Dumbbell Conditioning for Rotational Strength and Health

Dumbbell Routines and Exercises

Dumbbell Exercises and Lifting Routines

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...continued a cone or other object in front of you as a target to touch on the forward part of the movement.


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Overhead Extension Anterior Reach <|=



Low to high diagonal reach

Squat with a light- to moderate-weight dumbbell at the floor just outside your right ankle, with both hands holding the dumbbell handle. Then, in a smooth motion, stand and rotate to the left, pulling the bell diagonally up across your body and up over the left shoulder until the arms are fully extended upward and to the left. As you execute the move, your torso and head will rotate along with the bell, and you will pivot on your toes to face to the left. Repeat on the other side. The total number of reps need not exceed five to ten per side in a set.

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Low High Diagonal Reach



Saxon side bends

Named for old-school strength athlete Arthur Saxon, this is also a good warm-up drill when performed without load. For the weighted version, use two one- to three-pound dumbbells. Seriously, this is all the weight you or your athletes will need. Press the bells over your head and position the feet at shoulder width. Lean to the left and then return to center and move immediately to the right. This is a dynamic movement in both directions. Keep the chin untucked and the eyes forward. Perform five to ten reps.

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Saxon Sidebend




Michael Rutherford (a.k.a. Coach Rut, a.k.a "the Dumbbell Coach") is the owner of CrossFit Kansas City/Boot Camp Fitness. He has over a quarter-century of fitness coaching experience with athletes of all ages. He has also worked in hospital wellness environments and rehabilitation clinics. Rut holds academic degrees in biology, physical education, and exercise physiology and sports biomechanics. He is a USAW-certified Club Coach and is a CrossFit level-3 trainer. He is a USAW-certified Club Coach and is a CrossFit level-3 trainer. You can learn more dumbbell exercises from his three-volume DVD set Dumbbell Moves.


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Getting Started With Dumbbells

Getting Started With Dumbbells

The use of dumbbells gives you a much more comprehensive strengthening effect because the workout engages your stabilizer muscles, in addition to the muscle you may be pin-pointing. Without all of the belts and artificial stabilizers of a machine, you also engage your core muscles, which are your body's natural stabilizers.

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