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Author Topic: Dumbbell excercises  (Read 722 times)

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Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Dumbbell excercises
« on: August 24, 2010, 03:24:27 PM »
Do you excercise with dumbbells? I have caught another round of inspiration to pick up some training again and I bet I'm not the only Ellian with a set of dumbbells lying about. What are your favorite excercises? Here's a few... http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/dumbbellexercises.html
I've only just started so I am giving the biceps Hammer Curls a shake, doing sets of 20 (ten on each arm).

Offline Endorphin

Re: Dumbbell excercises
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2010, 04:30:11 PM »
You’re right. I’ve got a couple of sets of dumbbells lying around and give them a workout a few times each week as part of a larger routine in my home gym and am starting to see some nice results. I usually build my routine around heavier exercises (using barbells, smith machine, cable pulleys and ezi-curl  bars) for each muscle group, but frequently include the following:

Chest - Flat and Incline Flies
Shoulders – Shoulder press, Lateral Raise and Front Raise
Back – Single Arm Row
Traps – Shrugs
Biceps/Forearms – Bicep Curls, Hammer Curls, Concentration Curls, Wrist Curls
Triceps – Kickbacks, Two Arm Dumbell Extension
Legs - Lunges

It’s good to changeup the routine every few weeks. For instance, flat chest presses make a good replacement for the bench press and require a bit more balance and control, so focus on slightly different parts of the muscle. I also find that the ol’ dumbbells are also particularly useful for shoulders and arms.

Good luck. Nice to see someone else who is inspired to hit the gym. Let me know if you want a few pointers.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Dumbbell excercises
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2010, 04:32:07 PM »
Thanks, I'll see if I am comfy with adding any of those excercises to my roster right away.

Ah yes, bench. I am considering buying one of those. Good or bad idea?

Offline Endorphin

Re: Dumbbell excercises
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2010, 04:49:51 PM »
What are you hoping to achieve from your exercise? And do you intend to exercise at home or in an established gym? If you’re halfway serious about muscle gain, you really (really) need access to a bench (including rack, barbell and some larger weight). Especially as good form is essential when doing resistance training. Good idea to get one that inclines, too.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Dumbbell excercises
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2010, 05:07:58 PM »
What are you hoping to achieve from your exercise? And do you intend to exercise at home or in an established gym? If you’re halfway serious about muscle gain, you really (really) need access to a bench (including rack, barbell and some larger weight). Especially as good form is essential when doing resistance training. Good idea to get one that inclines, too.

Well, it's home excercise certainly. I've gone to gyms in the past but dropped out way too soon, for several reasons. I guess my priority aren't really to build muscle but a) get a little bit stronger, then b) get some tone, then c) burn some fat.

Offline Endorphin

Re: Dumbbell excercises
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2010, 05:35:21 PM »
In that case, I'd say that a bench is something that is nice to have but not essential. Consider adding things to your routine like push-ups, pull-ups and other exercises that you can do at home with little or no equipment to build strength - try to get an exercise for each body part. You can often add dumbells and/or free weights to the exercise to increase the intensity. You'll also want to include a good dose of cardio to aid in the fat burn and tone and, more importantly, drink plenty of water and consider a diet that contains less calories.

Offline Xanatos

Re: Dumbbell excercises
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2010, 01:14:05 AM »
You should give Preacher curls a try (works biceps); its hard but only after two different days of doing my sets I instantly noticed results (mind you I was using dumbbells before hand, but my biceps were not hardening much despite this.). I would describe it, but I honestly cannot put to words the thing, aside from the bar/weights, that makes Preacher Curls so awesome/different from using dumbbells.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Dumbbell excercises
« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2010, 04:28:37 PM »
My diet's not really an issue any longer. A year and a half ago I had a gastric bypass that among other effects reduces my ability to absorb nutrients. I'm losing weight continously as long as I stick to a modest intake of food, if slowly. About 60 pounds by now... Excercising will help on the weightloss speed though. What I really want is to get back to the more physically challenging activities of my late teen years like hunting and mountain trips, and some extra strength comes in real handy for carrying those heavy backpacks and the 10 pound rifles and shotguns during a whole day in rough terrain. But hey, I don't mind a a little more bulging in the right places either! :)

Currently I'm trying to work up my motivation to the point where jogging seems interesting again - like the weightlifting, it's something I have enjoyed in periods. The dumbbells are more tempting though since picking them up and doing a few quick moves is a decision-on-the-spot thing.

Today I have done (my dignity forbids me to tell how many sets or the length of the set or the size of the weights...)
- Biceps: hammer curls
- Biceps: concentration curls
- Shoulder: seated shoulder presses
- Shoulder: front raises
- Leg: half squats
- Back: single arm rows
- situps
- pushups

The preacher curls looks interesting and I can do them with dumbbells, but I think I need a bench to do that one?

I'm working my way through Endo's list and am adding some of them to mine. Looks like I can do some of the items without a bench, or with my bed.



Offline Endorphin

Re: Dumbbell excercises
« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2010, 04:57:44 PM »
Looks like your gym routine coincides with my morning routine, Captain…

Just to be clear, the list I provided ^^ is not a comprehensive list. I usually use dumbbells to supplement my workout rather than as the basis for it. They are good exercises, but might not be as comprehensive as you want. You’d be well advised to check out some workout plans that are based on dumbbells and/or other exercises you can do at home. Yes, you can innovate with a lot of exercises using furniture. A great example is ‘dips’, which can be done using a dining chair or low bench and provides a good workout for your triceps, shoulders, chest and upper/middle back (in that order).

Preacher curls do require something (typically an add-on to a bench) to lean over in order to provide support for your arms. It is another good exercise, though you can replace it with different types of curls until you have the necessary equipment.

I am no fitness instructor, though I’m thinking you might want to look at some kind of routine where you throw in a jog before/after your dumbbells. Since you’re not trying to lift (really) heavy weight, the cardio and resistance combined will work very well for you and get you more into the zone.

And a quick note on size… Your form is more important than the weight you lift. Make sure you can complete the full motion as intended with whatever weight you are using. Conventional wisdom suggests that you want to aim for 3-4 sets of each exercise with 8-12 reps in your set. Doing more reps with lighter weight places more of a focus on muscle tone, whereas doing less reps with heavier weight is better for gains. Given what you’ve said, you might do well to aim for something like 12-15 reps.

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Dumbbell excercises
« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2010, 05:05:35 PM »
Yeah, I go for sets of ten repetitions (or ten on each arm). Am starting out with 4 pound dumbbels but I can add some extra plates if and when I really feel up to it.

Can you explain what you mean with muscle tone versus gain? As in, size versus actual strength?

Offline Endorphin

Re: Dumbbell excercises
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2010, 05:15:49 PM »
More to do with size / strength versus tone.

Tone is the definition of your muscles. The separation or differentiation between them. Sculpting. Best illustrated by having a set of nicely defined abs. Mass / Gain is the actual size of your muscles, which has a closer relationship to strength. You can often find big guys who have a lot of mass but have little or no tone (and their abs are well hidden).

As a general rule, football (though not necessarily soccer) players tend to achieve more mass. Endurance athletes more tone. Professional bodybuilders need both.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2010, 05:17:07 PM by Endorphin »

Offline Captain MalteseTopic starter

Re: Dumbbell excercises
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2010, 05:24:02 PM »
So, tone equals visibility of the muscles through the skin?

Offline Endorphin

Re: Dumbbell excercises
« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2010, 05:26:55 PM »
Pretty much. And is highly dependent on the body fat you are carrying.