When we think of weight training we most likely think about weight machines. The problem with weight machines is there is a set range of motion available and a singular plane of movement working one muscle group and neglecting others. Also, weight machines are not as joint friendly as dumbbells. Dumbbells allow movement all around
the joint creating greater strength and stability. Dumbbells offer many benefits beyond the machines. They help our muscles work together and help our bodies function as a unit in harmony that benefits us for daily requirements and movement patterns. Dumbbell work also helps us function and perform everyday activities with more control stability and balance.
Here are 10 benefits of dumbbell exercises:
Weight bearing and loading the skeletal system for improved bone density.
Challenge the muscular system to increase metabolism and lean mass to improve function.
Unilateral training= balancing strength between sides, assuring each side does the same amount of work. This gives dumbbell work the ability to improve imbalances from injuries or habitual use patterns from daily living and sports.
Compound multiplanar movements= ability to work several muscle groups simultaneously. *For example: Front, side and reverse lunges while pressing dumbbells isometrically together.
Another benefit of the multiplanar movement is the elastic component of muscle tissue= fascia and connective tissue. This movement pattern that dumbbells create can enhance the resilience and strength of the fascia and connective tissue.
Dumbbells provide more freedom of movement and greater stabilization = activating more muscle fibers.
Increased range of motion in dumbbell variations allows one to alter the pattern slightly strengthening muscles and fibers in different ways. *For example: Dumbbell presses allow the shoulders to move more freely allowing internal and external rotation or bring the dumbbells higher or lower from your body to specifically target areas and also move without causing pain.
Dumbbells allow focus or isolation of one limb at a time.*For example: One leg deadlifts with a dumbbell in one hand or working one side at a time.
Metabolic overload is achieved when the muscle is worked to fatigue (low weight and high reps), which leads to the adaptation of muscle cells being able to store more glycogen which can cause muscles to increase in size.
Improvements in both intermuscular coordination (the ability of a number of different muscles to work together to produce and stabilize joint motion) and intramuscular coordination (is the amount of muscle and their attached fibers that are activated within a specific muscle). Dumbbells exercises can create both Intermuscular and Intramuscular coordination, leading to greater levels of muscle activation.
If you have not had a chance yet, try one of my Alignment Yoga Sculpt classes and see why it is an incredibly efficient use of your time. It's a low impact, high intensity, sustainable format that uses dumbbells and yoga to improve strength, flexibility, range of motion and balance all in a mindful practice that will leave you feeling inspired and calm.