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Best Exercises to Do With Small Weights at Home

author image Jennifer Andrews
Jennifer Andrews specializes in writing about health, wellness and nutrition. Andrews has a Master of Science in physical therapy from the University of Alberta as well as a bachelor's degree in kinesiology. She teaches yoga and pilates and is a recent graduate of the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.
Best Exercises to Do With Small Weights at Home
A woman is exercising with small dumbbells. Photo Credit: diego_cervo/iStock/Getty Images

Exercising at home is convenient, cheaper than a gym and can improve your fitness levels. Add variety to your strength-training workouts by using a set of small weights at home. Weights add resistance to exercises which challenges your muscles and stimulates muscle growth. If you're lifting small weights, you will want to complete more repetitions and sets since it will take longer for muscles to fatigue. Strength-train two to three times per week targeting the upper and lower body as well as your core. Although the best exercises differ for everybody, there are several specific exercises that will tone muscles and get you in shape.

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Train your biceps at home with biceps curls. Curls are not complex to learn and can be done from a seated or standing position. Standing curls add the further benefit of activating the core and postural muscles. Stand tall, abs contracted, with a small weight in each hand. Arms should be by your sides with palms facing forwards. Curl the weights towards your shoulders by bending your elbows. Avoid momentum by keeping your elbows by your sides and only moving your forearms. Return to start position and repeat 12 to 15 times or until fatigue sets in. Complete two to three sets.

Train the Triceps

The triceps form the shapely muscle on the back of the arm. The overhead extension exercise with small weights effectively load the triceps muscle to increase strength and definition. Do this exercise at home by standing tall with a dumbbell in your left hand. Lift your arm straight up over your head with palm facing forward. Keep your elbow alongside your ear as you bend your elbow to lower the weight towards the back of your head. Return to start and repeat 12 to 15 times or until fatigued for a total of three sets.

Shapely Shoulders

The lateral raise exercise requires no fancy gym machines, targeting the shoulder muscles, most notably the deltoid. Do this exercise at home by standing tall with a small weight in each hand, arms by your sides with elbows bent to 90 degrees and palms facing your trunk. Lift your arms out to the sides, keeping the elbows bent, until they reach shoulder-height. Repeat 12 to 15 repetitions or until fatigue sets in for three sets.

Rowing One-Armed

You can target the back and shoulder muscles with one-arm dumbbell rows. All you will need is a small weight and a chair or bench. Place your right knee on a bench and lean forward such that your upper body is parallel to the floor. Hold a weight in your left arm hanging down by your side, palm facing inwards. Bend your elbow to drive your arm straight up by your side. Repeat this movement 12 to 15 times for three sets.

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