A dumbbell is a very shortened version of a weightlifting barbell. Dumbbells are much easier to handle and also much easier to manage the weight of, since with a barbell, you automatically have 25 pounds before you even add any weights to the bar. With a dumbbell set, you can go as low as two and a half pounds each. One of the many weightlifting exercises possible with dumbbells is the deadlift.
Performing the Deadlift
Your feet should be comfortably set about shoulder width apart or slightly closer. Choose the most comfortable position for them.
The dumbbells need to be placed just outside and in front of your feet. To determine the optimal placement of the dumbbells, stand with your hands straight down at your sides and bend your knees while leaning forward just enough that your hands can reach the dumbbells without straining. Your shoulders should be directly above your knees in this position. The dumbbells should be placed so as to be parallel to your shoulders.
The starting position for this exercise is the position in step 1, with your arms hanging down at your sides. From the starting position, bend your knees and lean forward enough to keep your shoulders directly over your knees. Keep your back straight so as not to cause any lower back injuries. Bend enough that you can reach and grab onto the dumbbells.
Keeping a firm grip on the dumbbells, come back to the original starting position quickly. Throughout this motion also you should keep your back straight so as to not cause any lower back injuries.
You should do multiple sets of this exercise to obtain the best benefit from it. Each set should be of 10 reps at least. As a starting point, you should be able to do at least ten sets of ten.
Muscle Groups Worked
The main muscle groups that will be worked with this exercise are your quadriceps in your legs, your gluteus maximus (butt muscles) and your erector spinae. These last are the muscles around your spine and your lower back. You will also work your trapezius, rhomboids, hamstring and several other muscles in your legs, back and abdominal area.
Things to Do to Intensify Your Workout
Intensifying your workout after you’ve gotten used to the weight you’re using is easily done. Increase the weight you’re lifting. Do you reps at a faster pace. Increase your sets to 20 reps each. And, increase your workout to 20 sets.
Before beginning any sort of weightlifting exercise, you should warm up the muscles being used with a brisk walk, jog or maybe even a set of 50 jumping jacks and then perform a thorough stretching of all the muscles you’ll be using.