Just a Girl & Her...DUMBBELLS!

With a nine-month old baby, I know how hard it is to get to the gym and get a good workout in. On those days when we just can’t seem to make it don’t give up! All you need is a set of dumbbells! Here is a sample routine for a TOTAL BODY workout! Any remember to challenge yourself, not cheat yourself. If you don’t feel the muscle burn your efforts are null; increase your weights or reps…or both!

Muscles Worked: CHEST AND TRICEPS

Position: Lie flat on a bench with a dumbell in each hand. Hold the dumbells with an overhand grip and position them near the sides of your chest. For extra stability, place your feet firmly on the floor.

Start: Press the dumbells straight up until the two dumbells are nearly touching above your chest. 

Finish: Slowly lower the dumbells back to the starting position.

Tip: At the topmost part of the exercise, try to squeeze your chest muscles as much as you can. Whether you're at home or in the gym, if you use heavy weight, make sure there's someone around to act as a spotter.


Muscles Worked: SHOULDERS, BACK (upper), and TRICEPS 

Position: Sit on a bench with your back straight, holding two dumbells just above shoulder level with your palms facing forward.

Start: Press the dumbells straight up until the two dumbells are nearly touching over your head.

Finish: Slowly lower the dumbells back to the starting position.

Tip: It's a good idea to use a bench with a backrest to help ensure you sit upright, so you can focus on working the deltoids without hyperextension of the spine.

Muscles Worked: TRICEPS

Position: Sit on a bench and bring the dumbell into the starting position just behind your head with your elbow raised above your shoulder.

Start: Extend your arm upward, raising the dumbell toward the ceiling.

Finish: Slowly lower the dumbell back to the starting position.

Tip: Use caution when lowering the dumbell so you don't hit the back of your head.

Muscles Worked: SHOULDERS

Position: Stand straight and grasp the dumbells with your palms facing toward each other. Rest the dumbells just in front of your thighs and spread your feet slightly.

Start: Keeping your back straight, raise the dumbells to shoulder level.

Finish: Slowly lower the dumbells back to the starting position.

Tip: Use a lighter weight to ensure proper isolation of the medial deltoids without recruitment of unnecessary muscles.

Muscles Worked: BACK (middle), BACK (upper), SHOULDERS, BICEPS

Position: Lean over a bench and support your body with one arm and one knee placed on the bench, with your other leg supporting you from the floor.

Start: With your free hand, grasp the dumbell and let it hang at your side. Slowly pull the weight until it is close to the side of your body.

Finish: Slowly lower the weight under control to the starting position.

Tip: Remember to pull using primarily your back and not your biceps on this exercise. And of course, try not to twist your body.

Muscles Worked: BICEPS

Position: Stand holding a dumbell in each hand with your palms facing inward and arms hanging at your sides.

Start: Curl one dumbell in a smooth arc, rotating your hand so your palm is facing upward and no longer facing your inside.

Finish: Slowly lower the dumbell back to the starting position, rotating your palm so that it's facing inward once again. Repeat the exercise with your other arm.

Tip: You can try different variations of the dumbell curl, including exercising both arms simultaneously or even while in a seated position.

Muscles Worked: GLUTES and LEGS

Position: Stand in front of a flat bench, holding a pair of dumbells at your sides with your palms facing inward.

Start: Step up one foot at a time, placing your foot firmly in the center of the bench.

Finish: Bring your other foot up so that both feet are on the bench. Then lower your feet one at a time to return to the starting position.

Tip: You may wish to alternate the foot that leads. Stand farther from the bench to emphasize the glutes. Stand closer to the bench to emphasize the quadriceps.

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