Even if the only gym equipment you have at home or at work is a pair of dumbbells, you can already do a lot of exercise. That’s right: With the right routine and a positive mindset, a pair of dumbbells is all you will need to burn some calories. Here are some two-hand dumbbells exercises and the benefits that go with each workout routine:
• Bent Over Row
Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and bend forward at the hip. At this point, your upper body should be almost parallel to the ground. Keep your back straight and your abs tight as you row or lift the weights up to your chest. Lower the weights and repeat. Make sure to go at your own pace and your own intensity. This exercise works out several muscles in the body, especially in the upper region such as the rhomboids, biceps, traps, and lats.
• Step Ups
For this workout, you will need something to step on—such as aerobic steps or a stable concrete bench. Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, arms at your sides with the palms facing towards you. Place your left foot on the platform and push to lift your body and put the right foot onto the platform. Keep the dumbbells at your sides during the entire workout. Step off the platform with your left foot first before the right foot, and then repeat. This flexes your hip and knees and fires up your gluteus maximus. Leg exercises such as this one will also increase the stability and strength of your joint muscles, which prevents injuries in the future.
• Scaption or Scapular Plane Elevation
Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, arms at your side and the palms of your hands facing forwards. Lift the weights in an arc until your shoulders are stretched. Make sure your arms are straight. You do not need to lift them all the way above your head, so make sure to watch your limit. This workout targets the muscles around your shoulders and the surrounding ligaments.
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Well maintained exercise equipment will ensure the consistent quality of your workouts. Just as you follow a workout routine for your body, it is also important that you set a good maintenance routine for the machines that help you perform your daily exercise. Whether you run an entire fitness center or your own home gym, keeping your equipment in their optimum working condition is an essential part of upkeep. Exercise equipment are significant investments, which is why taking good care of your machines is important to make sure that they last longer and avoid wear. Here are practical ways to help maintain your ab workout machines:
• Keep your ab machines clean at all times. Workout sessions involve a great deal of sweating. Cleaning machine surfaces every after workout or at regular time intervals is critical not only to hygiene, but also to keeping the health of your machine. Regular cleaning will also help you diagnose potential damages and need for repair so small problems like loose bolts and the like don’t cause accidents or even more expensive damages.
• When you own multiple machines, take note of which of your machines take the most abuse and schedule regular testing and maintenance on them. Poorly maintained exercise machines, especially those that endure intense use age and wear faster, but a good maintenance routine will help keep them in tip top shape.
• Manufacturer guidelines and manuals usually include maintenance instructions and care guides to ensure proper upkeep of these machines. Make sure that you learn these manuals by heart and follow the guidelines so as to maximize the lifespan of your exercise unit.
• Lubricate pedals, rotary parts, and joints of machines with moving parts to avoid sticking. (Add a line or two to balance the depth of information as compared to other bullet points)
• Always keep a repair kit so you can do simple fix-ups, but make sure to call up professionals when serious repairs are required.
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Many people prefer to be in the presence of others while they exercise because being in public motivates them to work out harder. But let’s face it—not everyone likes exercising while others are watching. The privacy of a home gym can be beneficial for those in the latter group.
Aside from privacy, there are many benefits to setting up workout machines and gym equipment at home. One of the biggest is sanitation and hygiene. If you have ever stepped into a membership gym, you might be apprehensive about using equipment that other people before you used. There is no worry about germs when you work out in your own private gym. You never need to wonder if the bench you are lying down on is covered by a stranger’s sweat and tears, because you will be doing the cleaning and maintenance yourself.
Safety is another benefit of having your own home gym. You can personally inspect your gym equipment and replace any worn out parts to keep yourself and your family safe from harm—which is something that you cannot be sure of when working out in a membership gym. Most gyms are reliable enough, but why leave it up to them when you could control the environment yourself?
Finally, there’s cost and convenience. You no longer need to wake up extra early and spend on gas to get to your gym because all the equipment you need is at home. You don’t have to pay a membership fee nor spend on fancy gym clothes to look presentable. You also won’t be tempted to buy a fancy smoothie from the juice bar. While you have to make a sizeable investment on your own equipment, they pay for themselves quite quickly because of all the savings you will make—both in terms of money and time.
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It seems people do not have the time to exercise nowadays, which is why the term “mini workouts” has taken over the internet and social media channels such as Instagram and Pinterest. The idea of micro or mini-workouts is that you exercise for 5 to 10 minutes a day, or do 3 small workout sessions throughout the day. For example, you can jog for 10 minutes in the morning before getting ready for work, then exercise again for 5 to 10 minutes during your lunch break. Before hitting the bed, you can squeeze in another 10-minute workout to complete the three sessions for the day. Of course, even mini workouts require gym equipment. Here are a few things you might find handy:
• Exercise mat
A little stretching on an exercise mat before and after a workout—no matter how short—is still essential to prevent any injury. Plus, there are many exercise routines that may require you to lie down on a mat (such as abdominal crunches).
