Money Crashers

Is driving to the gym too much of a hassle? Do you hate braving the locker room, and spending upwards of $100 every month in membership dues?

Don’t sweat it. Instead, take your family to the park and work up a sweat. Using nothing but a park bench or a picnic table, you can do a full-body workout featuring cardio and strength-training moves. Jump start your routine by jogging around the park to warm up, then get to work performing the following 10 moves as a circuit routine. Just be certain that the surface and the soles of your shoes are completely dry.

Park Bench Exercises

1. Step Ups

Get your heart pumping and your legs warm by performing a step up.

  1. Stand directly behind the bench with your hands on your hips.
  2. Plant your right foot firmly on the bench.
  3. Press up and extend your right knee so you’re standing on your right foot, drawing your left leg up next to the right one.
  4. Reverse the movement and return your left foot to the ground, followed by your right foot.
  5. Continue on the right side for a minute before switching to the left side.

2. Sit to Stand

Strengthen your lower body and perfect your squat motion by performing a sit-to-stand exercise.

  1. Start by sitting on the edge of a park bench, your feet planted on the ground about hip-distance apart. Your torso should be straight, but slightly forward-leaning, your arms slightly extended in front of your chest with your elbows bent.
  2. Press through your heels and extend your knees and hips and push yourself to standing, swinging your arms backward.
  3. Reverse the movement and carefully lower yourself back to a seated position, swinging your arms forward as you sit. Tap your butt against the bench before you press yourself back to standing again.
  4. Continue for a minute.

3. Box Jumps

Improve lower body power and strength by performing a box jump. If you aren’t sure you can jump up onto the seat of a park bench, work on form by jumping up onto a curb instead.

  1. Stand behind a park bench, leaving about 8 to 10 inches between your toes and the bench seat. Bend your knees slightly and tip your hips backward as you lean your torso forward, and swing your arms behind you.
  2. Explode up off the ground as you extend your ankles, knees, and hips, swinging your arms forward as you jump up onto the bench. Aim to plant both feet firmly on the bench.
  3. Once on the bench, stand up completely and step backward, one foot at a time, down off the bench. Do not jump down off the bench.
  4. Continue the exercise for 30 to 60 seconds, depending on how you’re feeling.

4. Single Leg Plyometrics

Work on unilateral leg power and strength by performing the single-leg plyometric jump.

  1. Plant your left foot on the bench, your knee bent at a 90-degree angle, your right foot extended behind you, balanced on its toes. Bend your right elbow, bringing your hand toward your chest, and extend your left arm behind you, as if you were running.
  2. From this position, explode up off your left foot, bringing your right knee up toward your chest as you swing your right arm backward and your left arm forward.
  3. Land your left foot back on the bench, your knee slightly bent, as you reach your right foot back behind you, returning to the starting position. Immediately explode back up into the air, continuing the explosive hops on one leg for 20 to 30 seconds before you switch sides.

5. Single Leg Lunge

Work your quads unilaterally as you strengthen your lower body with single-leg lunges.

  1. Stand directly in front of a bench, your back to the seat. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, your hands on your hips.
  2. Reach one leg behind you, placing the top of your foot onto the bench’s seat. Your torso should remain upright, with a slight forward lean, both knees slightly bent.
  3. Bend both knees, lowering your torso toward the ground. When your back knee is almost to the ground and your front knee forms a 90-degree angle, reverse the movement and press yourself back to standing.
  4. Continue for 30 seconds before switching sides.

6. Plyometric Push-Ups

Increase your upper body strength and power by performing plyometric pushups on a park bench.

  1. Place your hands on a park bench or picnic table, just under your shoulders. Your arms should be fully extended.
  2. Step your legs behind you until you’re balanced on your toes and hands, your body forming a straight line.
  3. Bend your elbows and lower your chest to the bench or table. From this position, press powerfully through your palms, exploding backward as you extend your elbows, pushing yourself away from the platform.
  4. Land back on the platform with your elbows slightly bent, lowering your chest back toward the bench or table.
  5. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds.

7. Dips

Strengthen your triceps with this simple bench dip exercise.

