We are all familiar with the dumbbell. Seen in gleaming racks stretching the length of mirrored walls, almost every man who works out can tell you the common exercises that he--and all of his gym buddies--do as part of their upper-body routine.
These aren't they. Here are 3 must do dumbbell exercises that can create unprecedented power and results:
Floor to Overhead
This simple exercise mimics the movement of an overhead snatch, and works practically every muscle in the body. From a squat, position a moderate weight dumbbell between your feet. As you begin to lift from the legs, draw the dumbbell up the mid-line of the body, shrugging the shoulders as you stand to flip the elbow and arm up overhead. This is a seamless motion that brings the weight from the floor to the sky using the power of the legs and core. It creates stability, strength, power and precision.
To develop core strength, balance and focus, few exercises can beat the Turkish Get-up. It is a multi-headed movement chain that trains and shapes the glutes, obliques, shoulders, chest and arms. From a supine position, hold a dumbbell directly over the shoulder. As you move, keep this weight straight up to the sky, regardless of the position of your body and keep your eyes on the weight. Bend the opposite knee and elbow to prop yourself up on the seat and hand. Lift the hips through a side-plank position and scoot that foot underneath you so that you can rise to a one-kneed kneeling position. Then slowly rise to standing. The weight has remained straight overhead. Then slowly reverse the sequence to return to the floor. Up and down completes one rep.
Renegade rows are pushups on fire. Due to the plank-like position, isometric training happens in the deep abdominals which helps to create core strength and stability. The lifting of the weights to the body trains triceps, biceps, pectorals, deltoids, lats and obliques to create power and shape.
Place two dumbbells of equal weight on the floor and assume a high push-up position, grasping the weights. Keeping the body completely straight from shoulders to heels, alternately row the dumbbells to the shoulder. Completing a left and right movement completes one rep.
As you can see, dumbbells offer more than the standard upper-body training. Their slightly unstable nature provides an unprecedented opportunity to create core stability training. This becomes an amazing asset to your programming, helping to provide greater safety and results.