Dumbbell lunges target your quads and glutes.
Maybe you don't like working out in crowded gyms. Perhaps you have to remain home while caring for a child. Whatever your reason, you can still enjoy an effective total-body workout using nothing but dumbbells. You'll need a set of dumbbells covering different weights or a pair of adjustable dumbbells with extra plates you can add or remove. Select your dumbbell exercises and go to work to achieve your fitness goals.1.
Warm up your muscles before lifting the dumbbells. Perform five to 10 minutes of light cardio activity, such as jogging or running in place.2.
Stretch the muscles you'll be working out. Perform dynamic stretches such as arm circles, trunk rotations and straight-leg swings. In lieu of dynamic stretches, use light dumbbells to do a warm-up set of each exercise you plan to perform.
Select your dumbbell exercises. Choose at least one exercise for each major muscle group, including your glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings and calves and the muscles of your back, shoulders, arms, chest and abdomen. Look for compound exercises that target multiple muscle groups, such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, bent-over rows, chest presses, step-ups and shoulder presses.4.
Use a lighter weight for any exercise in which you can't maintain the correct form for at least six reps. Add weight if you can perform 12 reps of any exercise without much difficulty.5.
Move the dumbbells with control in both directions. Maintain an even tempo or lower the weights a bit slower than you lift them.6.
Lift 75 to 85 percent of the maximum weight you can lift in a single repetition. Perform six to 12 repetitions and try to complete at least three sets of each exercise.7.
Perform full-body workouts three days per week, but never on consecutive days. Alternatively, target your workouts to specific areas of your body. For example, do upper-body workouts twice per week and lower-body workouts on two different days. Never hit the same muscles on back-to-back days.8.
Try combining two exercises into one with your dumbbells. For example, perform a squat while you hold a pair of dumbbells in front of each shoulder and then press the dumbbells straight over your head as you rise.9.
Eat a meal with a 3:1 or 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein within 45 minutes after your workout ends to help your muscles recover and begin to rebuild.
- Determine your one-rep max by lifting the heaviest weight you can handle one time. Alternatively, find the heaviest weight you can lift 10 times while maintaining correct form. The weight will be about 75 percent of your one-rep max. Multiply the weight you lifted by 1.33 to estimate your one-rep max.
- Speak with your doctor before starting any new exercise program. Stop performing a dumbbell exercise if you feel pain.