To gain all the health benefits of weight training, it takes just a little time and a couple of sets of dumbbells. These versatile fitness tools can be used in a number of ways to tone and build muscle, and develop stamina. Since they have to be held in the hands, dumbbells are often assumed to be tools for building the upper body – you can easily order a few online, just check out dumbell for sale for the latest deals. However, adding dumbbells to lower body exercises is great training for lower body core stability and strength. For the following exercises, use a lighter weight. For someone who has never done weight training before, start with 5 lbs., see how it feels, and add weight gradually.
First oxygenate the muscles with a good warmup. Spend 10-15 minutes briskly walking or running on a treadmill or elliptical machine, then grab a set of dumbbells and complete one set of each exercise. This circuit can be done once for a short, energizing lunch hour, or repeated as many times as desired, depending on goals and time on a given day.
Begin standing, holding dumbbells by the sides. Move the right foot forward into a lunge, lifting the left heel off the floor. Draw the belly toward the spine, point the tailbone down, and drop the left knee. Move right foot back to meet the left. Keep the hips both facing forward throughout the movement. Allow the front of the left thigh to stretch down when the knee reaches down. The back knee does not have to touch the floor. Even if it barely bends toward the floor, the exercise will be effective. Do 10-20 forward-step lunges on each leg.
Holding dumbbells by the sides, begin standing. Move the right foot backward, landing the right toes and ball of the foot to the floor. Drop the right knee down, then move it back up to meet the left foot. Do 10-20 backward-step lunges on each leg.
Holding dumbbells behind the hips, shoulders back and chest open, move the right foot over to the right, drop into the right knee, then move it back to the left foot. Keep both sets of toes, knees, and hips facing forward throughout this movement. Do 10-20 side-step lunges on each leg. The chest can extend forward as the knee and hip bend. Only bend into the knee when both feet are flat to the floor.
Using dumbbells in these simple movements builds power and stamina in the glutes and hip flexors, and intensifies the effects of the stretching. It’s important to keep the abdominal muscles engaged, drawing in toward the spine. Keep the lumbar spine strong and safe by aiming the tailbone toward the floor.