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What’s up guys, Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.COM. Let’s take a look today at the best Dumbbell exercises that you can be doing, and we have to qualify first that these exercises were chosen because I feel like you can get the best bang for your buck if you’re going to do just a few exercises with a Dumbbell exercises. And why Dumbbells? We love them here at ATHLEANX because they allow you to train like an athlete. You have that three dimensional freedom that you just aren’t afforded with a bar, and you also have that compact space that you can be using to train at home. A lot of guys don’t have room for a full Barbell set but they can clearly fit some Dumbbells in their house and therefore get a great workout in. So let’s take them and break them down one by one and point out the benefits of each as we go. Alright first up is the Dumbbell Curl and Press.
And yes, this is a compound exercise. Most of the exercises in this video will be compound exercises. Because again, we have to get the most bang for our buck, get that work done, get the muscles working quickly. Well with the Dumbbell Curl and Press we have a Bicep movement and a Shoulder movement. And what’s great is we actually get them to blend themselves together, a pull and a push, because of the function of the Biceps.
We know that the full function of the Biceps, to fully contract, has to include some sort of elevation or flexion here of the Shoulder. Well we get that, we get the Curl, we get to continue it right up and through into a flex Shoulder which completes the Shoulder Press. So we have antagonistic muscles that normally don’t like to work together that are actually working together for the common good here to create a great exercise. Next up is an exercise I like to call the Crush Grip Goblet Squat. Yes it’s a Goblet Squat, we know that a Goblet Squat is a great way to train our lower body. Everything, our Glutes, our Quads, our Hamstrings, and what’s great about the Goblet Squat is it actually drops us right down into our natural center of gravity.
So for those people that have a difficult time figuring out where they should be squatting or how wide their feet should be, if you attempt the Goblet Squat normally, you’ll squat right into the position that’s most comfortable and biomechanically correct for you. Beyond that, with the Crush Grip we’re actually getting a chance to incorporate some upper body activity into what would normally be a passive movement for our upper body. If you grab a Dumbbell, on the normal Goblet Squat position which is just holding underneath, you’re not really doing anything actively to hold that Dumbbell, other than supporting it with your hands.
But with the Crush Grip, you’re actually squeezing the Dumbbell between your hands. You’re getting an activation of the Chest. You’re getting an activation of the Delts. You’re getting an activation of your Traps. You’re getting an activation of your Core. Everything now is working, from top to bottom. This makes a superior version of a Goblet Squat, which was already a great exercise. Next up what some people call the Upper Body Squat, the Dumbbell Pullover. I’ve covered the Dumbbell Pullover now in two references. One as a back exercise and one as an upper chest exercise. You know what, I don’t care how you do it, it’s all in the technique. Either way, this is one of the best exercises you can do, especially if all you’ve got is one Dumbbell.
You see, if you take the Dumbbell and your squeeze your hands together, as I’ve shown you in the past. You try to pull your hands up against each other as you pull over your chest, it’s going to work more of your upper chest. If you let your elbows flare out a little bit and you drive with your elbows, lead with your elbows and not with your hands, then you start to get a lot more Lat activation.
But as I said, it doesn’t really matter which one you choose, mix them up back and forth between sets. Work both areas, why not? This is still one of the best exercises you can do for your upper body and certainly one that I would include in my 8 best. Back to the two Dumbbell exercises, and this is one that a lot of guys still haven’t caught on to the value and benefits of it and it’s a traditional Farmers Carry. With a Farmers Carry you simply load up that weight as heavy as you can and do exactly what I’m showing you here, you walk. And if you don’t have a lot of place to walk, then walk back and forth in whatever space you have. The fact of the matter is, that trying to hold onto these Dumbbells becomes infinitely more challenging when you add movement with your lower body. You can try to just stand here and hold Dumbbells, it will be that much easier but it’s when you have that weight shift going on and the fact that your Core hasn’t been stabilized from right to left when you’re in a single leg stance, it just makes it that much more demanding and your grip tends to give out a lot faster.
Now it’s not just a grip and form exercise. It’s also a very demanding upper back, mid back exercise. If you’re going to hold these things and hold them for very long, you’re going to have to learn how to hold with the bigger muscles and let them help you in your upper back. And you can see here, as I walk away, my Triceps, everything is kicking in to try to hold these Dumbbells up. And of course by having the locomotion component here, we’re actually walking too. So we need to make sure that our lower body gets involved too. This is a total body exercise, literally from your fingertips all the way down to your feet. Speaking of those feet to fingertip movements, the Dumbbell Thruster. This is one of those ugly ones. Yeah, these are the ones that just kill you because you’re basically working everything in your body. You start all the way down here in a Squat position and as you come up, you let that momentum continue. But the momentum is only going to get you so far.
