It seems our busy lives leave many of us with little or no time to exercise like we would like. But, even If you have only 10-15 minutes, you do have time for a workout.
A number of studies are finding that fast paced workouts can provide full benefits and boost your metabolism as effectively as a standard slower paced workout that typically takes more time.
Here are four dumbbell exercises that you can do in your home or the gym that will focus on strengthening and adding tone to your upper body to help you to look your best.
Dumbbells are simple, versatile, and are quite compact for storage. They also provide an easy way to strengthen the muscles of the body evenly and maintain good muscle balance. By using independent hand weights like dumbbells, both sides of the body are forced to do an equal amount of work. This can greatly reduce a chance of injury.
Upper Body Dumbbell Workout
The chest press is an upper body dumbbell workout that targets the large pectoral muscles of the chest. The exercise also hits the front deltoid and upper arm tricep muscles. For a change, you can work different pectoral muscles by doing the chest press on an incline or decline bench.
The dumbbell reverse fly will strengthen your upper back muscles and help balance the strength in your shoulders. Make sure to keep your back straight and not hunched over with this exercise. By engaging your midsection the fly will effectively work your core muscles.
The tricep extension is an isolation exercise designed to work the upper arm tricep muscles and shoulders. This is another exercise that can really work your abs if you tighten them up through your reps.
The overhead press is probably the most effective exercise for strengthening and toning the shoulders. The exercise will broaden your upper body, making your waist appear smaller. Because you will be working larger muscle groups, the overhead press will burn extra calories.
Lift the proper amount of weight - Trying to lift too much weight happens quite a bit, especially in fitness clubs - you look over at a guy who is using a huge set of dumbbells and you get the feeling you need to turn it up a little bit. We are all in the gym doing exercises based on our own needs. Some guys are in it for the bulky muscles; others are there to keep their tone.
Do not swing your body - Let the muscles that you are targeting for that particular exercise do the work. For instance, if you are doing curls, don't swing your body back and forth to get the momentum going - let your arms do the work.
Don't Push It - When you can tell that your body is tired, take the day off. Ignoring the warnings signs of fatigue can lead to painful injuries from overtraining.
Proper breathing - Breathing is an essential part of a dumbbell workout. Make sure to exhale as you push the weight out and breathe in as you bring the weight back to your starting position. If you are not getting enough oxygen, you will greatly limit your strength for doing repeated repetitions.
Benefits of a Upper Body Dumbbell Workout
Home Gym - Dumbbells are an excellent choice if you want to set up an exercise area in your house. They are inexpensive and don't take up much space. You can literally store them under your bed or in your closet.
Extended Range of Motion - Dumbbells will let you use the natural movements of your body to reach extra muscle groups. Exercise machines tend to work your muscles in a more restrictive way with a limited range of motion.
Safety Concerns - Another advantage is the safety factor, especially for someone just beginning to strength train. While barbells have an advantage for those trying to lift heavy weights. Dumbbells tend to be safer free weights.
Muscle Balance - Working with dumbbells also lets you exercise both sides of your body equally. We all tend to have one side of our body that is a little stronger than the other side and dumbbells will help to keep an even muscle balance.
Compound Exercises - These are movements that use more than one muscle group at the same time. The theory is that you can burn more calories and work your total body in a fraction of the time needed for programs that focus on isolation movements.
I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or ideas you would like to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum