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No More Excuses: At Home Workouts Using Dumbbells

By Mike Westerdal

Its 5:30 p.m. You are stuck in traffic on your way to the gym, longing for a way to get in your daily workout without the hassle of high membership fees, people hitting on you in the hallways, the music you don't like, and that laborious trek to just get there. If your own private gym sounds like an impossibility, think again. A home workout could be just the thing you need to de-stress after work on your own terms.

It is so easy to come up with reasons not to work out. An at-home workout will reduce some of these excuses that we create not to work out. Firstly, a home workout comes at little or no cost after you purchase a nice set of dumbbells. Secondly, you can easily fit in a workout from home in 30 minutes, instead of the hour or two that going to a gym can take. Buying an inexpensive DVD can also help you feel that you are getting the benefits of a top-notch personal trainer, without the high costs of paying one. Lastly, if you are in poor shape or just starting out, going to a gym can be an embarrassing affair. An at-home workout will allow you to go at your own pace without the fear of who is watching or judging you.

This article will now give you some great tips on how to strengthen and train at home, with some simple at-home workouts using dumbbells.

To start, it is important to set some goals regarding your personal fitness vision. Make a commitment to setting a time and schedule for a realistic workout plan such as three days a week, every other day. This way, you can give your body some resting time in between workouts, allowing it to come back even stronger for your next day of strength training. Using dumbbells is an essential part of your home workout. They make you use your natural stabilizing muscular capabilities, as well as the body's natural patterns of movement. They also incorporate a bigger range of movement, and allow us to fine-tune target muscle groups.

The following gives a simple dummbell home routine that pinpoints some major muscle groups.

Home Workouts Using Dumbbells

Lunges: Warm the body with some cardio lunges for strength and upping that heart-rate. Hold a pair of dummbells in each hand, appropriate for your strength abilities. Stand with feet about 10-18 inches apart. Hold the dumbbells at your sides and step one leg back, bending the front knee at a 90-degree angle, and allowing the back leg to bend automatically at a natural angle, almost to the floor, but not touching. (Stepping back instead of forward will help protect the knees.) Come back to the original position slowly and repeat the same leg 10-12 times. Do a set with the opposite leg. Repeat each side 2x.

Bicep curls: Stand straight with a slight microbend to protect the knee. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Lower your arms to your side-body, palms facing the outer legs. With the elbows tight into the mid-line and the shoulders released away from the ears, curl the weights up towards your chest, and slowly lower them down. Repeat. It is possible to alternate arms, or work both of them simultaneously. Start with 12 reps, 3x. Shoulders: Sit down on a bench or chair with back support. Using a dumbbell in each hand, lift your arms slowly above the head, keeping a micro-bend in the elbow. Slowly keep bending into the elbows until you come to a 90-degree angle, and then push back up into your original extended position. Repeat 12 reps, 2x.

Tricep press: Lie flat, ideally on a weight bench, or on a mat if you don't have access to a bench. Holding the appropriate weights, with the palms about two inches apart and facing each other, extend your arms straight above your head. Keep grounding and stabilizing your shoulders into the mat as you slowly bend your elbows, lowering the dumbbells down beside each side of your ears. Slowly push arms back up to extended and repeat 12 reps, 2x.

Chest flies: Use your weight bench and again lie down flat, or inclined if you have access to an incline bench. Place a dumbbell in each hand, your arms out wide, extended above the chest with your palms facing each other. Place a micro-bend in the elbows to prevent locking and ensure safety and then slowly begin to lower your arms until your upper arm bones are parallel to the floor. From there, come back to the original "cactus arm" position and repeat 12 reps, 3x.

Keep in mind that these are just a few of the many dumbbell workout options out there, but can be a good place to get you started on your path towards strength and wellness.

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About The Author

Dumbbell Routines and ExercisesMike Westerdal is the author of the first and original...

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