Dumbbells, they come in all sizes, shapes, colors and weights. But besides training your arms with them (and looking like a beast doing so), there are many more exercises you can do using these babies. Have you been squatting for a while now and are you getting bored? Is your daily home workout routine not challenging you anymore? Or do you want to add some extra sweat and tears to the 30 day ab challenge? Then I'd like to welcome you to the wonderful world of dumbbells. Try out these 5 favorite dumbbell exercises of mine!
1. Dumbbell Squats
We all know squats are good for the booty and we should be doing them, but let's be honest: they become quite boring after a while. To make squats more interesting I started adding weights to them, which I've become quite hooked to! I hardly ever do any squats without dumbbells anymore. You can hold them in different ways, or even switch the different types up during your squatting exercise:
- Hold 1 or 2 dumbbell(s) in front of you while squatting. It gives you a great balance and puts extra pressure on your abs and arms.
- Hold 1 dumbbell in each hand and keep your arms vertically, completely stretched out along side your body. Then go on doing your regular squats.
- Keep 1 dumbbell vertical and fold your hands underneath the upper weight part, like you're forming a cup with your hands. This one you will also feel extra in your abs and arms.
2. The Ab Workout
Want to spice up the 30 Day Ab Challenge? Add weights to the exercises! Or do an extra set of russian twists.
- Make the crunches harder by holding a dumbbell to your chest while you do them. Try not to hold it in front of your chest, but really on it, so you will have to lift that weight as well when you come up. This might be somewhat easier to execute for those in #teamsmallboobs but also our more busty fit girls can do it!
- Have someone lay the dumbbell on your back while planking. Definitely way harder than a regular planking session.
- Try russian twists! They are a killer exercise for your obliques. While in sit-up position, hold 1 dumbbell with both hands and move it to the side of your body until it nearly touches the ground. Then move it back up to the center and go over to the other side, and so on. Going from left to right counts as one russian twist. If you want to make it even harder, elevate your legs up into the air.
3. Heavy Lunges
Lunges are already hard, I know. But still, if you have a set of dumbbells or weights, why not use them in every way you can? Lunge through the house with those heavy babies!
- Just like option #2 of the dumbbell squats, keep one dumbbell in each hand and keep your arms vertically, completely stretched out along side your body. Lunging will become quite a bit harder with that extra weight to carry around.
- You can also hold one dumbbell at the back of your neck and support it with your hands and shoulders to add some extra weight to the exercise.
4. Schwarzenegger Arm Workout
No, you're not gonna get arms like Arnold. But of course when you have dumbbells, you also have to do some arm exercises. Imagine being super lean and bikiniproof but having bony chicken arms, that would be... Well, let's just say it would probably make for some funny gym memes ;)
- Take 1 dumbbell in each hand and lift them up to shoulder height with your arms stretched. Your feet need to be at shoulder width. Now start making small circles with your entire arm.. And feel the burn.
- For an arm & shoulder workout that we often do at Elevator Sports you need 2 dumbbells. Take 1 in each hand and keep your hands alongside your body, your arms completely stretched. Now lift your arms up horizontally, still completely stretched, up till your shoulders. Slowly lower them again to your start position. Now lift your arms up in front of you, up till your shoulders, and back. Lastly, you lift the dumbbells in front of you while bending your arms - keep the dumbbells horizontal and make sure your elbows point sidewards. Lift them up to your chest and lower them. Repeat this cycle as much as you like.
- A classic dumbbell arm workout: keep your arms along side your body, with 1 dumbbell in each hand. Make sure that your hand palms are facing front, and then lift the dumbbell as far as you can towards your shoulder. Repeat repeat repeat!
5. Deadlift Exercises
Deadlift. It always sounds so tough to me, which is partly why I love them! While doing deadlifts you should really pay attention to your form, because if they aren't done right, your back will hurt like hell. Read the instructions well and maybe even look up a video tutorial if you are doing them for the first time.
- For a classic deadlift, you take 1 dumbbell in each hand. You put your feet at shoulder width, with your knees slightly bend. Now slowly lower the dumbbells untill they are just underneath your knee while you bent over forwards, and come up again. Make sure that your back is kept straight at all times during this exercise. Do not arch over or let your shoulders hunch, that will ruin your back, while we are trying to strengthen your back with this exercise! If you have never done a deadlift, please look up an instruction video.
- You can also use the couch as a gym tool (no we're not gonna sit on it). Place one knee and one handpalm on it, and put your other foot flat on the ground. Now take a dumbbell in the remaining hand and raise it to your midsection and back. Again, make sure your back is straight!
Try out these exercises and let me know which one you like (or hate) the most! I'm curious to hear what you think. Do you know about any other dumbbell exercises that I could do at home?