You can use Dumbbells to train practically every part of the your body. In this article, we will see some best practices for training every part of your body.
Dumbbell workouts for men (Biceps)
Biceps muscles are easiest to train with the dumbbells and hence we will start with them. Like any other muscle you have to remember that it must be targeted from different angles.
The most common exercise of biceps is dumbbell curls but most of the people do it wrong.
Although, when you are doing any biceps exercise you are targeting both long and short head in different proportion but by some small changes you can target one more than the other.
It is very important to separately target the two heads of the biceps; long and short.
Supinated vs Neutral Grip
In general the supinated grips is for short head of the biceps and the neutral grips is for long head of the biceps.
So, when you are doing biceps curls , you are targeting the long head and when you are doing hammer curls you are working on the short head of the biceps.
While doing supinated dumbbell curls, the more you rotate your palms externally the more your short head will be targeted.
The position of your hands will also determine which head you are targeting.
If you are holding dumbbells close to each other you are stimulating the long head and if the position of your hands are far away from each other, then you are working on short head.
Range of motion
If you consider the entire range of motion for biceps, there are 3 point, the extreme bottom, the middle and the top.
When you are pulling the dumbbells from extreme bottom position to middle position, mainly the long head is targeted and when you the pulling them from the middle to top positions the short head is targeted.
It is your choice whether you want to do alternative dumbbell curls or do both the dumbbells at the same time. Try both and see which of them is giving you the best results.
Although, many people believe that barbell is better for biceps but it is not true. There is absolutely no difference between the barbell and dumbbell of equal total weight.
Or, you can do both the dumbbell at the same time keeping the supinated grip, then it will be exactly like doing a barbell.
Above, we discussed about the effect that range of motion has. The primary goal of hammer curls is to build the long head and as we discussed before to target long head the motion from bottom to middle is required.
I have seen people going to the top and I think it is although it is not harmful but it is not necessary either.
As you can see in the video, there are two ways to do a hammer curl, going in a staight line or making an angle.
If you are doing the straight one, make sure to keep the dumbbells close, you don’t have to keep them to your side, it will be very beneficial for the long head.
Dumbbell workout for men (Triceps)
Triceps takes the 60% of the total arm, so in order to get big arms you need to have big triceps. Yet, many people don’t give triceps the attention it deserves.
Apart from increasing the size of the arm, the triceps also gives definition to you arm, making it more attractive looking.
For triceps dumbbells are enough to target every part of it perfectly. Like biceps, triceps can be segregated into different heads, but triceps have one more head that biceps.
There are multiple variations of Dumbbell kickbacks and it is entirely up to you. It is important to try everything and then choosing the one that suits you the best.
You can do it standing or over a bench, single handed or both hands together, bending forward or standing straight.
Things to remember
It is a pretty good exercise for warming up your triceps and gaining size. But, it can be useless also if you don’t do it properly.
You have to keep two things in mind first of all concentrate on the muscles, it is not very beneficial to just go with the motion without actually creating tension on the muscle fibres.
And, secondly, you need to go slow, especially while you bring the dumbbells to the starting position. When you control the movement of your arm, it not only prevent injuries but also helps in gaining muscles.
Taking care of lunch lady arms
It is the part of the arm that hangs loose when you bring your arm up. If you are fat it will be more visible. It is important to take care of it, even if you aren’t fat.
For many people that part is very soft and for overall look of your arm it is not good at all.
Problem with this part is that it is very tricky to target. Often people think that they can work on it by doing dumbbell kick backs and you can’t go more wrong.
You can do this with two exercise. One is very conventional and second is not done by many but it is more effective for that part. First the conventional one.
Dumbbell triceps extension
Again, you can do this exercise with “one arm one dumbbell” or “two arm one dumbbell”.
The problem with using one arm is that it is very difficult to go heavy, plus it becomes very complicated exercise.
When you use both the arms, you can control more weight very easily. Since, the weight is divided on both the arms, it is difficult to get your shoulder injured.
You can do this both standing and sitting, I prefer sitting because it takes the effort to balance yourself from the equation and helps you concentrate fully on the triceps.
Things to keep in mind
There are two things that you should keep in mind. First of all, while doing overhead dumbbell extension, always keep your elbows pointing towards the ceiling.
You won’t be able to go absolutely 90 degrees but go as much as you can.
And, keep your elbows close to your head, it will put immense pressure on the long head of the triceps and you don’t even have give that extra squeeze.
Second exercise for lunch lady arm
It is very simple and yet very effective. You need very light dumbbells for this workout and you can increase the weight with time.
But, it is better if you always keep it light as the propose here is to tighten the muscle and not to increase the size.
How to do it?
Stand straight with dumbbells held in the supinated grip. Then lean a little forward and let your arms hang loose. Now, pull your dumbbell until you meet deadlock of the elbow.
It is important to do it slowly or you can injure yourself. Feel the pressure on the part you are working.
Dumbbells workout for men (Shoulders)
Shoulder is not very big muscle and hence it is easier to build it. Although, there are few machine available in the market that can help you target shoulder, but dumbbells are more than enough for targeting all the three heads of the shoulder.