  1. Sit on the edge of a bench, your hands gripping the bench directly outside your hips. Place your feet on the ground in front of you, your knees bent at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Shift your weight forward, sliding your butt off the bench so that you’re supported only by your hands and your feet, your arms fully extended.
  3. Bend your elbows backward, and lower your butt toward the ground.
  4. When your elbows form a 90-degree angle, reverse the movement and return to start, stopping just shy of locking out your elbows.
  5. Continue the exercise for 30 to 60 seconds.

8. Bridge

Target your butt, hamstrings, and core with the bench bridge.

  1. Lie on the ground behind a bench so that your butt is approximately one foot away from the bench.
  2. Place your feet on top of the bench, your knees bent. Engage your core and lift your butt off the ground one to two inches.
  3. From this position, press your hips up into the air, extending your body to form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
  4. Reverse the movement and lower your butt back toward the ground, stopping just shy of touching down.
  5. Continue for 60 seconds.

9. V-Sit Bicycles

Use the edge of a bench or picnic table to perform core-strengthening exercises like V-sit bicycles.

  1. Sit horizontally across a bench or picnic table so that your butt is about six inches from the edge of the platform. Place your palms on the bench behind your hips, your fingers pointing forward. Bend your elbows and lean back, so your torso is at an angle. Extend one leg completely, lifting it from the bench, and draw the other leg up toward your chest, the knee bent.
  2. Engage your abs and “pedal” your legs, bending the extended leg and extending the bent leg, alternating their positions continuously for 60 seconds.

10. Hanging Leg Reverse Curl

Work your abs at the park by working against gravity to perform the hanging leg reverse curl.

  1. Sit close to the edge of a picnic table or park bench, your body positioned horizontally along the platform, your legs hanging off the end. Reach your palms behind you and either grip the edges of the bench, or place your palms flat against the platform, your fingers facing forward. Bend your elbows slightly and lean your torso back.
  2. Engage your abs and lift your thighs slightly off the platform. From this position, your knees and ankles should be together, both bent at 90-degree angles.
  3. Keeping your legs together and your torso fixed in place, pull your knees all the way to your chest. Reverse the movement and slowly lower your legs back down, stopping just shy of your thighs touching the platform.
  4. Continue for 60 seconds.

Final Word

Complete the circuit with little rest between exercises, then rest for two minutes and repeat one to two more times. While park workouts sound like child’s play, this routine will have you sweaty and sore in no time.

Have you tried a park workout? What additional exercises can you suggest?

What’s up Gronk Fitness!

Many of you have commented that you don’t have a lot of room in your home gym for multiple training equipment and different machines. So, if you could only fit ONE piece of equipment, which one would it be and why?

Well, our choice is the bench and not just any bench…The Gronk Fitness FID Bench!

Why?

  • It’s multi-adjustable (Flat – Incline – Decline)
  • It’s comfortable & supportive
  • It’s got wheels for mobility & storage
  • It allows you to perform dozens of exercises in a limited space
  • It’s compatible with a couple different Bench Attachments

Now, the following exercises are not just the TOP 10 Bench Exercises you can do, but together, they actually constitute a rather BRUTAL Upper Body Workout you can perform at home or even at the gym…because let’s face it, running from equipment to equipment can sometimes be rather awkward, especially if your gym is particularly crowded.

