Table of Contents
How Women Can Capitalize on The Benefits of Free weight Training with Dumbbells and the Top Workouts With Pictures To Get The Most Out of Them
Many women shy away from strength training because of a major misconception. Women are afraid to bulk up their muscles, which is completely understandable. However women just don't get like that unless they put in some ridiculous effort and take testosterone shots. So the average woman will not get a body builder look.I want my readers to be in the best shape of their lives and to help them get healthier, so don't be afraid of activities that will help you get stronger because you won't suddenly turn into a man.What you will get instead are stronger, toned muscles. Another misconception is that bigger muscles means stronger muscles. This is usually not true though there is some correlation. You can be very strong yet have smallish muscles. The difference is you still have full range of motion which is very important for athleticism and day to day activities.
What is the Best Way for Women to Practice Resistance Training?
There are three main applications for strength training, using machines, free weights and using your body weight. Using dumbbells is a form of free weights. This is where you use objects which vary in weight to add resistance for your muscles when doing normal positions. Free weights are the best form of strength training. This is because you are using your own body which uses all of the muscles in the area of interest.What this means is that the smaller and hard to work muscles which are used mostly for balancing get worked out. This helps with your body control and makes it easier to keep your balance when hiking or anything.Dumbbells are probably the most useful form of free weights because of the full range of motion you get with them and you can add more lateral moves which increases their effectiveness. Kettle Bells are great as well but are more designed for core workouts.Supplies Needed: All you need for this is a bench (optional) and some dumbbells. You can find a nice set of dumbbells here, start off with a lighter pair and go up as you get better. I'd recommending starting off with 10 to 15 lbs if your brand new.
Top Workouts When Using Dumbbells
There are a ton of muscles that you can target using dumbbells and I'll go over the best workouts and tell you what muscles they target as well as show you a picture of the workout:
Dumbbell Calf Raise
Muscle Worked: CalfHow To Do It: You put the leg you want to work out on the dumbbell, use your other leg for a bit of a balance. Hold onto something sturdy if needed.The leg you are going to workout should put the main pad at the front of the foot on the dumbbell handle and you lift up with your toes, working in a gentle up, down motion.Do this with as many repetitions as necessary for your body but make sure you do the same amount on each leg.Pro Tip: The round dumbbells are harder than the hexagonal ones which makes the workout more effective.
Close Grip Dumbbell Press
Muscle Worked: TricepsHow To Do It: You can do this one laying down or leaning your back on a raised surface with your legs making a right angle down to the ground.After you have your position picked whether it's raised or on the ground grasp a dumbbell with your hands. Lay one end of the dumbbell on your chest and hold it by the end away from you with your two palms. The dumbbell should rest between your breasts and you just lift upward with your hands.Just nice and easy up and down movements, just make sure not to drop it on you! Start off with a lower weight to see how you do and go up in weight until it's pretty feels pretty heavy but not too heavy where you are straining.
Cross Body Hammer Curl
Muscle Worked: BicepsThis is a great workout to work some of the most highly prized muscles out there. Your biceps, not only are these a main muscle to show your fitness level but they also have practical applications. Strengthening your biceps will aid you in nearly any sport r activity you want to do that requires the use of your arms. They are a main muscle for movement.How To Do It: This is very easy to do, you standup straight with a dumbbell in each hand. Hold the dumbbells so your palm faces in. Your arms start at your side.From the rest position and without twisting or jerking your body curl the dumbbell of the right arm up towards your left shoulder while you exhale. You want to touch the top of the dumbbell to your left shoulder and hold it there for a brief second then slowly return to rest. Do the same motion with your left hand now, bring the dumbbell up to the right shoulder, pause and then return to the rest position.For best measure do 10-15 repetitions in a set and as many sets as you can. You'll want to go until you cant really do any more without losing form.
Muscles Worked: BicepsHow To Do It: Here is a very common bicep curl; it is very easy to complete this exercise. You are going to need to sit on a bench, be slightly angled at the corner. Your legs will need to be open to a comfortable angle with your feet flat on the ground. Hold the dumbbell in one hand between your legs with your palm facing up.Bend your arm slightly, this will be where you start the exercise. Bend your arm towards you slowly up to your shoulder;pause for a second and then slowly lower your arm back to the starting position.*NOTE* only your forearm should move, do not move with your shoulder, only your elbow.
Standard Bicep Curl
Muscles Worked: BicepsHow To Do It: This is the very traditional main way people work their biceps. It's highly effective and when used in conjunction with other bicep methods can yield some fantastic results.It's very easy. You can hold one or two dumbbells at a time. One is better for larger weight as you can use your free hand as a counter weight so you don't sacrifice form.One Dumbbell Method: Hold the dumbbell in the arm you wish to work out,stand straight up. Your palm should be facing toward the ceiling, slowly move your forearm and only your forearm up to your shoulder. Touch your shoulder and hold for a second - and then slowly return back to the rest position.Two Dumbbell Method: Every thing is exactly the same as the method above but alternate hands. I wouldn't recommend doing both at the same time because you are more likely to have sloppy form which can cause injury.