscles. Contract the muscles of your upper back while you rotate your forearms back in a semicircle. Keep both dumbbells above shoulder height throughout the exercise. Pause, then gradually return to the starting position. Control your movements throughout the entire exercise, exhaling upon rotating the dumbbells back and inhaling on the return. Be sure to keep your head straight up while looking forward and keep your back straight throughout the entire exercise. It’s helpful to visualize squeezing something like a piece of paper with your shoulder blades, and holding it for a split second, then returning to repeat the exercise. Continue until the entire set of eight to ten repetitions is complete. If you are performing sets of this exercise, take a deep breath, wait 15 to 30 seconds, then begin your next set.
The Dumbbell Fly
Target area: Chest (pectoralis major, pectoralis minor)
Starting Position
While holding a dumbbell of the appropriate weight in each hand, lie face up on a bench, with your arms fully extended (not hyperextended) above your chest and your palms facing inward. Keep both feet flat on the floor. Keep your back flat against the bench with little or no arch.
Active Phase
Contract your abdominal muscles. Gradually lower the dumbbells, keeping your elbows slightly bent. Continue until your upper arms are parallel with the floor. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows throughout the entire exercise. Pause, then return the dumbbells to the starting position. Control your movements throughout the entire exercise, inhaling upon lowering the dumbbells and exhaling on lifting the dumbbells up to the starting position. Be sure to keep your head and back firmly against the bench throughout the entire exercise. Continue until the entire set of eight to 10 repetitions is complete. If you are performing sets of this exercise, take a deep breath, wait 15 to 30 seconds, then begin your next set.
The Biceps Curl
Target area: Upper arms (biceps)
Starting Position:
Stand with your feet slightly apart, holding a dumbbell of the appropriate weight in each hand using an underhand grip. Let your arms hang down at your sides with your palms facing inward. Stand up straight with your knees slightly bent.
Active Phase
Contract your abdominal muscles. Curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders while twisting your palms so that they are facing you at the top of the exercise. Gradually lower the dumbbells down to the starting position. Maintain your posture throughout the entire exercise and do not allow the dumbbells to “fall” back down. Control your movements throughout the entire exercise, exhaling while lifting the dumbbells up and inhaling on the return to the starting position. Continue until the entire set of eight to ten repetitions is complete. If you are performing sets of this exercise, take a deep breath, wait 15 to 30 seconds, then begin your next set.
The Triceps Extension
Target area: Back of upper arms (triceps)
Starting Position
Stand erect with your feet slightly apart and your knees slightly bent. Using an interlocking grip, hold a dumbbell of the appropriate weight above your head with your arms fully extended.
Active Phase
Contract your abdominal muscles. Gradually lower the dumbbell back behind your head and neck while keeping your elbows in place above your head. Continue until your forearms are parallel to the floor. Control your movements and maintain your posture throughout the entire exercise. Pause, then gradually raise the dumbbell back up to the starting position. Inhale while lowering the dumbbell down and exhale when raising it up. Continue until the entire set of eight to 10 repetitions is complete. If you are performing sets of this exercise, take a deep breath, wait 15 to 30 seconds, then begin your next set.
Check with your physician before starting any new exercise program.

Posted by smartypantz32 :: 10:23 AM :: 0 Comments:

Post a Comment

---------------oOo---------------

weight loss weblog

---------------oOo---------------