Dumbbells are great to use in strength and power training, especially for athletes. Using DB's instead of a barbell forces each hand to work independently of one another, thereby teaching balance between the two sides of the body.
When it comes to DB's, an entire workout can be created that utilizes muscles in almost every part of the body. From pressing movements to more functional movements, DB's are very effective in training an athlete's total body.
Following is a DB workout for athletes which works the upper and lower body. First we will indicate the specific exercises, and then place them in which order to perform, along with a suggestion of reps and sets.
DB Bench Press (Chest)
Lying flat on a bench, press both DB's out over the chest. DB's can be pressed simultaneously, or alternated.
DB Curl and Press (Biceps, Shoulders)
While standing, hold DB's at your side. Curl them towards your shoulders, and when at the top, press them straight overhead.
DB Bent Row (Back)
With feet shoulder width apart, bend at waist with a slight bend in your knees. While keeping your back straight, extend DB's towards the floor, and pull back up towards body. This action is the opposite action of the DB bench press.
DB Walking Lunges (Legs)
Holding DB's and each hand, perform walking lunges over a set distance. An ideal distance is typically up to the athlete, but about 20 feet is adequate.
DB Step Ups (Legs)
Place a foot on either a box or a bench, while the other foot is located on the floor. Driving off the elevated leg, raise your entire body off the ground, and at the top, raise the opposite knee in a running motion.
DB squat and press (Total body)
This is great for an athletes entire body! Hold DB's at your shoulders with feet about shoulder width apart. Squat down to a parallel position with weights still at shoulders. Immediately stand and at the top, press DB's overhead.
DB Bench - 3 sets of 8-10 reps
DB Curl and Press - 3 sets of 6-8 reps
DB Bent Row - 3 sets of 8 reps
DB Walking Lunges - 3 sets of about 20 ft per set
DB Step ups - 3 sets of 8 reps per leg
DB Squat and press - 3 sets of 6-8 reps
Find a weight that is suitable for each exercise
Adjust the sets according to your fitness level
To build more muscle, increase weight and lower reps
To build more fast twitch muscle fibers for speed, decrease weight and increase speed of reps
Focus on form and function
This is a great routine for athletes, and you don't have to perform all of one exercise, then move on to the next. You can perform a set of each, then return to the first exercise until finished.
Adjust this workout to your preference and have fun with it! Good luck!
About the Author
Daimond Dixon is a Nike SPARQ Certified Performance Trainer who has psecialized in training athletes over the past decade. Visit his performance site at www.ProPowerTraining.com
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