Dumbbells dropping to the gym floor make a loud thud that can be felt halfway across the gym. That thunderous sound triggers the macho button in most men, inspiring them to strut in front of the mirror upon dropping the weight.
Think I'm kidding? Watch for it the next time you're at the gym.
But really, don't drop the weights and there will be no need to unconsciously strut your stuff. It also makes the weights last longer.
Just because the men tend to spend most of their time in the free-weight area doesn't mean the women can't stake their claim too. Pull up a bench and do today's exercises and prove that slamming weights is for those who don't have the strength to control them.
I like training clients with dumbbells because dumbbells teach stability and muscle control. I use them in all aspects of training, whether the client be a newcomer, someone looking to lose that last 10 pounds or a seasoned lifter looking to add size.
The key to dumbbell training is form. The movement needs to be correct to get the most benefit. Sometimes the movement is slow and controlled; other times the movement is explosive. If there is an exercise you're unsure about, ask a trainer or research it from a reputable source.
Most dumbbell exercises require two things. One, the core should be tight. Harden your stomach like you're bracing for a punch to the gut. Two, the back should be straight. Squeeze the shoulder blades together to lock your spine in.
The exercises today can be easily mastered if the correct form is followed. The dumbbell row is an old and simple gym exercise that can give the body a great deal of stability and strength. Performing the row slowly, while concentrating on a tight core and straight back, will make the lifter strong and solid for future exercises. If the same row were to be done with a faster tempo, the lifter would develop power as well as strength.
The dumbbell clean is one of my favorite exercises. It teaches proper muscle recruitment and gives the lifter an intense workout. This is an explosive exercise based on the squat. You need to have the basic squat down before earning this progression.
Once you've mastered the basic form using a light dumbbell, you can progress to a heavier one. Since most of the power comes from the legs and hips, it is easy to work up to a heavier weight than you first thought was possible.
Dumbbell cleans can be done by themselves or in a circuit. I use this exercise often with female clients. It works the major posterior muscle groups and requires upper-body strength and stabilization. Couple that with the cardio effect inherent to this exercise and you can easily see why this exercise is one of my favorites.
Chris Huth is a Las Vegas trainer. You can contact him firstname.lastname@example.org. Before beginning any exercise program, consult your physician.