Working out with weights — barbells or dumbbells— is one of the fastest ways to see results. Dumbbell workouts increase fat loss, tone lean muscles, and increase your after burn–the calories that you continue to burn even after you leave the gym. However, safety is paramount. Take a few precautions and you’ll be on your way to a better body in no time.
1. Go to Class
Visit a weight lifting class at your gym where you’ll have a trained professional there to give advice. You’ll learn new moves that you can do out on the gym floor. The variety will stave off boredom and keep you coming back. More importantly, all that variety will trick your muscles into building fast results. Above all don’t hide in the back of the class. Get up there in the front so the instructor can see you and easily correct your form. Above all, listen to the instructor! She should provide guidance through the class so you know what you need to do.
2. Bend Down and Pick It Up
When you pick up the weight, squat down, bending at the knees, and bringing your butt down. Pick up the weights and push up with your legs. If you pick up a weight improperly, you risk hurting your back.
3. Check Your Posture
When you’re at the gym find a place in front of the mirror or with a friend who’s in the know. Be sure you maintain perfect posture while you lift. There are virtually no exercises that require rounding in the back. Stand to the side or on an angle to the mirror and watch your reflection. Squeeze your shoulder blades back slightly, and keep your shoulders down and away from your ears. Complete your exercises with your back straight — no hunching in the shoulders — and shoulders back and down. Knees and elbows should stay soft throughout the workout so you avoid hyper-extending.
4. Drop Set to Go the Distance
If you are using heavy weights, have a lighter set of dumbbells nearby. Do not continue to lift past proper form. Once you can’t eke out another rep switch for the smaller set. This is called drop setting, and is used by athletes and bodybuilders to help gain strength while keeping muscles lean as you burn fat.
Benefits of Dumbbells
Dumbbell workouts are a challenging way to build muscles. Using dumbbells engages muscles for a truly comprehensive workout. With a dumbbell, it’s easy to tweak your body position and engage even more muscles. On top of all that, there is no waiting for a machine to free up in the gym. A 130-pound woman will actually only burn about 100 calories while lifting weights, but lifting increases lean muscle, which in turn begins to burn more calories even at rest. Therefore, the stronger and leaner you are, the more you burn just sitting around. Fantastic!