You might be knowing that shoulder is the easiest part of the body to get injured and hence it is necessary to warm up your shoulders properly before any upper body exercise.
Warm up properly
You can do high rep – low weights sets of dumbbell press to warm up those muscle fibre.
Or you can stretch your hands in horizontal position and then move them in concentric circle, like shown in the picture below.
While making circle, slowly increase the radius, i.e, start by making small circles and gradually increase the size. Do this both clockwise and anti-clockwise. And, move to the first exercise.
Your shoulder is divided into 3 parts: front deltoids, lateral delts and rear delts. You must know which delt you are targeting to get the maximum gains.
Dumbbell press is a very common exercise for your front delts. Although, it hits your middle delts too.
If you sit straight while doing dumbbell press, it will engage your mid-delts, but if you sit on an incline bench most of the workout will be done by your front delts.
While coming down you don’t have to go to deep, it might put too much pressure on your shoulders and can result in an injury. Bring your biceps parallel to ground is enough.
Don’t try to go too fast. A slow and controlled motion is exactly what you need to build good shoulders.
Dumbbell front raise
There is no better exercise when it comes to your mid-delts. Although, at the beginning it might seem difficult and you won’t be able to lift much, but that is completely fine.
One mistake that everyone makes is going to fast. This happens if you are lifting to heavy. You have to keep in mind that the weight that you can control completely while going up and down.
There are things you should do to get the best results. One is to stop at the top most position and hold there for at least 2 seconds.
Remember, the more time a muscle is under tension the better it is for gains.
That is why it is better to go slow with almost every exercise. Secondly, move your shoulder a little away from your body.
Stretching your arms out will put a good tension on the mid-delts.
Dumbbell rear delt raise
The rear delt is a very small muscle and it is very difficult to target it, but once it is developed it completely changes the look of your shoulders.
As you can see in the picture, you can do this standing or you can lie down on a bench and do it.
First of all, you should use very very light weight, especially if you are a beginner, as using heavy weight will bring other muscles into picture and you don’t want that.
You can do this with both pronated and neutral grip, I find pronated grip more effective, but it is entirely up to you.
Dumbbell workouts for men (Chest)
Chest is a very big muscle and it does take some time to build your chest muscles.
But, dumbbell or barbell or any other machine for chest is not enough. Doing push ups is the best and the easiest way to build chest.
Dumbbell will do the rest of the work but depending up on it to do everything will not be helpful. Secondly, intensity is very important, specially for you chest.
It take a great shock to break the chest muscles and for that you can intensity. Although, for beginners it is not advised.
Once, you get use to the motion and gain a little strength, then you can reach for intensity.
And, thirdly, while doing chest workout, often the shoulder muscles comes into picture, you have stay focused to bring back the load to chest muscles.
Dumbbell Chest press
Now, if you go to a gym, then can use a bench and if you workout at home, then coffee table can also do the job. First of all, try to remove every other muscle, except the chest muscle from the equation.
For that you need to have mind – muscle connection. You need to analyse which muscle are you using most while bring that weight up and down.
And, if you are using your shoulder or triceps more than try to bring back the tension to the chest.
Dumbbell press is like barbell press or bench press. In bench press, it is always advised to engage your back or arch your back.
It gives you more strength to lift and it also works on you core simultaneously.
Dumbbell flyes is one of those exercises that you have to do in order to achieve great results.
It is good because, unlike dumbbell press it takes the stress out of the other muscles and helps you focus purely on the chest.
It is a stretch exercise and you must stress as much as you can while coming down.
And, as I have said before, big muscles do require some intensity to develop properly. Once your muscles get use to the form and motion, you must increase the weight.
Do at least 12-15 reps.
Here is the trick, if you are using light weight, then go a little faster with more intensity and with heavier weights you can go slow. Faster if you can control the weights.
Dumbbell workouts for men (Traps)
Traps is part of your back but it is best to train on the shoulder days, as many exercises that hit the shoulder, as uses the traps to some extent.
Building traps is the easiest thing to do, but still very few people have big traps.
There are two reasons for it. First of all, they don’t focus enough on the traps muscles, and secondly, they don’t know the right way to do it.
If you want to achieve an overall good physique, then you must have big traps. It gives you the look of a beast. The only exercise that really works on the trap is shrugs.
Shrugs can be of two type; with netural grip and with pronated grip.
Shrugs with neutral grip
It is important to target any muscle from different angle, in order to develop them properly. With neutral grip, you only need to bring the dumbbells up and down.
The thing to remember is that while going up you must squeeze properly at the top. You must start feeling the burn after a few reps.
And, while coming down go as low as you can, it is very important.
A big mistake that practically every one make is taking the help of other muscles. You have to focus on pulling the weights only using the traps muscles.
And, for the you need to go very slow. In a very controlled way. And, lastly, you should stand straight while doing it. When you bend a little forward, you’ll realize that you can squeeze more.
Shrugs with pronated grip
In the picture, it is a barbell but you can do it with dumbbells also.
In neutral grip, all you have to do is pull the dumbbells up but in pronated grip you have to pull up + squeeze back at the same time.
I know it sounds a little complicated but you do this properly for one session and you’ll see the results. Again, at the bottom you must go as low as you can. And, squeeze at the top.
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