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Spruce Up the Workouts With Dumbbell Movements

Stew Smith, CSCS

Many people like to go to the weight room and start performing the standard isolation exercises either using a machine weight system or even free weights. Afterwards, they do a 20-30 minute cycle of cardio vascular exercise. Then, after a normal day of picking up groceries in/out of the car and into the house and some moderate yard work, they find themselves injured. Usually, this injury involves the lower back.

I have found after a few decades of training that the body really performs best when it is accustomed to movements not joint isolation exercises. There are training programs out there that focus on Core Development yet really perform standard isolation exercises like crunches or situps and some back extensions.

Now, do not get me wrong, isolation exercises have their place as they are safe, effective ways to train muscles that need rehabilitating. They are also a great way to build a foundation of training that should inevitably lead to tougher movement exercises.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, check out how you can turn a bicep curl, military press, triceps extension into one steady movement involving several joints and balance if you try in standing on one leg.

I call this one Multi-Joint Dumbbell #1 or MJDB#1:

Now add in a squat to the exercise and a real life movement of picking up something off the floor and lifting it over your head is developing into MJDB#2:

Even more challenging is the MJDB#3 where you add in a squat thrust and some pushups:

It may take some time to build up to MJDB#3, but as you can see all it took was some imagination and you turned a tired old set of dumbbells into a harder exercise full body movement program. As you progress with your program, add Olympic weight lifting, yoga, and any martial arts movements and you will see a difference in your entire body. Remember fitness is a journey – not a destination so visit a variety of programs.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 5 years ago


    Wow, imagine that. Looks good though. I'Il have to try this!

  • Wind_therapy-_angel_max50


    about 5 years ago


    Thanks I have incorporated it in. I like it, it kicks my Butt....

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 5 years ago

    That looks pretty cool. Very beneficial, as long as the foundation is met with basic exercise first.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    about 5 years ago


    Along the lines of a crossfit workout. Good stuff!

  • Lodge_91_max50


    almost 6 years ago


    Wow, Looks interesting. Can't wait to try....

  • 234px-combat_infantry_badge


    about 6 years ago


    about a year ago i fell of a motorcycle and broke both arm, i was off the job for a year.. i am doing about 60 min of walking..lost 30 lbs.. i need tips on low impact training...

  • M_132da652b0444415a22e59d64e4af29a_1__max50


    about 6 years ago


    wow i powerlift is that good

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