How to get started
What to lift:
For dumbbell exercises, use five- to 10-pound (two- to five- kilogram) weights. Once you can easily do 12 repetitions, try heavier weights.
Complete one to two sets of eight to 12 repetitions for each of the exercises you do.
Side raise with dumbbells
Works: anterior and middle deltoids
A. Stand with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, let your arms hang by your sides, palms facing in.
B. Keep a slight bend in your elbows as you raise your arms out to the sides until the dumbbells are level with shoulders and palms face the floor.
C. Lower your arms; repeat.
A. Get into a push-up position with arms straight but with knees on the floor and feet in the air. Hands should be under your shoulders but closer together than in a regular push-up.
B. Tighten abs and bend arms, bringing chest toward the floor. Keep upper arms close to your sides and back straight. Elbows should point behind, not out.
C. Straighten arms to the starting position; repeat.
Overhead extension with dumbbells
A. Stand with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent, and hold a dumbbell in each hand.
B. Reach arms overhead, holding the dumbbells vertically. Keep wrists straight. Bend elbows, lowering the dumbbells behind head. Keep upper arms close to your head and elbows pointing toward the ceiling.
C. Straighten your arms upward; repeat
A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, grasping a dumbbell in each hand.
B. With palms facing forward, bend your elbows and pull the weight up towards your shoulders.
C. Lower your arms; repeat
Horizontal row with dumbbells
Works: posterior deltoids
A. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and get on hands and knees. Keep back straight. Align knees under hips and right hand under right shoulder, palm facing in. With elbow slightly bent, reach left arm out to the side (keep dumbbell on floor). Your palm should be facing back.
B. Tighten abdominal muscles. Squeeze shoulder blades together and lift left arm up until the upper arm is parallel to the floor and elbow is slightly behind you. Your forearm should be hanging down with the palm facing back.
C. Return to start and finish the set; switch sides.
Works: triceps and pectoral muscles.
A. On a weight-lifting bench, lie on your back with both feet planted firmly on the floor.
B. Reach up to grasp the barbell with both hands.
C. Pull the barbell down toward your chest then push it away from you. Do at least 12 repetitions using as much weight as you can.