BRUTAL Full Upper Body Workout

  1. Incline Dumbbell Press
    • The king of upper body dumbbell exercises! Choose a 30 – 45 degree MAX incline angle and pick the heaviest dumbbells you can have proper form with.
  2. One-Arm Dumbbell Rows
    • Row one arm at a time and make sure to pull the weight as high up to your sides as possible. Don’t forget to do the other side!
  3. Lying Triceps Extension
    • Also known as the “Skullcrusher”, this exercise is particularly effective and more comfortable for your elbows if performed on a slight incline (10-25 degrees).
  4. Incline Biceps Curl
    • Set the bench to 45 – 60 degrees and perform your regular bicep curls but seated. The incline angle will emphasize the stretch on your biceps, tearing them apart and forcing additional strength and muscle growth.
  5. Dumbbell Pull-Over
    • Set the bench to flat mode and lie on the bench with only your upper back resting on the bench itself. The rest of your body should be hanging off the bench for a maximum stretch and contraction on every repetition.
  6. Seated Shoulder Press
    • Set the bench to 75 – 90 degrees and perform your standard shoulder presses. The seated variation eliminates the core from the equation, allowing you to focus on moving heavier loads with proper form.
  7. Tri-Raise
    • Finish up and fry your shoulders with a 3-in-1 deltoid isolation exercise. Raise the dumbbells to the side, then raise them to the front and then press them overhead. Just 2 sets are more than enough to finish your shoulder training strong.
  8. High Row
    • Set the bench to a slight incline (first pin) and lie with your chest on the floor. You will be rowing both dumbbells at the same time but instead of rowing towards your belly, you will be pulling them towards your shoulders. Perfect for the rear delts, the traps and the entire upper back.
  9. Bench Dips
    • Set the bench to flat and get ready to exhaust your entire upper body. Perform 3 sets of 20 fast reps to completely destroy your triceps and chest.
  10. Russian Twists/Sit-Ups
    • Set the bench to decline, secure your feet under the leg pad, grab a 45lbs plate and prepare to fry your entire core. For this exercise, you will be crunching like a standard decline sit-up but you will also be rotating your trunk from side to side like a Russian twist as you crunch up and down. Complete 15 reps if possible or lower the weight!

Plus, you can also get the Preacher Curl Attachment and the Leg Curl/Extension Attachment in order to target your biceps from a different angle and be able to train your quads and hamstrings without running all the way to the gym.

There you have it! One grueling workout to jumpstart your metabolism, force extra muscle and strength growth and most importantly, get your mind right.

Ultimate Weight Bench Workout

More often than not, the simplest pieces of gym equipment are the most beneficial. And weight benches definitely fall into this category.

There are so many exercises you can do with a weight bench, which is what makes them so versatile.

And they can all be done in the comfort of your own home.

Below we’ve put together our best exercises using a weight bench to help you build strength and muscle.

Best exercises using a weight bench

1) Concentration curls

How to do them: Sit on the side of the weight bench and sit with your knees apart. Bring your elbow down to your knee joint and position it so it sits securely on the side of your patella. With your wrist fixed, straight and facing outward towards your opposite leg, curl your forearm all the way up and back down, in a controlled manner.

What muscles they target: Biceps.

How a weight bench helps: By locking your arm into place using your knees, you optimise your bicep curls so they’re much more concise. A weight bench is a solid, flat surface for you to work out on.

2) Reverse dumbbell fly

How to do them: Set your adjustable weight bench at a 45 degree angle. With your feet either side of the bench, raise your arms while squeezing your back muscles tight and maintaining a straight spine. Your arms should be slightly bent and you should be pushing them back as far as you can before you release.

What muscles they target: Upper back and shoulders including the posterior deltoids, rhomboids and middle trapezius.

How a weight bench helps: By having the weight bench at an angle, you can target your upper back muscles easily while allowing your body to move naturally. The slimline bench means you can fully extend your back muscles, optimising your workout. And by using the hex dumbbells, you can isolate each side, avoiding any bias.

3) Dumbbell bench press

How to do them: Lie on your back with the bench flat. Hold the dumbbells out above you with your wrists straight, shoulders down and your elbows at a 45 degree angle to your body. Push up and slightly back – unlike exercises such as squats, the bar path isn’t completely straight. Make sure the weights finish around your eye level. And then bring them back down towards your shoulders. Keep your back arched for full chest extension and lock your body into a secure position by grounding your feet flat on the floor either side of the bench.

What muscles they target: Pecs, anterior deltoids, triceps, lats.

How a weight bench helps: A solid base for you to work from, the weight bench is specifically designed to help you reach full extension while you work out. The slimline base allows you to drop your elbows and curve your spine for an elevated chest. This full extension means you work the whole of your chest muscles and not just part of them. Using dumbbells as opposed to a barbell also helps with this and eliminates bias from either side.

4) Dumbbell shoulder press

How to do them: With the bench in an upright position, sit with your back firmly pressed into the weight bench. Ground your feet firmly into the ground and bring your arms up so your elbows are at right angles, and your shoulders are in line with your back. With a smooth, controlled motion, push the dumbbells up and in so that they meet when your arms are straight. Lower back down and take back into your starting position.