Routine workouts such as the push-ups, squats, straight punches etc. become more challenging and exciting with the help of a pair of 3 to 10-pound dumbbells. Working out with a pair of dumbbells for half an hour instantly burns up calories and fires up the muscles in the arms and core.
• Medicine ball
Like dumbbells, a medicine ball makes things a tad more difficult. Make sure to purchase a medicine ball that is made with high-quality material and not split into two parts.
• Jumping or skipping ropes
Skipping rope for even just two minutes immediately hikes up the heart rate during a warm up. Since you only have a few minutes, you need warm up gym equipment that needs to get your heart going and sweat dripping fast.
If it is raining outside and you can’t jog for 10 minutes, then step on a treadmill that offers the same amount of workout as running outdoors. Running for 10 minutes is a quick workout that allows you to watch television or read a book at the same time. Talk about hitting two birds with one stone.
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Dumbbells are hardworking, versatile, and affordable workout tools that can make your exercise routine more challenging. Anyone can do squats or lunges, for example, but add a three to ten-pound dumbbell to the equation and the difference can be quite shocking. Here are just one of the exercises that you can do with dumbbells:
• Push up position curl
Push-ups can be quite boring, but add a dumbbell and the workout becomes a lot more exciting. Assume a regular push-up position with the palms of your hands facing each other while holding a dumbbell in each hand. The weight of the dumbbell should depend on how much you can handle. If you are a beginner, it is advisable that you start with a three-pound dumbbell then add more weight as it gets easier. Afterwards, lift the dumbbell in one hand slightly off the floor while you curl it towards your shoulder. Lower that arm, then repeat with the other arm; then alternate between arms for thirty to sixty seconds.
• Straight Punches
Victoria’s Secret girls can do it, and if you need any evidence of how much this exercise routine works, just take a look at their abs and arms. First, stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and assume a punching position with your arms—pyramid-like, with your hands (carrying dumbbells) close to each other. Twist one arm forward as you punch, pull that arm back close to your body and then alternate with the other arm and repeat. Figure out the range of your arm that is most comfortable and try not to move your body too much, aside from the natural twisting of your abdomen and legs. Repeat this for sixty seconds and for three intervals.
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Elliptical Trainers are ideal workout machines, especially when you are only starting out. They are low-impact machines that are easy on the joints, yet offer enough resistance to challenge both your upper and lower body to encourage optimal calorie burn. Unlike your traditional treadmill, an elliptical has cushioned pedals along with a drive system, which creates a smooth, gliding, circular motion that replicates walking or jogging without the usual stress on the joints as the feet are supported by the pedals at all times. In addition to working the lower body, elliptical trainers simultaneously hit the upper body, which helps increase muscle tone and add to calorie burn. If you think that an elliptical is the perfect entry-level workout machine for you, here are tips on getting the best bang for your buck:
The first consideration you should make once deciding to buy an elliptical trainer is the budget. You should know exactly how much you are willing to spend so as not to overpay for an overly expensive machine with features that you will never use. Familiarize yourself with the different features and tiers of trainers available in the market. Fortunately for you, companies that sell gym equipment make the task easier by providing you with lists of products and the features they offer for easier selection. The basic types of elliptical trainers include basic, standard, home use, and elite, each with their own price range.
Compact ellipticals that are designed for personal use for instance, are ideal for those looking for a basic machine. Basic units may not have the bells and whistles and custom features of other more advanced machines, but they are way cheaper and will give you all you need without forcing you to spend more on features you don’t really need. These machines usually start at around $500, while higher end models sell for $1,500 and above.
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There are gyms everywhere now, but if you don’t have the time to go to them or if gym memberships are ridiculously high, you might want to consider buying your own home gym equipment so you can work out any time you wish. While fitness equipment isn’t really gender-specific, there is still some gym equipment that are more suitable for the average female physique. But before moving on to the top home gym equipment for women, it is first important to know the things that you have to keep in mind when choosing your equipment. You must consider your budget, fitness goals, and you will need to determine whether you want a strengthening, aerobic, sport-specific, or balance workout. It is ideal to go for gym equipment that’s multi-purpose. You should also consider equipment that is less complicated to assemble if you are not mechanically inclined.
You may have encountered certain machineries that claim to flatten your belly or shrink thighs. While their claims are promising, it is best to avoid these types of equipment because spot reduction is really just a myth. When it comes to machines, you might want to stick with the popular ones, such as the treadmill. But if you want something else, you can go for an elliptical machine, stationary bike, or a rowing machine. All of these machines help you get a cardio workout, which is essential to losing weight.
If your fitness goal is to tone up, you will need to use weights. Dumbbells are great for basic moves, but if you want a more explosive strengthening workout, then you should probably use kettle bells. Aside from dumbbells and kettle bells, other tools that you can use to tone your muscles are wrist and ankle weight, exercise balls, and medicine balls.
Your home gym equipment does not have to be expensive to be effective. You just have to find the right types and purchase them from reputable suppliers.
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