I think it’s important for everyone to understand that fancy equipment doesn’t build muscle, you do. If you’re restricted to no gym around you can still accomplish a lot with just one dumbbell. You can also simplify your workout easily with this workout plan. It’s also important to understand by doing using dumbbells you will be activating more muscle fibers and increasing your range of motion. If you’re on the road a lot this workout will be ideal you will only need to pack one dumbbell. Again you are in the driver’s seat of building your body not fancy machines.
Let’s learn some exercises utilizing only one Dumbbell…
1) Bottom Half Getup
Directions- Lie on the floor with your right leg bent and leg out straight. Hold the dumbbell in your right hand directly above your chest. Without taking your eyes off the weight or bending your arm prop yourself with your left elbow, then straighten your arm. Reverse to return to the starting position. When complete switch to the other side and repeat.
2) Goblet Squat
Hold a dumbbell vertically in front for your of chest, cupping the top end with both hands. Keep your stomach tight and your lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees, your elbows should be on the inside of your knees. Pause at the bottom and then push yourself back to the starting position, repeat.
3) Push Press to Windmill
Start by standing and holding a dumbbell in your right hand just outside of your shoulder. Dip your knees and push up very quickly using the momentum from your push to help your press the weight above your head. With your dumbbell still overhead, pivot your left foot 45 degrees to your left, push your hips to the right and slide your left hand down your left leg. Pause, and then reverse the move to return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side.
Advantages of Free Weights
There are many advantages to workout out with free-weights verses using machines.
Let’s review a couple…
On the Go
If you’re working out in the same gym all the time machines or home equipment might be more realistic for you. However if you are someone who travels a lot you can take this workout on the go. Remember don’t use being out of town or on vacation as an excuse you are always in the driver’s seat of your workout.
Machines whether in the Gym or at home usually adjust to fit your specific body. The only issue is that no matter how much they adjust it’s impossible for them to fit everybody. Unfortunately if you are extremely over weight or petite machines might not be the best fit for you. Remember free weights will always be a one size fits all solution.
Machines are “preset” to guide you through a certain motion. With free weights you have to guide yourself and form is much more important. This causes you to stimulate more muscle fibers and utilize your joint by stabilizing it. By stabilizing your joint it prepares your body for more everyday tasks. If you are very new to the gym it might be more ideal to hop on a machine however because of joint instability.
Machines enable you to lift much heavier than free-weights for example they have cables and pads that make it nearly impossible for you to hit yourself with. Even if you were pumping out your set and decided drop the weight, most likely it will have a fail-safe. Free weights are a much different story as you can’t just drop the weight when you want to. It’s also important to remember that should know your limits when lifting with free-weights for the aforementioned reasons.
Working out with free weights is also nice to your wallet. Most machines are very pricey and you can save a lot of money by just using dumbbells. One solution is for you to gain access to an affordable gym however if you want to utilize a large array of machines.
Believe it or not you can get smarter by working out; if you missed my blog article about this you can find it here. By doing intense challenging exercises parts of your cerebral cortex reconfigure themselves. Your brain cannot grow like a muscle so instead it creates more “pathways” inside itself. The reconfiguration of neurons helps keep your mind sharp. So however complicated the exercises is the more it will stimulate your brain. Dumbbells or free weights for that matter are more of a brain building tool. When working out with dumbbells you can constantly evolve your workout, leaving your stronger, healthier and smarter.
I enjoy doing free weights for the previously mentioned reasons, plus it’s great to do on the go if you’re restricted. Remember this is no excuse for you’re to skip your workout, if there is a will there is a way. Money or location should not be a deciding factor on your workout routine, you make your routine. Working out with free weights will leave you will great benefits such as joint stability, lean muscle mass and functional strength applicable to everyday life.