What muscles they target: Deltoids, supraspinatus, triceps, trapezius, pecs.

How a weight bench helps: The weight bench stops your arms from moving out of line so you can be much more precise when you work out. However, by allowing you to move naturally, the weight bench isn’t as constrictive as a resistance machine.

5) Skull crushers (lying tricep extensions)

How to do them: With the bench in a flat position, lie back as you would for a bench press. Take the dumbbell so it’s positioned above your head. Hex weights are great for this exercise as you can hold on to the rubber weight securely. Ensure your elbows are tucked in so you can target your triceps. Then, keeping your arms bent, lift the weight up and over until your elbows meet

What muscles they target: Triceps.

How a weight bench helps: Provides a solid, flat base for you to train from.

6) Dumbbell row

How to do them: Stand to the side of the weight bench with the closest knee to the bench resting on the seat. Bend over and support your weight with the arm that’s closest to the bench, keeping it straight. With your outside arm, bring the weight up so you thumb meets your armpit. Squeeze your back muscles as you reach the top, then lower back down.

What muscles they target: Lats, rhomboids, rear deltoids and trapezius.

How a weight bench helps: Provides a solid, flat base for you to train from supporting your weight while you isolate and focus each side in turn.

Why use a weight bench?

Weight benches allow you to perform the sorts of exercises you would normally do using resistance machines. But the difference is, a weight bench allows you to follow your body’s natural way of moving, as well as isolate each side.

Some of the other benefits of a weight bench include:

  • Fewer limitations – resistance machines are made for a range abilities so there’s only so far that you can progress with them. By getting a weight bench with a high maximum load, you can take your training to a much more advanced level.
  • They guide – with a strong, flat back, the weight bench guides your movements without restricting your joints. This means you can maintain a controlled position that still follows your natural movements.
  • They support – weight benches can be angled to suit your exercise as well as body type. This way you can target specific muscles while the bench helps to keep your spine straight and your weight load supported throughout your training regime.
  • They can be used for a range of exercises – as you’ll see below, weight benches can be used for a wide range of exercises. Not just bench pressing but to work your core, back, shoulders, arms, chest and posterior chain. You can also get a great cardio workout using just a weight bench.
  • They’re for all abilities – an essential piece of kit regardless of whether you’re a novice or an experience lifter. They’re also great for both women and men so if you’re sharing your home gym, they’re definitely a worthwhile investment for anyone looking to improve their fitness.
  • Space saving – when setting up your garage gym, you’ll be looking to save on space and weight benches do exactly that. With so much versatility, they’re an essential piece for any home gym.
  • Optimise your workout – target specific muscles and work your chest with full extension to get the most out of your workout. Doing this targets the full muscle so you can get stronger and build more muscle.
  • A wide range of uses – not just for exercising on, weight benches are a really useful tool for helping you develop your strength. A support for box squats and Bulgarian split squats; a stand for anyone learning to do pull ups; a base for decline work such as decline pushups and decline jack planks; and ideal for core exercises such as Russian twists as they allow you to increase your range of motion.

As you can see, weight benches are much more than just something to sit or lie on. They provide a solid, slimline base for you to train from. Adjust the angle to suit your training style and focus. And use to guide your movements – especially with dumbbells – when you need to focus on control.

For a full overview of our weight benches, head over to our Weight Bench Buyers’ Guide.

Any questions? Find us on Instagram and Facebook @MirafitOfficial.

20 Exercises You Can Do in a Park

Use the city as your gym. By Asia Bradlee· 5/29/2015, 5:41 p.m.

Read all about the latest gym openings, healthy events, and fitness trends in our twice weekly Wellness newsletter.

Tricep workout photo via Living Fitness/flickr

Get outside this summer and use the city as your gym. Below, we found the best park exercises you can do for a total body workout—no gym fees (or equipment) required.

1. Explosive Pull-Up
via Fitness Magazine

Make sure you use a tree branch that is thick enough to support your weight. This move works your back, biceps, quads, and shoulders.

