The Power of Free Weights and Dumbbells
Last updated on : December 14 2017
Some of us worry about using weights to exercise because we think they will make us bulky or masculine. However, nothing is further from the truth.
There are many advantages to strength training and no reason not to start using free weights today. They burn calories faster than traditional cardio and develop a figure that is toned and slender.
To start, try dumbbells because these small weights are easy to use at all skill levels. And work for targeted exercising.
Dumbbells or hand-held free weights are small pieces of weight-training equipment. They are useful for women because they target specific areas of the body and build overall strength.
They come in different sizes, weights, and types making them accessible and fun choices. Add a bit of girly flair to your workout session, go ahead and pick a pair of stylish, colorful ones!
These little wonders are more affordable than other pieces of gym equipment. So you can buy a range to suit your every exercise need. They are used comfortably at home and add resistance to aerobic exercises, like cycling on a stationary bike or running on the treadmill.
Reasons to Start Using Dumbbells
Still, need convincing? Check out these solid ideas for working out with these little weights.
You get a more sculpted shape
Sure, cardio workouts are essential; but only doing cardio is not enough. When you want a tight, fit frame with curves in all the right places, you need to add weight to your exercise regime, and free weights are a perfect choice.
Weights tone your body and create defined curves by targeting specific areas. Consider talking to your fitness trainer about getting you started on handheld free weights at the gym or home.
You exercise different body parts
A myth associated with dumbbells is that they are only good for toning your biceps!
The fact is that you can use these small weights to exercise your arms, back, legs, and to build core strength.
Whether you are working towards a sexy butt or trying to shape your calves, they help get you there. Also, since they allow more flexibility and natural movement, your chances of injury during a workout session is massively reduced.
You gain in strength, not in size
It's hard for women to obtain masculine bulk with weight training. Because we have fewer hormones causing muscular hypertrophy than men. So there is no risk of turning into The Hulk.
Handheld free weights define your muscle tone and build core strength, making you fit from within. Moreover, with a stronger core, shoulders, back, and neck you get a better posture. All of this reduces pain in the lower-back and provides you with a walking tall, confident gait.
You build muscular endurance
Women who enjoy sports or other physical activities know the importance of developing endurance in their muscles. A tennis match or a game of volleyball requires using your muscles for a prolonged time. Getting them in shape improves your abilities and gives you more opportunity to take part.
The American College of Sports Medicine recommends using lighter weights for low-intensity workouts and gradually adding weight to enhance endurance. Over time your muscles become more lean, stronger, and burn more fat (even when you bust your caloric intake during your lunchtime splurge with co-workers).
You burn more fat than cardio
Research indicates that women who practice strength-training routines two to three times a week burn more calories compared to those who do not. As you gain muscle, you lose fat—even when you are sitting on the couch or at work. For us, that is reason enough to go shopping for these versatile weights.
Men’s Health, explains, “Getting a new body doesn’t have to be complicated. Whether you’re aiming for rapid fat loss, bulging muscles or cardiovascular fitness, a pair of dumbbells will tick the box if used correctly.
Yes, curls might get the girls, but increasing your free weight ability with a few extra moves will get you to your goals faster.”
It improves cardiovascular health
Using these small exercise tools raises your heart rate, thus building cardio stamina.
Improved cardio stamina lowers blood pressure and regulates cholesterol. All of this keeps one of the most important organs in your body healthy and reduces the risk of heart-related ailments.
You get improved bone strength
A worrying disease that affects a significant number of women is osteoporosis. Using free weights regularly minimizes your risk of developing this dreaded condition.
The resistance from their use increases your bone density, reducing the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. Coupled with the right diet and calcium supplementation, starting off with dumbbells is a good defense against bone-related issues.
Your mood improves
Weight-training using dumbbells has a positive effect on how you feel.
Workouts of a moderate to high intensity have similar effects on your body as acupuncture. They release endorphins known to uplift mood and prevent pain.
Weights give women more confidence and a positive outlook on life which in turn, provides more benefits. Like increased productivity, improved memory, and decreased levels of stress. A virtuous circle!
Tips on Using Free Weights the Right Way
If you have never used free weights before, begin with lighter amounts of 2 to 3 pounds each.
As you get the hang of it, increase the weight and difficulty levels to keep your body challenged. Ask an expert for help with sizes depending on your fitness level and type of exercise, so that you maximize your workout sessions.
Consider getting adjustable versions—although they cost a bit more, it can be a smarter choice in the long run.
Remember to stretch
It is essential to warm up for 5-10 minutes before performing your strength training exercises. Walking, jogging or stretching are a few ways to do that.
Stretching improves posture, flexibility, and your overall outlook on life. It is the foundation of many exercises that work to strengthen your core and muscle endurance.
Focus on technique
As a beginner, avoid focusing on the number of repetitions, instead spend time learning the right exercise technique. The correct form helps you target particular muscle groups with controlled movements, and also reduces the chance of injury.
To achieve the proper form, you must choose the right weight. Too heavy and you'll struggle to maintain technique and too light, and you'll undermine effectiveness. Select a weight that allows you to complete the exercise correctly for at least 10 to 15 repetitions
Pay attention to breathing properly
When lifting, breathe out through your mouth. Take a deep breath in as you lower the weight and return to the starting position.
Breathing in when straining your muscles and out when releasing the strain is essential. It lets oxygen reach your muscles when they are working harder making your workout more efficient.
Even a small, lightweight pair of dumbbells or hand-held free weights gives you several health benefits. Importantly, you will not bulk you up but instead be toned, fit and more satisfied with your achievements.
However as always, consult a fitness expert before starting any new workout, and supplement your physical activity with the right diet and lifestyle.
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