With their small size and basic setup, it's pretty amazing how versatile a set of dumbbells can be. You can use these handheld weights for everything from squats and lunges to overhead presses, bicep curls, shoulder shrugs and more, helping you add the resistance that allows you to build muscle. While many exercises start from a standing position, you have several options for using dumbbells from a seated position. As with any workout routine, it's important to do the exercises properly to avoid injury.
Proper Seated Position
Adjust the backrest of the seated weight bench so that it is high enough to allow your shoulders to touch it when you're in a seated position. If you're at home or don't have access to a weight bench, choose a sturdy chair with a flat, high back.
Sit in the seat and scoot your butt all the way back, allowing your shoulders, head and back to touch the back rest.
Rest your feet on the floor, about 1 foot apart.
Pull your shoulder blades back and down, sit up tall and tighten your abdominal muscles.
Bicep Curl Exercises
Grasp a dumbbell in each hand, allowing your arms to hang at your sides with your palms facing outward. Take a deep inhalation.
Exhale as you bend your elbows and raise the dumbbells, turning your wrists as your hands get near your shoulders so that your palms face inward near the top of the motion. Throughout the motion, resist the urge to arch your back and keep your shoulders and head touching the back rest.
Inhale again as you slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
Continue to breathe inward and outward with each repetition, maintaining a strong, flat back and abdominals. Repeat the motion a total of 12 to 15 times.
Dumbbell Press Exercises
Grasp a dumbbell in each hand and raise them to a position slightly below your shoulders, with your palms facing outward. Take a deep inhalation. Before you move on, take special note of your abdominals and remember to contract them throughout the movement.
Exhale as you press the dumbbells up and overhead. Resist the urge to move your head forward; that could strain your neck muscles. Stop when your elbows are straight, but don't lock the elbows.
Inhale and lower your elbows down, moving the dumbbells to the starting position.
Keep inhaling and exhaling with each repetition and remember to hold a strong, flat back and abdominals. Repeat the motion a total of 12 to 15 times.