2. Park Railing Reverse Row
via Lifting Revolution

This reverse row is another great exercise for your back and shoulders. If the railing is at a slant, switch sides so that the work on your muscles is even.

3. Monkey Bar Pull-Ups
via Skinny Mom

As simple as it sounds, this move uses the monkey bars as a substitute for the pull-up bar at the gym. If you want to challenge yourself, swing back and forth down the set of bars rather than just pulling yourself up on one.

4. Dip and Kick
via Shape

Find a park bench to do this move that’s similar to a tricep dip. Unlike a tricep dip, however, it also incorporates kicks to work your legs. Prevent overextending your elbows by keeping arms at 90 degrees when lowering down.

5. Inclined Railing Push-Up
via I Get It From My Mamma

Find two bars that are close enough for both of your arms to reach, such as a narrow staircase with railings. If railings are unavailable, use the edge of a bench. Do 20 reps, and keep abs in and tight.

6. Stair Squats
via Technically Running

These squats can help runners strengthen essential muscles that assist in preventing injury. Remember to leave a step in between your feet, and keep your back flat when squatting.

7. Karaoke Shuffle
via Fitness Magazine

This uphill climb is an efficient muscle builder and also elevates your heartbeat. Find a hill and do the karaoke, or grapevine, movement with your legs. When you come down the hill, maintain a slow pace in order to improve balance.

8. Step Right Up
via Shape

Using the bottom of a slide, bench, or ledge, this move targets your quads, calves, and glutes. Keep your arms in and tight when stepping up and then extend them into a “T” formation when lifting your leg to the side.

9. Stair Jumps
via Technically Running

To strengthen your quads and hamstrings and work on your stability, try these jumps. Be careful not to land with too much force and try to absorb the impact with your entire body, not just your knees.

10. Slalom Jump
via Fitness

Gather some rocks or small objects and place them in a zigzag formation. Jump back and forth to each rock for a minute or more for some cardio and leg strengthening.

11. Burpee Box Jump
via Commonhealth

Start in pushup position, jump into a squat, and then jump onto a picnic table, working towards ten repetitions. If the picnic table is too high, try to find a short and sturdy bench to use.

12. Bulgarian Split Lunge
via Popsugar Fitness

Using a bench or ledge, keep one foot on the bench and place the other one in front of you at a 90 degree angle and lower down. This move is effective at strengthening your glutes and quads.

13. Glute Bridge
via Spry Living

Find a bench and lie down on the grass, with your feet on the bench and your butt about one foot away. Lift your legs and butt up, then lower down. Remember to squeeze your legs together to get the most effective results.

14. Swing Crisscross
via Parents

Grab a swing, hold onto the chains, lean back at a 45 degree angle, and cross your legs back and forth. The more you focus on not letting the swing move, the more work your abs and stabilizing muscles will do.

15. Tree Plank
via Fitness

Get in plank position and walk your feet slightly up the tree behind you and hold, then release. Modify the move by moving your feet higher up the tree.

16. Slide Sit-Up
via Shape

With a similar shape to a decline ab bench at the gym, the slide is a perfect way to improve your core. Wrap your feet around the top handles or edges to hold yourself up.

17. Swing Tuck
via Move Nourish Believe

The swing acts as a stability ball to strengthen your lower abs. Focus on your form and extend your legs all the way back when you push the swing away.

18. Plank Pair
via Health

To work your side abdominals, find a low fence, bench, or flat rock. Get into side plank position with one hand on the bench and the other arm extended into the air.

19. Alternating Side Jump-Ins
via The Betty Rocker

This move not only benefits your core, but also your arms. Start in plank position and then jump forward to the left, back to the start, and forward to the right. Go at a steady pace and modify the move by bringing opposite shoulder to opposite knee rather than jumping.

20. Pole Taps
via The Better Mom

Find a pole or tree trunk and lie down in front of it. Grab the tree for support and swing your legs up and down. Go slowly and remember to breathe as the exercise gets more difficult with each rep.

