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A Basic Dumbbell Workout

written by: Nicholas • edited by: KJ Fitness,Ink • updated: 6/30/2009

Dumbbells are the most versatile piece of fitness equipment. They are portable, do not require a lot of room to operate, and can be used in various exercises. It is best to have a set of dumbbells (different weights) because each individual exercise can be more difficult than the next.

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    Curls are a great exercise to workout your arms and build your biceps. Dumbbell curls are very effective because they are done using free weights for each individual arm. To start, choose a dumbell that you are comfortable with but that will give you some resistance. Grip a dumbbell of the same weight in each arm and curl your arm upward. Perform the curls switching off between hands (left, right, left, right) until you get to 10 reps. Do three sets of 10 reps.

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    Standing Dumbbell Fly

    Standing dumbbell flys are a great way to build lower arm strength rather than bicep strength. To do this exercise, grip a dumbbell of the same weight in each hand. While standing, let your arms hang freely at your sides. Next, slowly raise your arms straight out at your sides as if you were making a T shaped pattern. Keep your arms straight the entire time, and try not to bend your elbows as much as possible. Then, slowly lower your arms back to the starting position. Do three sets of 10 reps.

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    Dumbbell Press

    A dumbbell press gives you much of the same result that a bench press would. However, you are concentrating the exercise into each hand individually rather than lifting a bar. To do this exercise lay down on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. With arms out at sides, position the dumbbells as you would if you were doing a bench press. Push the dumbbells up like you would do a bench press and bring them together as your arms become fully extended. Slowly lower your arms and repeat the process. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

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    Seated Shoulder Press

    This exercise is very similar to the military press. Sit straight up on a bench and do not lean back on the seat at all. Grip a dumbbell in each hand and position them slightly above shoulder height. Simultaneously lift the dumbbells straight over your head until your arms are fully extended. Bring the dumbbells together until they touch at the end of the movement, than slowly lower back down to shoulder level. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.

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    Standing Front Raises

    Standing front raises are a great way to build tricep and lower arm strength along with full arm endurance. To begin this exercise, stand straight up with as best posture as possible. Grip a dumbbell in each hand and let your arms hang freely at your sides. Move your hands to the front so they hang loosely right in front of you. Next, lift your arm up straight in front of you without bending your elbow. Try and keep your arm as straight as possible. Rotate to your other arm and switch off while doing reps. Do 3 sets of 10 reps.