Here's a quick, simple primer for working out with dumbbells. Also a first workout routine that works the entire body in about 45 minutes.
Here's what I like about dumbbells
Here's how to approach exercising with dumbbells
Watch this video on how to use dumbbells properly:
Basic dumbbell exercises
YouTube is your friend. You can search for and view multiple videos on how to do each exercise and use proper form, I have chosen a few good ones for you to view by clicking on the following links:
Plan your routine
Now that you're familiar with dumbbells and a few basic exercises, let's put together a simple routine. The great thing about dumbbells is that YOU get to choose the weight, so the workout can be as challenging as you want it to be. If you're a beginner and extremely out of shape, I would suggest keeping the weights down to 5 pounds or less. As you get stronger and more used to the exercises, you can increase the weight. Beginners also might want to NOT use any weight on the lunges or squats, as your body weight is sufficient to give you a good workout. STOP when you're feeling too exhausted, you can work up to the full routine over time.
Here's a simple routine:
Here's the "official" way to view the workout, and I've included a version that you can download and print out:
That's great! You've done a simple dumbbell routine. If you made it through all of the exercises, that is a total of 120 repetitions! If you didn't make it through, that's fine. To get through everything you can try and lighten your weights, do only 1 set instead of 2, or just do as many of the exercises as possible. You can work up to the full routine. Then you can start substituting other dumbbell exercises for the ones I included, and add a third set. Try to exercise a variety of muscles rather than focusing on just one area.
More on using dumbbells
Check out these other references:
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