Outdoor gym zone park workout

If you think that swapping a fully stocked gym for a few simple outdoor props will limit your progression, you’re mistaken. ‘You’ll get a whole body workout that’s as good as any workout in the gym,’ says Halsall. ‘These moves will give you good baseline strength. Instead of doing lat pull-downs in the gym with half your bodyweight, you’re doing pull-ups with your entire bodyweight. You’ll get a huge increase in strength.’ We’ve treated level 2 as the standard but if it’s too hard, start with level 1. When you’ve mastered it move to level 3.
LEVEL 1
Workout
Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps for each exercise, resting for 30 seconds between sets and 90 seconds between exercises. If you can’t complete the reps, stop before failure and move on to the next set or exercise. Form guides for the exercises in this workout are on the right.
1 Press-up
2 Inverted row
3 Squat
4 Negative chin-up
5 Lunge
6 Bench dip
7 Hanging knee raise
LEVEL 2
Workout
Do three sets of ten to 12 reps for each exercise, resting for 30 seconds between sets and 90 seconds between exercises. Form guides for the exercises in this workout are on the right.
1 Press-up
2 Pull-up
3 Squat
4 Narrow-grip chin-up
5 Lunge
6 Dip
7 Step-up
8 Hanging leg raise
LEVEL 3
Workout
Do three sets of eight to ten reps for each exercise, then do one final set to failure, resting for 30 seconds between sets and 90 seconds between exercises. Form guides for the exercises in this workout are on the right.
1 Jump press-up
2 Wide grip pull-up
3 Jump squat
4 Chin-up
5 Jump lunge
6 Dip
7 Bunny hop over beam
8 Foot to bar leg raise

The great outdoors programme – introduction
Circuit zone
Hill zone

Sports zone

Calisthenics Parks – Street Workout Spots Map – Home of the bars

Calisthenics / Street Workout

Calisthenics, also known as Street Workout, is the modern art of bodweight workout in a public space and outdoor environment. Calisthenics workout combines classic gymnastics exercises like pull ups, push ups, squats and dips, with creativ modern, urban outdoor sports like parkour, breakdance and freerunning. The movements vary from explosive transfer moves between pull up bars to gymnastics peak performances on parallel bars. The one calisthenic exercise, which stands for street workout like no other, is the bar muscle up. It’s a high pull up which transfers into a bar dip. For a lot of athletes a neverending love story, since there are so many different ways to perform this particular exercise. Other well known moves are the human flag, front lever, back lever, planche, handstand push ups which often play a big part in various street workout videos on the web.

This kind of sport requires whole body tension, pure strength, dynamics and coordination. As a nice side effect you do not only get stronger while doing calisthenics, but you also gain more visible muscle mass and a better defined body shape.

The origin of this sport is, as is often the case, found in the parks and streets of New York. Athletes have been exercising here since generations in outdoor exercise parks, which are widely spread all over the city. A similar workout culture also exists in Eastern Europe and Russia. The people here call it Ghetto Workout, as well as Street Workout. Many outdoor gyms with high bars can be found in public parks and backyards of large apartment buildings. Internet video platforms, e.g. YouTube, helped to pave the way for this particular fitness trend. In the early 2010s, videos from workout crews like Barstarzz, BarBarians, Bartendaz and Baristi Workout spread rapidly all over the world. Their videos often go viral and it’s not unusual for them to reach more than a million views.

Calisthenics Parks – Professional outdoor exercise fitness parks for bodyweight workout

In order to reach great results with your training, you need to know where the best workout spots are. In this case you want the detailed knowledge about the best pull up bars and parallel bars in your area. Many cities have trim trails, exercises stations, outdoor gyms and calisthenics parks located somewhere near the city center. To get your workout plan done efficiently you need fitness locations with the right bodyweight exercise equipment. This can be high bars for muscle ups, parallel bars, incline benches, low bars, monkeybar, swedisch wall bar, ab benches, pole bars, gymnastics rings and a lot of other workout gear. For street workout training a fitness park with many pull up bars and p-bars, is the best way to achieve great calisthenic workout results.

In many countries the concept of outdoor fitness workout is a central part of the urban city planning. Workout parks can be found pretty much everywhere. Nowadays there is an increasing amount of companies which manufacture great parks for calisthenics athletes, like Barmania.PRO, RVL 13 or Playparc – just to name a few. These parks are only made for the purpose of bodyweight workout.

