The size and flexibility of dumbbell weights enables you to perform a variety of strength training exercises. Because dumbbells vary in size and weight levels, it’s important that you make safety a top priority.
Dumbbells are free weights so you need to focus on balance and control while you lift. Dumbbells are even more challenging than barbells because your arms work independently when you are lifting the weights.
To prevent accident or injury, there are some simple guidelines that you can follow to get the most benefit from the exercise and have a safe lifting experience:
Work With a Spotter
Always have someone to spot you no matter how heavy your weights are. Dumbbells require a lot more concentration than barbells and weight machines so it’s important that you use good judgment during your workout. If you don’t have a spotter for your dumbbell workout, you might consider using a weight machine. Aside from the safety aspect, a spotter can encourage you to push yourself and elevate your workout so you achieve your desired results faster.
Spend about 10 to 15 minutes stretching your muscles before you start your lifting routine. Most injuries occur when you exert your muscles before they are properly warmed up. In fact, in addition to stretching, it’s a good idea to do three to five minutes of a cardio workout before you start your strength training workout.
Ease into it
Start with light weights and learn how to do the exercise using the proper form and breathing. When doing lifts such as curls or presses, keep your shoulders square and do not arch your back or use your body to assist you in lifting the weight. Use a lighter weight if you find yourself adjusting your posture or contorting your body to complete a rep.
Observe Proper Posture
Exhibit proper posture when you workout with dumbbells. Because each arm is working independently, it’s more difficult to maintain balance and control—especially when you are using heavy weights. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, keep a slight bend in your knees, and align your knees with your second and third toes.
When your dumbbell workout involves a bench, stand close to the bench when you pick up and set down the weights. Be sure to keep your back straight and lift with your legs. Rest the weight on your legs near your knee when you sit down and stand up and use the weight to assist you in sitting up after you have been laying flat on the bench. Tighten your abs as your roll back on the bench. Keep your feet flat on the floor. You increase your risk of a back injury if you pick up the weights while you’re sitting down. Here again, if you work with a partner, have that person hand you the weights.
Dumbbells are a good way to exercise and strengthen all of your upper body muscle groups. However, it’s important to stay focused and observe proper safety guidelines. Controlling dumbbells can be a challenge because your arms might not have an equal amount of strength. This is why the most important safety tip is to work out with a partner.