We get it: You’re probably not trying to look like The Terminator. But you do want to build muscle tone and burn calories. Luckily, there are some exercises that can be done at home with lightweight, easy to carry dumbbells. For these moves, emphasis is placed on a large number of reps designed to tone and sculpt.
Triceps Kick Back: Kneel on a mat and grab a pair of 3- to 5-pound dumbbells. Lean forward from the hips and hold your arms at 90-degree angles to your body. Straighten your elbows by extending your hands backward and hold for a few seconds. Repeat for 10 reps, and do 3 sets.
Bicep and Deltoid Squeeze: Sit on a mat with your legs crossed in a classic yoga posture. Hold your arms at right angles to your body with elbows bent and palms facing out with dumbbells firmly clenched in your hands. Bring both elbows toward each other with the aim of touching – the level of your arms should be perpendicular to your shoulders. Repeat for 10 reps, and do 3 sets.
Deltoid Back Squeeze: Kneel on the floor or a mat with your butt resting on your legs. Shift your torso slightly forward and then extend your arms backward with a pair of 3 to 5 pound dumbbells in your hands. Keep your arms suspended and not resting on your butt or back. Slowly squeeze your arms together until the dumbbells almost touch.
Chest and Back
Dumbbell Floor Press: Start lying on your back with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Grab a dumbbell in each hand. Position the dumbbells at chest height with your elbows touching the floor. Push both dumbbells off the floor directly overhead. Bring the dumbbells back to the starting position for one rep.
Straight Arm Dumbbell Pullover: The starting position is lying on a bench face up and feet planted firmly on the ground. Grab one dumbbell with both hands on one end while making sure it’s secure. Lower the dumbbell slowly toward the floor behind your head as far as you feel comfortable. Bring it back to the starting position for one rep.
Legs And Glutes
Dumbbell Front Squat: Grab a lightweight dumbbell in each hand and stand with legs shoulder-width apart with the dumbbells raised to shoulder-level and palms facing your neck. Squat like you’re sitting on an imaginary chair while keeping your back as straight as possible and dumbbells stable. Come back to the starting position to complete one rep.
Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat: Standing in front of a bench or step, facing away from it, reach with your foot backwards and prop your foot on the bench with your heel facing the ceiling. Now, you should be standing on one leg with a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knee on the standing leg slightly and push the dumbbells down slowly as far as possible. Come back up slowly. Repeat with the other leg.
Dumbbell Side Lunges: With your feet shoulder width apart, grab a pair of dumbbells holding them at your sides. Take a big step to your left while pushing your hips backward, and lower your body by bending your knees and dropping your hips. Push off your left leg to go back to the starting position. Repeat the exercise for as many reps as possible and switch to the other leg.
Renegade Rows: The starting position is similar to the conventional pushup position but with feet spread apart slightly for support. Your arms, each holding a dumbbell, should be directly under your shoulders and supporting your body. Pull either of the dumbbells to your side for one rep and repeat with the alternate side.
Russian Twist: Sit on a floor or mat and hold a pair of dumbbells close to your chest. Raise your legs slightly from the floor. Keep your spine rigid and using only your arms, bring the dumbbells to the left side and down to the right side alternately to complete a rep.