The basic push up is one of the best exercises that you can do to help improve your core and a variety of other muscles. The pectorals and the shoulders are also affected by the push up, as are parts of the arms. In order to enhance your workout, you may wish to try incorporating a dumbbell into your exercise as well.
The dumbbell twist is a feature of a modified push up that further helps to strengthen your arm and shoulder muscles. Specifically, it will help to work the tricep muscles and the biceps as well. Due to the fact that this is a modified version of the push up, it’s best if you ensure that you can adequately complete a large number of push ups before you attempt to add the dumbbell twist as well.
1. Exercise Basics
The basic positioning of the exercise is that of a push up. Place a dumbbell in each hand and hold it such that your fingers are pointed away from your body with your palms facing downward. Balance on your toes or the balls of your feet and on the barbells, and work to keep your back and the rest of your body as firm and straight as possible. Your arms should be almost fully extended, though your elbows should not be locked. This is the basic rest position for the exercise.
To execute the push up with a dumbbell twist, take a deep breath and, as you exhale, push yourself up with your hands until you’ve straightened your arms out. Maintain a firm and straight back as you do so, and keep your gaze looking forward. When you reach the top of the exercise, move one hand up so that you hold the dumbbell just above the ground. Slowly rotate it by your side and back up over your head, then gradually place it back in the rest position on the ground. This constitutes a single repetition of the exercise.
2. Safety and Injury Prevention
Because the possibility of injury from muscle strain is significant in this exercise, it’s crucial that you work with lightweight dumbbells first. This is a difficult exercise, so keeping a light dumbbell initially will help to prevent muscle injury and also help to ensure that you don’t drop the dumbbell. As with all other push up exercises, it’s crucial that you continue to breathe regularly as you do the exercise. It’s also best to limit your number of repetitions to no more than 20 per set.
Because this is already a modified version of the push up, there aren’t a great many other things to do to continue to modify it. However, you may wish to alternate between arms as you move to rotate the dumbbells; some people will execute the push up, rotate one arm, and then rotate the other arm before lowering themselves back to the ground.