Dumbbell exercises form an integral part of most strength training programs. They can be used to develop the various different elements of strength such as maximal strength, hypertrophy or muscle mass, explosive power and strength endurance.

Why Free Weights?

Free weights such as dumbbells activate smaller stabilizing muscle groups to control the exercise. Resistance machines on the other hand, tend to work muscle groups in very strict planes of movement. The downside of this very strict movement is that while some muscle groups will become significantly stronger, other, smaller muscles are neglected.

The other advantage dumbbell exercises have over machines is that they fit around your body so the movement can be performed correctly. Although resistance machines can be adjusted, such as the seat height for example, the movement pattern is still largely governed by how the machine is built.

Athletes typically favor dumbbell exercises over machines as they can replicate sport-specific movements more accurately. They also know that they will develop a more balanced physique and structure if most of their routine employs free weight exercises.

Exercises By Muscle Group

The dumbbell exercises below have been divided into the major muscle groups of the body. There are literally an unlimited number of routines you can put together with just a handful of these exercises. The first step is to determine an outcome – general fitness, increased muscle mass, strength endurance, improved athletic performance for example. Not only will this dictate which dumbbell exercises you select it will also dictate the weight, type of adjustable dumbbells and number of sets and repetitions you choose.

For sample weight training programs that focus on different elements of strength see the main strength training section.

For a highly effective program to help you get a flat belly, try the Flat Belly Fix. I tried their morning tea recipe and started seeing results after a week.

Chest Dumbbell Exercises

Flat Chest Presses

  1. Lying flat on bench, hold the dumbbells directly above chest, arms extended.
  2. Lower dumbbells to chest in a controlled manner.
  3. Press dumbbells back to starting position and repeat.
  4. Avoid locking elbows

Incline Chest Presses

  1. Adjust bench to an incline of 30 to 45 degrees.
  2. Repeat as above.

Flat Chest Flies

  1. Lying flat on bench, hold dumbbells directly above chest.
  2. Bend elbows slightly and maintain throughout the exercise.
  3. Open arms to sides. Elbows should remain ‘locked’ in a slightly flexed position.
  4. When upper arms are parallel to floor, return the weights to the starting position and repeat.

Incline Chest Flies

  1. Adjust bench to an incline of 30 to 45 degrees.
  2. Repeat as above.

Shoulder Dumbbell Exercises

Seated Shoulder Presses

  1. Sit upright on bench with dumbbells over head. Make sure back is flat.
  2. Lower dumbbells slowly to shoulders.
  3. When arms are at 90 degrees, press the dumbbells back up and repeat.

Lateral Raises

  1. Stand upright, knees slightly bent, shoulder width apart, holding dumbbells at sides.
  2. Bend elbows slightly and raise the dumbbells out to sides. Keep elbows slightly bent throughout.
  3. When arms are parallel to floor, slowly lower back and repeat.

Reverse Flies

  1. Sit on edge of bench, feet flat on the floor. Bend over so chest is almost resting on thighs.
  2. Hold dumbbells next to feet and bend arms slightly. Open arms out keeping elbows bent.
  3. When arms are parallel to floor, slowly lower dumbbells back.

Front Raises

  1. Stand upright, knees slightly bent, shoulder width apart. Palms should be towards thighs.
  2. Raise one dumbbell directly in front of you.
  3. When arm is parallel to ground lower dumbbell slowly back. Repeat with the other arm.

Back Dumbbell Exercises

Dead Lifts

  1. Stand upright, feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Bend lower back and knees to lower the weights down your legs. Back must remain flat, lower back should be arched inwards slightly. Keep head up throughout exercise.
  3. Stand upright using lower back and legs, maintaining flat back and keeping your head up.

Single Arm Row

  1. Stand upright next to bench. Place one knee and hand on bench. Upper body should be parallel to floor.
  2. Hold one dumbbell with arm extended.
  3. Raise dumbbell up to your midsection keeping back still throughout movement.
  4. Slowly lower dumbbell to start position and repeat. After desired number of reps repeat for other arm.

