Here are 3 unique dumbbell exercises you’ve probably never heard of that can help you take your muscles out of their comfort zone and challenge them into new growth! They will work your entire body, improve your posture and provide your core an intense workout, thereby enhancing your performance and strength.
If your workout has become a bit uninspiring, these three cool moves will provide your lifting routine the variety needed for outstanding gains!
#1. Batwing Row
Besides strengthening your entire upper body, this rowing variant will do wonders for your posture by waking up your rhomboids and teaching them how to fire adequately, as well as improving the protracting and retracting functions of your shoulder blades.
In addition, this exercise will target your back deltoids in a completely new fashion than what you’re used to and help you improve your performance on all pulling and pushing exercises.
Approach an incline bench and get into a standard incline row position with correct form. Pull your shoulders back and squeeze you shoulder blades together, then pull both dumbbells up simultaneously. Drop one dumbbell down to your side and row, then return to the starting position and switch sides. Keep alternating arms while maintain tension in the upper back.
Perform 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps at the beginning of your upper body workout.
#2. Half-Kneeling Curl and Press
This is a great move that targets your whole body, primarily hitting the biceps, shoulders, hips and torso but bringing many of your stabilizing muscles into play as well.
To perform it, get in a half-kneeling position on the floor and rest your left knee on a pad; your right knee should be up. Your torso should be straight and your right heel should be placed under your right knee. Make sure that your body is facing forward with hips squared and engage your left glute to stabilize your hips and activate your abdominal muscles.
Grab a dumbbell with your left hand, using a neutral grip, and curl and press the weight overhead while keeping your head up, shoulders back and spine neutral. Keep your torso and hips perfectly stable and avoid arching your back by keeping your torso and rear glute engaged. Flex and abduct the shoulder to rotate the arm as you press above your head. Pause at the top of the motion, then reverse the movement to return to the starting position. Complete the prescribed number of reps with your left knee down and right knee up, then switch legs.
Perform 3-5 sets of 10-12 reps on each side.
#3. Deficit Reverse Lunge
The great thing about single leg movements is that they will help you correct any existing deficits in strength and mobility in the lower extremities. And to really get your hamstrings burning and powerfully engage the abs, you have to try the deficit reverse lunge. This lunge variation gets the hip past parallel and produces a training stimulus similar to the one of pistol squats. Thanks to the huge range of motion and increased TUT, deficit lunges will easily make your legs sore for the next few days.
To perform them, find an elevated surface such as a small box or a small step and step onto it. Grab a pair of dumbbells and let your arms hand by your sides. Straighten up and tuck your elbows, then step back into a reverse lunge. Press straight back up to the standing position and perform as many reps with the same leg as possible before switching legs.
Make sure that your spine is erect and there’s no wavering forward, backward or side to side at any point of the movement.
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Go for 3 sets with as many reps as possible on each leg.