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Exercises Using Small Hand Weights

by
author image Jen Weir
Jen Weir writes for several websites, specializing in the health and fitness field. She holds a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Montana State University, is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist and maintains a personal trainer certification from the American College of Sports Medicine.
Exercises Using Small Hand Weights
Exercises using small handweights Photo Credit 3lb free hand weights (path included) image by samantha grandy from Fotolia.com

Small hand weights are useful for older adults who are just beginning a strength-training routine or individuals suffering form osteoporosis. Strengthening exercises have been shown to increase the strength of your muscles, maintain the integrity of your bones and improve your balance, coordination and mobility, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Adding hand-weight exercises to your routine can help you realize the proven benefits of strength training.

Seated Overhead Press

The overhead press works the muscles in the shoulders, the upper back and the arm. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and a weight in each hand. Stabilize your core and straighten your back. Raise the hand weights to shoulder level with your palms facing away from your body. From this position, push the weights upward to extend your arms. With control, lower them back to shoulder height. That's one rep. Complete two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.

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Seated Biceps Curl

The biceps curl targets the muscles on the front of the upper arm. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and a weight in each hand. Allow your arms to hang at your sides with your palms facing inward. Stabilize your core and straighten your back. Bend your elbows, rotating your palm upward as you raise the weight. Continue lifting the weights until they reach your shoulders, then slowly lower the weight back down. Complete two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions per arm.

Seated Lateral Arm Raise

The lateral arm raise primarily targets the deltoid muscles of the shoulder. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and a weight in each hand. Allow your arms to dangle at your sides with your palms facing inward. Keeping your back straight, stabilize your core and slowly raise the hand weights straight up to your sides until your arms are level with your shoulders. With control, lower your arms back down. Throughout the movement, maintain a slight bend in your elbows to prevent excess stress on the joint. Perform two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.

Seated Dumbbell Extension

The dumbbell extension targets the triceps muscles on the back of the arm. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and use both hands to hold one hand weight. Keeping your back straight, stabilize your core and raise the weight overhead with your arms extended. Maintain a slight bend in the elbows when your arms are extended. Slowly lower the weight behind your head, making sure to keep your elbows in. Contracting your triceps, extend your arms to raise the weight back up above your head. Perform two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.

Weighted Chair Squat

The chair squat works the bulk of the legs and hips including the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings. Stand 4 to 6 inches in front of a chair with a weight in each hand, your torso erect and your core muscles contracted. Bending at the waist and the knees, slowly lower yourself toward the chair until your buttocks make contact and then immediately return to the standing position. Complete two to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.

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