Resistance training using weights is one of the best ways to keep your body toned and burn extra calories throughout the day. Below are some common toning exercises you can perform with dumbbell weights at home or the gym. Be sure to incorporate cardiovascular activity into your weekly workout routine to burn extra fat and enhance your muscle definition.
While performing each of the exercises below try to complete at least 15 repetitions of each, 2 to 3 times (2-3 sets). Your muscles should feel a slight burn after each set. However be sure to use the proper form and if you can’t, lower the amount of weight you’re lifting. Start with 3 or 5 pound weights and work your way up if you desire.
Stand upright holding the dumbbells at you sides. Keep your feet shoulder width apart. Squat by bending your knees until your thighs are almost parallel to the ground. Push back up into a standing position and repeat.
Stand upright with the dumbbells at your sides; feet slightly less than shoulder width apart. Lunge forward with one leg, bending your knee to about a 90 degree angle. Push with your extended leg back up to your starting position and repeat with the other leg. Continue for 15 reps with each leg.
3. Dead Lifts
Stand upright with your feet shoulder width apart and knees bent slightly. Hold your dumbbells at your sides. Bend forward at your waist keeping your back flat. Your back should be almost parallel to the floor. Stand upright again using your lower back and hamstrings (the back of your legs), and repeat.
4. Bent Over Rows
While in the standing position, bend over at the waist keeping your back flat and about 45 degrees from the floor. Keeping your palms facing inward, pull the dumbbells up toward your chest squeezing your shoulder blades together; then lower and repeat. This exercise works your latissimus dorsi muscle (upper back).
5. Chest Press
Lying flat on the floor, hold the dumbbells directly above your chest and extend your arms toward the ceiling. Lower the weights back down to your starting position and repeat.
6. Standing Shoulder Press
From a standing position, raise your dumbbells directly above your head toward the ceiling. Slowly lower the weights back down until your arms reach 90 degrees, and repeat.
7. Standing Dumbbell Curls
Stand upright with the dumbbells at your sides and your palms facing inward. Curl the dumbbells upward using your biceps; keep your elbows close to your sides. This exercise can be performed one arm at a time or with both arms curling upward simultaneously. Lower the weight down to your starting position and repeat. To change it up, face your palms upward while performing the curl.
8. Overhead Triceps Extensions
Stand upright with dumbbells directly above your head and arms fully extended. Slowly lower your dumbbells behind your head, bending at your elbows. Extend your arms back up to your starting position using your triceps and repeat.