Enhance your workouts with dumbbells

You may have experience working on machines at the gym or in your own home, but you will find that a workout with dumbbells can be even more effective than your current exercise regimen. While your machine may be great for isolating muscle groups, free weights help you work your stabilizer muscles as your try to keep control of the weight through the repetition. Even in a cardio workout, dumbbells can help increase strength and heart rate as you pump your arms towards a new body.

Just as heart rate monitors and watches can be a key indicator of cardiovascular fitness, so can dumbbells help you keep track of your anaerobic fitness. As you get more fit, you will see your weight increasing. While numbers aren't the only indicator of overall fitness, they are certainly a good bit of motivation. You may be shooting to curl fifty pounds or get up to fifteen repetitions. Whatever your goal, dumbbells help you track your progress and set new goals for the future.

It is easy to strengthen your upper body when you supplement your workout with dumbbells. Arm workouts with dumbbells consist of a few simple exercises to get the major muscle groups going. Lateral raises work your upper back and core as you lift your dumbbells straight out in front of you. Deltoid raises are also great for dumbbells. Raise your arms straight out to the sides from a standing position, or lean over at a right angle and let gravity resist you. To work the chest and shoulder muscles further, recline on a bench and do a few sets of butterflies. To work smaller upper body muscle groups, pull out your dumbbells for some standard curls, rows and extensions.

Core exercises

Dumbbells can also be used for core exercises as well. Windmills are a great way to stretch and strengthen back and stomach muscles, as well as encourage full-body fitness. You can add weight to your crunches to make them more challenging or you can move the weights in a large figure eight pattern while up in a half crunch position. You can also hold the weights in close to your body while doing standing crunches.

At first glance, you might not think there are dumbbell workouts for the lower body, but you can actually use dumbbells to help with lower body fitness. For most of these workouts, dumbbells are held in your hands while you go through basic body exercises. For example, you can increase the intensity of your calf raises by carrying dumbbells throughout your repetitions. Many people also combine dumbbell curls with squats to increase the weight as well as to work multiple muscle sets at the same time. If you are good at balancing you may also be able to hold a weight between your legs or rest it on your legs to increase resistance during lower body exercises.

However you choose to workout with your dumbbells, make sure to perfect form before increasing weight or repetitions. Shop with Sears to get started with instructional videos and complete dumbbell sets for any workout.

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