Dumbbells. One of the best weapons in your strength training arsenal to build muscle, gain strength and hone your athletic skills. You can use them in a wide variety of workouts to take advantage of all their many perks. Read on to learn about the best benefits of working with dumbbells.
Whether you want to make improvements to your physique or your athletic skills, the key is to continuously stimulate your body with external stress that gradually gets more intense each time. This “forces” it to adapt over time so that your fitness keeps evolving. If you want to gain strength or muscle mass during your strength training, you need to use this method, known as progressive overload.
Using dumbbells to practice progressive overload gives you almost infinite potential for progress. This can be as simple as adding a repetition to your set or a single pound or kilogram to your dumbbells to ensure that you’re increasing the stress every time you work out.
You can also use dumbbells to add more resistance to bodyweight exercises such as lunges and squats to significantly enhance their effectiveness, granted that you’re doing the exercises right. With bodyweight exercises alone, you’ll get to a point where it’s impossible to reach a minimum level of intensity.
Take squats, for instance. If you’re easily able to do 200 squats in a row with just your body weight, then this won’t stimulate much change in your body because this exercise no longer puts enough stress on your body in order to force it to adapt. This is when adding some weight can drastically and instantly up the intensity of the exercise and make it much more worth your while.
A major advantage of dumbbells is that they’re convenient, especially if you work out at home.
Even if they’re big, two dumbbells don’t take up a lot of space and they’re easy to store in the corner of a room or in your closet. Working out with dumbbells doesn’t take much space, either.
For most people, they only need two dumbbells weighing 8-65 lb (4-30 kg), which provide the resistance to do most exercises with enough intensity.
And last but not least, dumbbells are relatively cheap, especially when you compare them to other pieces of exercise equipment.
When it comes to their universality, no other piece of equipment can beat dumbbells. Even if you’ve only got a few (or just one), you can use them to effectively work all your muscle groups. For example, with just two dumbbells, you can do a pretty impressive number of exercises, such as:
You can work every major muscle group with dumbbells. With such a huge range of exercises, there’s no end in sight to your muscle stimulation.
Dumbbells can isolate as many muscles as they target. Another dumbbell benefit is that it forces you to control two weights separately. And there’s an excellent reason why it’s great to be able to work one limb at a time.
You can target the exact muscle group you want to work. That’s a major advantage when you’re trying to build a more evenly toned physique without causing any muscle imbalances.
Dumbbells make the perfect external source of resistance when you’re doing isolation exercises for certain muscle groups, such as your arms or legs. These areas are sometimes difficult to build using just your body weight.
Dumbbell exercises can help minimize imbalances, too. Although a limb can be worked a little bit more with a barbell, both limbs have to put in the same amount of work for the same number of reps and weight when you use two dumbbells.
Choosing your dumbbells is an important step if you want to make sure your workouts are effective. Generally speaking, there are two different kinds of dumbbells:
Adjustable dumbbells are good for people who work out at home and are looking for inexpensive workout equipment. An adjustable dumbbell kit consists of plates of different weights, bars and star locks that are easy to store. Although they’re handy and cheaper, the only drawback is that you’ll probably have to change your load for every exercise.
Fixed dumbbells are more common in gyms and fitness centers, which normally offer dumbbells weighing 5 to over 125 lb (2 to over 60 kg). Fixed dumbbells are more expensive than adjustable dumbbells, but are often more stable, durable, safe and user-friendly.
And lastly, from a practical standpoint, it’s best to have a few dumbbells with a range of weight that you use for a variety of exercises during your workout.
We recommend owning three pairs of dumbbells: one light, one medium and one heavy. When you invest in fixed dumbbells, this will also save you the time it would take you to change the weight with adjustable ones.
You now know our top four benefits of using dumbbells. If you want to switch up your routine, gain muscle mass or maximize your strength with this workout equipment, start one of FizzUp’s many dumbbell programs for both men and women now!