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Dumbbell Routines and Exercises

Dumbbell Exercises and Lifting Routines

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62 PART 2 adding more muscle

5. Lying triceps extensions:

2 x 10-12 reps

6. Standing French presses:

2 x 10-12 reps

Routine One Explained: Legs, Chest, and Biceps

1. Barbell squats: Stand erect with a barbell across your shoulders and take a deep breath. With your lungs full, bend your knees and lower your body until you are in a full squat position; you should be slightly below a ninety-degree angle to your shins. As soon as you reach the bottom position, rise immediately—but under control—while at the same time expelling the air from your lungs, so that you will be ready for another intake of oxygen at the completion of the movement. Breathe in, and go down for a second repetition until you have completed your set. It is important to keep your head up at all times, and your chest should be held high.

2. Bench presses: Lie on a bench with a barbell at arm's length over your chest. Slowly lower the bar to your upper chest. Once the bar has touched your chest, slowly press it back up to the top position, and repeat the procedure for the required number of sets and repetitions.

3. Dumbbell flyes: Grab two fairly heavy dumbbells and lie faceup on a bench. Slowly lower the dumbbells from an overhead position in an outward arc until they are a bit below chest level. Pause for one or two seconds, and then begin to slowly raise the dumbbells back to the starting overhead position in the same outward arc.

4. Standing barbell curls: Stand erect with a shoulder-width grip on the barbell and your palms facing front. Your arms should be fully extended so that the barbell is directly in front of your thighs. Slowly curl the barbell up to shoulder height, solely using the muscles of the upper arm by bending the elbows. From this fully contracted position, slowly lower the resistance back to the fully extended (or starting) position. Repeat for the required number of sets and repetitions.

5. Alternate dumbbell curls: Take hold of two dumbbells and stand up straight with dumbbells at your sides and your palms facing your hips. Slowly curl your right arm up to your right shoulder, making sure to turn your palm upward at the top of the movement. As your right arm is starting to come down, start curling your left arm upward, making sure that one arm is descending while the other is ascending. Repeat until you have completed 10-12 repetitions per arm.

6. Crunches: Lie faceup on the floor with your hands behind your head. Keep your chin on your chest throughout the movement. Lift your feet up on top of a bench, with your feet together and your knees facing left and right. Slowly curl your trunk upward toward a sitting position. Once you have ascended to a fully contracted position, hold the position for a two-count, and then lower yourself slowly back to the starting position. Repeat for the required number of repetitions.

Routine Two Explained: Back, Shoulders, and Biceps

1. Stiff-legged dead lifts: Stand erect with your feet just under the barbell. Then, by bending your knees, grasp the barbell, with your hands a little wider apart than shoulder width and your knuckles facing front. Slowly begin to stand erect, straightening your legs as you do so. Keep lifting the resistance until you're completely erect and the bar is in front of your thighs. Now slowly lower the resistance until it is back on the floor, and repeat the movement for the required number of sets and repetitions. Rest briefly, and then move on to your next exercise.

2. Barbell shrugs: Grab a heavy barbell and straighten your back so that the weight is in front of your thighs. Slowly contract your traps so that your shoulders begin to ascend toward your ears. When the weight has been raised as high as it can go, hold the contraction for a two-count, and then lower the weight slowly, in four seconds, back to the starting position.

3. Bent-over barbell rows: Bend at the waist so that your torso is at a right angle (ninety degrees) to your legs. Grab hold of the bar so that your palms are facing your shins. Your hand spacing should be between two and two and a half feet. Slowly pull the bar up toward your torso until it touches your lower chest. From this fully contracted position, slowly lower the resistance back to the starting position (your arms should be fully extended), and repeat for the required number of sets and repetitions. Remember that the barbell is to touch the floor only when the set is completed. This will ensure that maximum stimulation is imparted to the lats throughout the movement. Also remember to maintain the bent-over position throughout the set.

4. Lat pull-downs: Grab the lat pull-down bar with a palms-under grip, so your arms are fully extended above your head. Slowly contract your lats by pulling the bar down to your chest. Hold this position of full muscular contraction for a two-count before allowing the weight to return in four seconds back to the starting position.

5. Lying triceps extensions: Lie on an exercise bench, holding a barbell (or E-Z curl bar) in both hands directly over your chest. Slowly lower the resistance, in four seconds, to a point just behind your head. From this fully extended position, slowly press the resistance back up to the starting position. Use your first set as a slow, controlled, warm-up set, and then add approximately 20 percent more to the bar and perform another set of 10-12 repetitions.

6. Standing French presses: Grab an E-Z curl bar and press it overhead. Then, instead of lowering your elbows, keep them stationary and just lower your forearms. The bar should be lowered to a point just below the back of your neck in four seconds, and, with no momentum whatsoever, your triceps should slowly power the bar back to the arms-locked starting position.

Always strive to add another repetition to your previous best attempt in this exercise. Once the guide number of repetitions has been reached, increase the resistance that you have been using by 5 percent, and aim for the lower guide number of reps again.

Maintain perfect form while working out under this or any other training system. A loosening of form results in less stress being placed on the target muscle group and will greatly diminish your results. Lift the resistance slowly in two to three seconds; hold it for one to two seconds at the top, or fully contracted position; and then lower it slowly, in four seconds, back to the starting position.

This routine is a highly effective one if executed along the guidelines given. Give it a try, and you should notice a distinct increase in your muscle mass over the next four weeks.

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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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