Lying Bent Over Rows

  1. Lie face down on a flat or slightly inclined bench. Hold two dumbbells and let arms hang down.
  2. Pull dumbbells up towards chest.
  3. Slowly lower dumbbells back down and repeat.

Trapezius Dumbbell Exercises

Upright Rows

  1. Stand upright, feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Keeping dumbbells close to body, raise them to chin.
  3. Hold for a count of 2 and slowly lower to start position and repeat.

Shrugs

  1. Stand upright, feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Keeping arms straight ‘shrug’ shoulders as high as possible and hold for a count of 3.
  3. Relax and repeat.
  4. Do not roll shoulders backwards as you shrug up.

Biceps Dumbbell Exercises

Decline Seated Bicep Curls

  1. Adjust bench to a 45 degree incline.
  2. Hold dumbbells at sides. Arms should be fully extended.
  3. Keep elbows close to body and curl weight up by bending elblows.
  4. Slowly lower dumbbells and repeat.

Hammer curls

  1. Stand upright with dumbells at sides.
  2. Turn palms inward so they face body.
  3. Curl dumbbells up slowly keeping your elbows close to sides.

Preacher Curls

  1. Set bench so back rest is approx 45 degrees.
  2. Stand behind the bench. Holding dumbbell rest back of upper arm on back rest, arm fully extended.
  3. Keep back of upper arm against back rest and curl dumbbell up towards face.
  4. Slowly lower dumbbell until arm is not quite fully extended and repeat for desired number of reps before switching arms.

Concentration Curls

  1. Sit on edge of bench with feet flat on the floor.
  2. Holding dumbbell place elbow on inside of thigh, just above knee.
  3. Curl dumbbell up towards your face. Do not swing back as you lift the weight.
  4. Slowly lower the weight and repeat for desired number of reps before switching arms.

Triceps Dumbbell Exercises

Overhead Triceps Extensions

  1. Stand upright, feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Hold dumbbell directly above head with arm fully extended. Clasp elbow with free hand for support.
  3. Slowly let elbow fold so dumbbell is lowered behind head.
  4. Extend arm back to starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps and switch arms.

French Presses

  1. Lie flat on bench. Hold dumbbells directly above chest with palms facing each other. Dumbbells should be just about touching each other.
  2. Keeping your shoulders locked, let your elbows fold so dumbbells are lowered down to either side of head.
  3. Extend both your arms back to start position and repeat.

Triceps Kickbacks

  1. Stand upright next to bench. Place one arm and leg on bench. Upper body should be parallel to ground.
  2. Holding dumbbell raise elbow so upper arm is parallel to ground. Elbow should be bent at right angles.
  3. Extend elbow so entire arm is parallel to ground.
  4. Slowly return to start position and repeat for desired number of reps before changing arms.

Leg Dumbbell Exercises

Half Squats

  1. Holding dumbbells at sides, stand upright with your feet shoulder width apart.
  2. Bend from knees until thighs are almost parallel to the ground (avoid letting knees turn inwards).
  3. Keep back flat, lower back slightly arched inwards and head up.
  4. Return to upright position and repeat.

Dumbbell Lunges

  1. Holding dumbbells at sides, stand upright with feet slightly less than shoulder width apart.
  2. Step forward about 2 feet with one foot and bend knee to about 90 degrees. As you plant your foot bend trailing knee so it nearly touches floor.
  3. Push off with front foot to return to starting position.
  4. Repeat for the desired number of reps and change legs.

Calf Dumbbell Exercises

Single Leg Calf Presses

  1. Set the back rest to upright position. Holding dumbbell in one hand at side, place other hand on top of bench for support.
  2. Stand on one foot on edge of bench frame.
  3. Stand up on tip toe using free hand to balance yourself. Do not to push yourself up with your hand.
  4. Slowly lower yourself to the ground and repeat for desired number of reps before changing legs.

Seated Calf Raises

  1. Sit on the edge of the bench, feet flat on the floor about 12 inches apart.
  2. Rest dumbells on thighs while keeping hold of them.
  3. While staying seated raise heels by just using toes.
  4. Lower your heels to the ground and repeat.

Workout in the park

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