We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
Train with weights to sculpt strong, toned upper arms.
Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images
Using free weights, such as dumbbells, is an effective way for beginners to start a strength-training program. Dumbbells are easy to use and come in a variety of weights, ranging from a light 1 to 5 pounds up to a heavy 40 pounds or more. Some weights are adjustable to allow you to add or remove weight. Dumbbells activate the stabilizing muscle groups in your arms, and they also allow for a more natural and wider range of motion. Beginners should seek instruction from a qualified fitness instructor to ensure they perform exercises using the correct form to reduce the risk of injury.
Importance of Strength Training
Strength training helps build muscle mass because it is anaerobic exercise. Your muscles work hard during a short burst of exertion when you lift weights, and overloading the muscle this way helps increase muscle size and strength. Strong muscles improve your athletic performance and increase your endurance. Stressing your muscles and bones by lifting weights helps to reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis. You will also burn more calories when you build muscle, because muscle requires more energy than fat tissue.
You should exercise each major muscle group two to three times each week. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, beginners should start with very-light- to light-intensity exercise and do one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions of strength-training exercises per workout. Take 24 to 48 hours of rest between workouts to allow your muscles time to recover and heal. Do a five- to 10-minute warm-up before you work out by doing some light exercise and then do a cool-down afterward. Always stretch after you warm up and cool down to avoid injury.
You can do a variety of dumbbell exercises to help strengthen your biceps. Sit or lie down on a bench and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Extend your arms at your sides and hold the weights with your palms up. Keep your arms close to your body and curl your arm up by bending your elbow. Hammer curls are performed the same way except your palms are facing each other. Preacher curls and concentration curls are also effective free-weight exercises for your biceps.
Your triceps muscles are located on the back of your arms, and it can be difficult to train this muscle; however, dumbbells can make it little easier to tone up this trouble spot. Triceps extensions help to stretch and strengthen your triceps as you lower the dumbbell behind your head and lift it back up toward the ceiling. Do French presses by lying on a flat bench and holding the dumbbells above your chest with your palms facing inward. Bend your elbows and lower the weights to each side of your head. You should feel the extension of your triceps muscles when doing this exercise. Lean on a bench with one leg and bend forward until your body is parallel to the floor when doing triceps kickbacks.