How to Use Dumbbells

Employing the use of dumbbells into your exercise routine can be particularly hazardous if you are unaccustomed with not only this type of exercising, but also weight training in general. However, once you are familiar with this method of fitness training, the advantages of isolating certain muscles with strength-training exercises will become apparent.

Proper Form

When exercising with dumbbells it is important to use a weight that allows for proper form. If a dumbbell is used that is too heavy you may end up using a swinging motion while you do your exercises. This will result in the use of momentum which will limit the tension placed on the muscles and in turn reduce the overall benefit gained from the exercise. Proper form means lifting with a steady pace–one second to lift the weight up and one second to let the weight back down. When you begin dumbbell exercises you’ll find that your arms will shake slightly uncontrollably. This shaking is due to the coordination and balance required to support the weight. The shaking will cease once you have become familiar with this method of training. Finally, to obtain optimum fitness results certain dumbbell exercises require the arm to be kept close to the body while other exercises insist upon the arm positioned away from the body–either way keep the movement easy, constant and within the appropriate lifting plane of movement.


Using a dumbbell that is an appropriate weight for your strength level and level of expertise is probably the best way of avoiding injury. Lifting dumbbells as a way of fitness training implies by its very nature that only one arm supports and balances the entire weight of the lift. Do not jerk the dumbbell to begin the lift, but make sure the lift is constant. It is important to keep the joint within its natural range of motion while lifting a dumbbell, otherwise injury may result. 


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