Every health club and gym provides lines of cardio equipment, aisles of weight-training machines, free weights and specific stretch areas to help members achieve their individual goals. When it comes to fitness equipment, there is no one best equipment. Different types of equipments are intentionally designed to achieve specific fitness results.
For those who have goals related to strength training, there are countless options for increasing lean muscle and adding strength. Options include the traditional weight machines, dumbbells and also a large variety of specialized equipment such as kettlebells, medicine balls, sandbags and oversized tires. Some forms of resistance training equipment are more fruitful for developing maximum strength, while weight-training machines can help increase muscle definition and lighter forms of resistance like medicine balls and kettlebells can help in improving movement-specific power output. Dumbbells are mostly used for joint-isolation exercises such as biceps curls, chest flyes or shoulder raises. Using dumbbells for full-body, multiplanar movements can provide a variety of different strength results. It also offers a large amount of benefits for cardiorespiratory fitness and flexibility
Let’s talk about the benefits of dumbbells -
- Dumbbells can provide two types of overload that result in muscle growth, namely mechanic and metabolic. Mechanic overload is the result of damage caused by muscle contractions, which revives the repair process and leads to an increase in muscle size. Metabolic overload takes place when a muscle is worked to fatigue, which in turn leads to the adaptation of muscle cells being able to store more glycogen which leads muscles to increase in size. Heavy dumbbells can produce mechanical overload, while moderate-weight dumbbells combined with high reps can produce metabolic overload. \
- Dumbbell exercises can create both intermuscular and intramuscular coordination which leads to greater levels of muscle activation. Intermuscular coordination is the potential of a number of different muscles to work together to produce and stabilize joint motion. Intramuscular coordination is the amount of muscle motor units and their joint muscle fibers that are activated within a specific muscle. Using lighter dumbbells for compound, multi joint or multiplanar movement patterns boosts coordination between various body segments. Using heavy dumbbells can enlarge the number of muscle fibers activated within a specific muscle.
- Machines allow one motion in one specific movement to place load on one muscle or muscle group whereas dumbbells can be used for a variety of exercises. Due to their length, standard barbells are best used for compound movements in one specific motion. Because of their size and the fact that they can be held in each hand, dumbbells can be used to create a variety of different movement patterns to develop task- or movement-specific strength.
- Traditional exercises with heavy dumbbells can increase the force production capacity of the contractile element, which is the specific actin-myosin muscle proteins responsible for sliding across one another to create concentric shortening actions or control eccentric lengthening. However multiplanar movement patterns with light dumbbells can improve the resiliency and strength of the elastic component which stores mechanical energy as it is lengthened, which is then released during a rapid muscle-shortening action
- A single dumbbell can be used for exercises such as a one-arm overhead press or a split-leg goblet squat to create overload in one limb at a time since it allows you to focus on one arm or leg at a time, which is one way to initiate strength gains by using a heavy overload
Some workout options -
- Hold a single dumbbell by the end in both hands
- Open your feet wider than your shoulder - width
- Rotate your knees and toes slightly outside
- Sit into a deep squat, sitting your hips back and keeping your weight in your heels
- Press through the heels and make your glutes and hamstrings to press up to standing
- Repeat 15-20 times
Lunge with Overhead Press
- Stand with feet hip-distance apart while holding the dumbbells up by your shoulders with both palms facing in
- Step your right foot back into a lunge position, but keep the weight to the front foot
- Press the left heel, to stand back up and drive the right knee forward to balance on one leg
- As you stand, press the weights overhead
- Lower the weights down as you put the right foot back into another lunge
- Complete 15 repetitions on the right leg, then switch
Dumbbell Rotational Press
- Stand and hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing each other
- Rotate to the right and completely extend your left arm. Pull your arm back down, rotate to the left and completely extend your right arm
- Alternate sides for 8 to 10 times - complete 3 sets and rest for 45 seconds between each set
You can always watch youtube videos, google or consult a trainer for the best exercises for your body type and stay fit.