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Fitness Tip from Club 24: Don't Overlook Dumbbells in Your Workouts

It's no secret, a properly designed dumbbell exercise routine is one of the most beneficial workout programs you can do. There are a huge amount of dumbbell exercises to choose from for everyone's needs. Plus, the ability to perform single-limb and alternating exercises make them invaluable for training movements that improve your performance in the real world.  But, many of us have gotten caught up in 'fancy-shmancy' equipment and gadgets.  Time to get back to basics!

Many people use dumbbells as "extra" or "supplemental" training. They do their primary workout with machines or barbells, and then focus on small muscle groups with dumbbells as an afterthought. While this extra training is not detrimental, it is definitely not the best way to use dumbbells.

But there are major advantages to performing a dumbbell exercise routineas a stand-alone workout routine. We're about to reveal ways proper dumbbell training can help you get faster results.  Most people want to create a strong, lean, athletic body that looks great, and oh yea, performs great too! And, there is no greater tool to achieve these results than dumbbells. But, not just any old dumbbell workout will do!

Isolation exercises with light weight dumbbells are popular with men and women who are convinced this type of training "tones" your muscles. Plus, they see bodybuilders use this type of training to target small muscle groups. But, as you'll soon learn, this is not the best use of your dumbbell training time.

Incorporate these moves into your dumbbell exercise routine to get the most from your overall training:

Lift Heavier Dumbbells-
Pick exercises that require large muscle groups. Using your larger muscles means you can use heavier weights. Using heavier dumbbells causes more muscle growth. You'll expend more energy, which means more fat loss. Plus, the increased strength leads to performance improvement.

Just think about it, compare the benefits of squatting with heavy dumbbell (which requires the entire lower body to perform) to doing a bicep curl with a relatively light weight.

Perform Unilateral Dumbbell Exercises-
Performing your dumbbell routine one limb at a time has many benefits. For one, you can use a heavier weight because your body recruits more muscles to help with the lift. (This is called bilateral deficit.) More muscles used and heavier weights means more muscle. The time for each set during the dumbbell routine is doubled. (Since you first perform the exercise with one arm or leg, and then the other.) This results in greater energy expenditure. Translation: unilateral dumbbell training burns more fat!

Perform Alternating Dumbbell Exercises-
Most dumbbell exercises can be performed in an alternating fashion. Instead of lifting or pushing the weight with both arms at the same time, you first do one and then the other. This alternating pattern more closely relates movement patterns encountered in sport, work and life activities.

Compare this to performing an exercise on a machine where you are in an unnatural position performing an activity foreign to your natural environment. I think you'll agree, the benefits are self evident.

Your Dumbbell Routine Should Include Grinding, Explosive and Combo Lifts-
There are many types of dumbbell lifts you can include in your exercise routine. You should include all of them. Some examples are grinding lifts like presses and squats, explosive lifts like swings and snatches and combo lifts like the clean and press. The combination of these dumbbell exercises does more than just build muscular strength and explosive power. They strengthen the heart and lungs, burn fat and force the body to function as one complete unit. So, not only does your body benefit from the appearance benefits, but performance is greatly improved as well.

Perform Dumbbell Exercises Targeting Muscle Growth, Fat Loss And Cardio Improvement-
As hinted at above, your dumbbell exercise routine can build muscle, burn fat and improve cardiorespiratory endurance SIMULTANEOUSLY! Talk about getting the most from your training time. If you only have a short time to work out, using dumbbells to target many improvements is one way to go.

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