The only way you’re going to get those Dumbbells up and over your head is if you Press them, and if you have some pretty good strength to do so. You can load this weight up as heavy as you possibly can because likely, you’re going to be able to handle the Front Squat weight that you are using. It’s a matter of how much you’re going to be able to Press up and over your head that’s going to be the limiting factor of this exercise. But it doesn’t matter, this can quickly become a great Metabolic exercise as well, depending upon what you’re working for. Go a little bit lighter, go for higher reps, make it a great Metabolic booster. If you want to go heavy, you know what to do. Load those Dumbbells up a little bit more and turn this into a Classic Builder for your shoulders and your legs. At ATHLEANX I always say we like to put the Core at the Core of everything we do.
Well this is a perfect example of it. Yes, we can do a regular Dumbbell Incline Bench Press. And we do, do regular Dumbbell Incline Bench Presses. However, this is a 1 Arm Dumbbell Incline Bench and by making this one little tweak, we made the exercise that much more demanding on our Core. You can see that as I lower the Dumbbell all that weight wants to pull me to one side. The only thing I have to stabilize and prevent me from rolling off the bench in the direction of the heavy Dumbbell, is my Core and my Obliques. And I have to make sure that I can contract everything together to keep my low back flat on the bench and then initiate that momentum that I need to push that Dumbbell back up in the opposite direction.
You see we don’t have to just overcome the force of gravity here but really the mechanical disadvantage that our Core is put in, here as we weight up and lower down that Dumbbell. So yeah, this is a great exercise to actually teach us how to overcome the weaknesses we might have in our Core, and generate enough force to get that Dumbbell back up for yet another rep. Not much to debate here when it comes to this exercise, especially as a Metabolically demanding exercise, this is a Dumbbell Swing. All we’re doing here is grabbing a Dumbbell on end with both hands underneath one of the Dumbbell and basically mimicking a Kettlebell Swing. And we know that with a Kettlebell Swing we are getting a great exercise for Glute and Hip Extension. One of the weakest areas of our body, for sure. This though can be done, for lots of reps or not so many reps, again depending upon how much you load this up, but if you go fairly heavy and challenging here, this will quickly not only become a great way to develop the strength in your posterior chain, but you’ll be huffing and puffing for sure, after just a few reps.
Last but not least, we have our Dumbbell Tripod Row. And yeah it looks very similar in motion to a Dumbbell 1 Arm Row but it’s not. Because what we’ve done here is we’ve changed our base of support, and by doing so, we’ve changed the challenge on our Core. With a regular Dumbbell 1 Arm Row, we have one arm and one knee on the bench and the Dumbbell’s held fairly close to our center of gravity. But when we go back to the version I’m showing you here, the Tripod setup, we’ve got a wider base of support, our center of gravity is still towards the center here and we have one Dumbbell that’s held more out to the side, a little further away from our center of gravity. You’ll feel it, even on your very first rep if you try this variation, that you have more of a challenge actually holding your body still and straight as you move the Dumbbell, than you would on a traditional one arm, one leg up because your body is much more in balance that way. However it’s more athletically inclined here because both feet are on the ground.
We’re in a more athletic position here, on our feet, knees bent, butt out. I like this version better. So there you have it guys, there’s my 8 favorite Dumbbell exercises. Each one with a justification of why it’s on this list and some even new to Team ATHLEAN. But that’s just where it starts guys. These are just Dumbbells, it’s just a tool of the trade. I want to know is, are you going to bring the intensity and motivation to your workouts to execute these exercises properly to get the most out of them. You see, that’s where this all the beginning.
I’m here as a coach not just to put up my youTube video here for you, but to guide you through each one of my workouts. In the ATHLEANX Training System my role is, as a Coach to try to not just show you the best Dumbbell exercises and the best workouts and things to do, but how to pull you guys through it with that proper motivation. We had a video the other day that I covered, yes I was a little bit in a rant but I showed you guys that THIS matters to me. This is my passion. I care mostly about getting you guys, the best workouts you can possibly get. I also take my role seriously as a Coach, to make sure that you get the most out of it. If you’re looking to have me Coach you, for the next 90 days, then head to ATHLEANX.COM right now and let me do just that.
In the meantime, take a look again at these exercises, start trying them out for yourself and when you’re ready for me to take you through each and every workout, you know where to do that. Alright guys, if you found this video helpful make sure you leave a comment and a thumbs up below and I will make sure I continue to bring you everything you want to see. Alright guys, I’ll talk to you again real soon. .
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