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- Common type of strength training
When it comes to strength and conditioning of the body, we cannot neglect weight training. Weight training has been known to improve strength, endurance, bone density, muscle mass, posture, and the list goes on. It also triggers the production of serotonin and dopamine, which can boost mood. Generally speaking, weight training will help us become strong and healthy to boost our quality of life.
Training With Free Weights
Free weights mean anything you can lift and move around without limiting your range of motion for resistance training, such as barbells, dumbbells, and kettlebells. Lifting weights will help a person perform better in martial arts, sports, weight loss, or improve physical appearance and overall well-being. It can also be used to build muscle which in return helps lower bad cholesterol and blood pressure.
Given that lifting weights is generally good for the mind and body, let’s talk about its effectiveness for building muscle. Our body comprises muscles that allow us to do everything, even when we speak, chew, or just look at things around us. Muscles can be interesting enough; building and improving them can even be better. Now, to build muscle, our body must be put under stress; when we do resistance training, our muscles get fatigued. For a muscle to grow, it must be put under stress and overload.
There are two types of overloading. The first is by doing repetitive/hypertrophy exercises (metabolic), and the other is by doing heavy and explosive movements like weightlifting (mechanical). After doing intense exercises, this is where proper nutrition kicks in. It is when protein helps repair our damaged muscles, thus helping us to recover better. Giving our muscles some time to rest and recover is crucial in making them grow.
Best Dumbbell Exercises To Build Muscle
Let’s talk about the exercises to build the muscles of our body. Ideally, for a muscle to grow, it must experience overload and higher resistance over time. Even though challenging a muscle is necessary for it to grow, it must not be overdone, or else you may fall into a plateau. Below are the best dumbbell exercises to build muscle:
1) Dumbbell Bench Press
When people think of going to the gym, the first thing that comes to mind is the bench press. The dumbbell bench press is a versatile exercise that can be done in any position, inclined, declined, flat, or even when lying on the floor. Depending on how it is performed, the dumbbell bench press is a compound exercise that focuses on building the three parts of the chest, shoulder, and triceps.
To perform the dumbbell bench press, lay on a bench, make sure your back is arched, grab the dumbbell and set your arms on about 45-five degree angle, squeeze your glutes, and the feet must be in contact with the floor driving the ground as hard as you can using the leg drive when pressing the dumbbell up.
2) One Arm Dumbbell Row
The one arm dumbbell row is one of the best exercises in building the back and getting the V-shaped look. The one arm dumbbell row is focused on building the thickness of the upper back; it also works the shoulder, bicep, forearm, lower back, and core for stability.
There are variations to perform this exercise, but the basic way to perform the one arm dumbbell row is to pick one dumbbell and post your hand into a bench. Place one of your knees on the bench with your posting hand. Make sure to spread your other foot to the floor for a better base and keep your head and posture up throughout the movement while pulling the dumbbell up to your navel area.
When performing this exercise, make sure to observe proper form throughout the movement.
3) Dumbbell Shrug
The dumbbell shrug is one of the best ways to build the traps. This exercise helps improve the posture and is easy to perform. To perform the dumbbell shrugs, hold two dumbbells on each hand, shoulders back, then raise your shoulders to your ears.
4) Dumbbell Overhead Press
The dumbbell shoulder press is one of the exercises that can give you the boulder-shoulder look. This exercise targets all three heads of the shoulders. To perform this exercise, grab a pair of dumbbells, raise it above the shoulder area, make sure your feet are planted to the ground, your core and glutes must be tight, and once set, press overhead.
5) Dumbbell Wrist Curl
The wrist is often one of the neglected body parts. Training the wrist will give you the look of a more defined forearm, and it gives you the wrist stability you need when doing presses or throwing a punch. To perform the dumbbell wrist curl, grab a dumbbell and lay your forearms on a bench exposing your wrist at the edge facing upwards, then curl the dumbbells with your hand.
6) Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly
The dumbbell rear delt fly is responsible for giving the 3D look of the shoulders. This exercise is focused on working the rear delts. To perform this exercise, grab a pair of dumbbells, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, body at about 45-degree angle with shoulders retracted, elbows at 90-degree, and then lift your arms to do a fly.
7) Dumbbell Overhead Tricep Extension
The dumbbell overhead tricep extension is a good exercise for building the triceps, specifically the long head. The triceps makes up about 2/3 of your arms. To do this exercise, stand firmly at about shoulder-width apart, lift the dumbbell overhead, and then slowly lower the weight behind your head without flaring your elbows to affect the tricep better.
8) Dumbbell Hammer Curl
The dumbbell hammer curl is a classic exercise in building the forearms. This exercise works the forearms, grip, and biceps. To perform the dumbbell hammer curl, simply grab a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing your body and your thumbs facing the ceiling. Lift the dumbbells until it reaches your shoulder area and then slowly lower the weight down.
9) Dumbbell Lunge
The dumbbell lunge is one of the best ways to work out the legs using a pair of dumbbells. This exercise targets the quads, hamstrings, and glutes. To do a dumbbell lunge, stand up and grab a pair of dumbbells with a hammer grip. Step a leg in front of your body, slowly lower your rear leg, and then use your front leg to push the ground back up.
10) Dumbbell Side Bend
The side bend is one of the exercises weightlifters utilise to work their core. The dumbbell side bend works the internal and external obliques and the lower back muscles, giving you that strong and stable core. This exercise can be done with a single or a pair of dumbbells.
To perform the dumbbell side bend, grab a pair of dumbbells, stand up shoulder-width apart and then slowly bend your body to the left/right side, lowering the dumbbell above your knees. Get back up and then repeat on the other side.
Overall, building muscles will help us perform better doing our daily tasks besides the fact that it will help us feel and look better. As one of the greatest martial artists of all time, Georges St. Pierre says, if you look good, you feel good, and if you feel good, you do good.
This article, "10 Of The Best Dumbbell Workouts For Muscle Building", originally appeared on Evolve MMA, Asia’s No. 1 martial arts organisation.