Brides… Embrace the dumbbells at the gym. Too often I see men dominating the weight area and I always advocate for women to become comfortable enough to grab a couple of dumbbells and exercise right alongside them. I understand that weights can be intimidating, but by adding in resistance training 2-3x/week you will begin to see the definition you are looking for as you try on your wedding dress. If you are someone who is intimidated by dumbbells I highly suggest finding a personal trainer in your area and use it as a learning experience so that you can go out and lift on your own.
Many women feel comfortable on the weight machines that give you a guided path as to where your arms or legs are supposed to go, which I think are a great starting point. Getting off the machines and embracing the flexibility dumbbells offer will help increase the intensity of your workout. I love being able to get creative with dumbbells and let your body move and grow stronger in its natural range of motion.
When I work with brides the main body parts that they want to improve and see definition in is their arms and back. They want to be able to wear their dress with confidence and pride to show off the hard work they put into it. Here are four of my favorite dumbbell exercises to tone your arms.
1. Stability Ball Push-ups
These will test your core while you walk out and balance on the ball, but will assist you in lifting your body weight. Pushups are one of the best overall body exercises you can do. Women please dont shy away from these! If you dont have a stability ball available, start with pushups on your knees and go down as deep as possible keeping your core and lower back from dipping.
2. Squat with Overhead Press
This full body exercise will get your heart pumping. Keep your heels driven in as you squat down and core engaged. Avoid dropping your elbows down by keeping them strong throughout the exercise and push them high above your head together.
3. Chest Press
Drive the dumbbells up in a straight line over your chest, engage your core and keep the intensity at a controlled pace. Dumbbells will ensure you are turning on your stabilizer muscles in your shoulders more than you would in a barbell chest press.
4. Standing Tricep Pressdown
Use the lat pull down machine for this next exercise. You will be working mainly your triceps and lats/back muscles. Keep your arms straight as you pull down the straight bar to your hips and control it as it returns to its starting point.
Do 12 – 15 reps of each exercise and repeat the entire circuit 3-4x. The last few times you go through the circuit is when your muscles will get the most out of the exercise.
What are other ways you enjoy using dumbbells to tone up?