As a personal trainer for whom most of my clients are overweight women, I recommend the following dumbbell exercises for women who are interested in toning their bodies.
Standing alternate dumbbell lunges provide excellent health benefits for women. Perform this exercise with a three to five pound dumbbell. Lunges exercise the quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteus maximus muscles.
Perform this exercise in an open space or area where you have room to lunge forward. It may help to perform this exercise in front of a mirror to check your posture and form. Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand with hands lowered by your sides.
Keep your chest erect and spine straight while stepping the right foot forward, bending the knee 90 degrees until it’s just above the ankle. Step back into the starting position and repeat this exercise on the left side. Complete 10 to 20 repetitions and perform two to three sets.
Standing alternate biceps curls help strengthen the biceps. Perform this exercise with three to five pound dumbbells. To begin, stand with feet hip-width apart. Place a dumbbell in each hand and lower arms to your sides.
Lift the right hand, bending the arm at the elbow and bring the dumbbell to the right shoulder. Your palm should face your chest. Hold the dumbbell for a count of three before lowering the weight. Repeat this exercise on the left side. Perform up to 12 repetitions, for one to three sets for maximum results.
Exercise the rotator cuff using a five pound dumbbell. Sit on a gym bench sideways. Place your feet flat on the floor with knees bent to a 90 degree angle. Pick up the dumbbell in your right hand, and place your left palm on the left thigh.
Your right elbow should be bent at approximately a 90 degree angle and drawn toward your left biceps to begin this exercise. Raise the dumbbell up and across your chest until it’s near but not touching your right thigh.
Pause momentarily and then return the dumbbell to the start position. You can repeat this exercise for up to 10 repetitions. Remember to engage your abdomen while performing this exercise, and keep your chest erect.
You don’t need heavy weights to perform an effective bench press. Most people envision men lifting their body weight and more when performing the bench press. An effective bench press can be performed using 20 pound dumbbells.
You can perform this exercise at home on a stability ball, or at the gym using an exercise bench to support your back and shoulders. Your back, head, and shoulders should rest on the bench or ball. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, raise each arm until it’s directly over your head. Your wrists and palms should be facing away from your body.
Inhale, bending your elbows, lowering your arms to your chest, and push the dumbbells back up again. By moving slowly through this exercise, your muscles will work harder and tone up.