The Super Six Dumbbell Lifts

The Super Six Dumbbell Lifts

30 June 2016

The Super Six Lifts

“The process of consistently training with constant progression has undeniable benefits such as an improved physique, better confidence, less stress and a healthier body. All of these possibilities are waiting for those who dare to face adversity and rise up to the challenge before them,” says Ash Forster, Australian Fitness Professional.

Improving your strength and fitness provides an endless number of benefits for the body and mind. But what happens when motivation is high, the training environment is ideal but knowledge is lacking?

Too many times I have seen people give up having never achieved their training goals. Constant program changes, too many exercises, ineffective movements and  techniques can lead to high drop-out rates and an ever growing list of people who never quite hit their target.

In this article I introduce 6 dumbbell exercises suitable for EVERYBODY that can help you build muscle and increase strength. These moves combined with optimal nutrition can lead to reduced body fat and an improved metabolic rate.

NOTE: Take care to perform each exercise properly and build the mind-muscle connection throughout the exercise.

LIFT 1 – DUMBBELL SQUAT

Muscles: Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, lower back, core, spinal erectors

Execution: Holding the dumbbells at your sides, with a neutral spine bend the knees and push the hips backwards as you slowly lower your hips towards the floor.

The dumbbell squat should look like you are sitting on a very small chair. When you reach the bottom position push through the centre of the feet and stand up to return to the upright position

Benefits include:

  • Stronger legs and posterior chain
  • Stronger hips and better hip control
  • Increased energy burning capacity and improved hormone function

 

LIFT 2 – DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS

Muscles: Pectorals, shoulders, triceps
Execution: Lying flat on a bench, brace your feet on the floor and stabilise the spine by activating the abdominal muscles. Holding the dumbbells above your chest with the palms facing towards the feet, slowly lower the dumbbells to the side of the chest. As you do this you will separate the dumbbells to share the load across the chest and shoulders. When you reach the maximum depth without rotating the arms squeeze the chest muscles and push the dumbbells back to their starting position.

Benefits include:

  • Increased “pushing” and upper body strength
  • Create lean muscle in the arms, shoulders and chest
  • Increased energy burning capacity and improved hormone function

 

LIFT 3 – DUMBBELL ROW

Muscles: Back muscles (rhomboids, trapezius, latissimus dorsi) shoulders, biceps
Execution: Standing upright holding two dumbbells (one in each hand), lean forward 45º while bending the knees a little and pushing the hips back slightly. The dumbbells should now be hanging under the shoulders just in front of the knees.

Pull the shoulders back, and row the weight towards the body aiming to have the hands finish at the side of the middle ribs. The angle of the row should be perpendicular to the angle of the upper body leaning forward. Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

Benefits include:

  • Increased “pulling” and upper body strength
  • Create lean muscle in the arms, shoulders and back
  • Improve posture
  • Increased energy burning capacity and improved hormone function

 

LIFT 4 – DUMBBELL LUNGE

Muscles:  Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, lower back, core, spinal erectors
Execution: Standing upright with the dumbbells held at the side of the body, take a medium to big step forward. Take care not to push the front knee past the toes of the front foot. Regain stability and raise the back heel as you lower the back knee towards the floor. Stop at a depth that is comfortable for you aiming to get the back knee as close to the floor as possible. When you reach the bottom depth, push with the back foot and heel of the front foot to raise and move the hips over the front foot. The back foot will move forward and return to the position beside the front foot

Benefits include:

  • Stronger legs and posterior chain
  • Stronger hips and better lower body stability
  • Increased energy burning capacity and improved hormone function

 

LIFT 5 – DUMBBELL OVERHEAD PRESS

Muscles: Shoulders, triceps, core muscles and spinal erectors
Execution: Standing in the upright position, Hold the dumbbells at the side of the body at shoulder level with the palms facing forward. Your elbows should be positioned underneath your hands at this point. Push the dumbbells overhead, slowly bringing them together as you pass the ears. As you push the dumbbells up and together the arms will straighten signalling the maximal height. Reverse the movement and lower back down to the sides.

Benefits include:

  • Increased “pushing” and upper body strength
  • Create lean muscle in the arms, shoulders
  • Increased energy burning capacity and improved hormone function
  • Increased stability for overhead movements

 

LIFT 6 – DUMBBELL DEAD LIFT

Please consult a professional if you are unsure about your dead lift form.

Muscles: Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, lower back, core, spinal erectors
Execution: The Dumbbell dead lift has snuck onto this list by it’s effectiveness but can be performed incorrectly if you do not pay careful attention to form and spinal position.

Begin in the upright position holding the dumbbells at the sides. Your spine should be in a neutral or straight position and will stay like this for the duration of the lift. Move your hips backward horizontally as far as you can. Lean forward or “hinge” at the hips while keeping the straight back position. Lower the dumbbells as low as you can while feeling the activation through the glute and hamstring muscles. When the hips have moved back as far as possible then reverse the movement and return to the upright position.

Benefits include:

  • Stronger legs and posterior chain
  • Stronger hips and better lower body stability
  • Increased energy burning capacity and improved hormone function
  • Reduced lower back pain

 

These six dumbbell exercises can be performed with the MX55 adjustable dumbbells or traditional weight sets and will get you on the fast track to achieving your goals.

With improved results you should find it easier to be more consistent leading to more results, increased motivation and ultimately a new healthy lifestyle.

Train hard always,
your Fitness Professional
Ash Forster BSc(SprtsSc)

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About Our Blogger – Ash

Ash is a movement and human performance specialist based in Western Australia. Specialising in weight loss, strength and conditioning and nutrition, Ash has an extensive martial arts background and is the founder of ‘Origin Fitness’.

Dedicating his time to self-development and personal training, Ash seeks to improve the lives of others teaching physical autonomy, cultivating a healthy lifestyle and effective strength and conditioning training.

Constantly looking for new ‘flow states’ both in and out of the gym, Ash is driven by the desire to find new training modalities that challenge the limitations of traditional athletic improvement.

Ash holds a double degree in Sports Science and Nutrition from the Edith Cowan University. Ash is an Accredited Exercise Scientist through ESSA and a certified instructor of ‘Animal Flow’, which combines quadrupedal and ground-based movement with elements from various bodyweight-training disciplines.

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