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Dumbbells give you multiple options for selecting your exercises.
While weight training helps develop strength and endurance, some lifters fall into the trap of slow, steady motions through all lifts. While this is a good and safe practice for certain exercises, like bench presses and biceps curls, a slow, steady approach for all routines may ultimately hinder your progress. Some routines benefit from an explosive approach. One such exercise is the dumbbell swing. The dumbbell swing, when done correctly, provides several benefits for your workout plan.
Dumbbell swing exercises use muscles throughout your body to get your heart pumping and improve your endurance.
Keep it Simple
The form of a dumbbell swing is simple to remember and easy to execute, unlike some complex exercises. It requires no additional equipment beyond a simple dumbbell at a weight that you can safely handle while it's in motion. Crouch down, bending at the knees, and hold one of the weighted ends of the dumbbell with both hands and let the dumbbell hang between your knees. Keep your back and arms straight. Thrust upward with your legs and hips, then swing the dumbbell up in front of you as you rise to an upright position. Control the downward momentum of the dumbbell as it swings back to starting position.
Engage Many Muscles
The dumbbell swing engages most of the muscles along the posterior chain, which basically refers to your back, from the calves and hamstrings all the way to the upper trapezius. Other muscles include the deltoids, the rectus abdominis and the forearms. The force generated by the swing also engages significant joint activity in the knees, hips, shoulders and ankles, making the dumbbell swing an excellent exercise for establishing and maintaining flexibility.
Boost Your Endurance
The explosive nature of the exercise can help establish muscular endurance if you use a relatively light dumbbell with a high number of reps. For example, use a 10-pound dumbbell and do a couple of sets of 20 dumbbell swings, rather than a 25-pound dumbbell for a couple of sets of 10 swings. Because of the safety limitations of the weight that you can safely use, the dumbbell swing does not lend itself to any mass-building goals.
Keep it Safe
While the dumbbell swing provides numerous benefits, the exercise itself is somewhat risky, as it involves generating significant force while swinging a heavy weight upward. Never attempt a dumbbell swing with wet, sweaty hands. Keep a gym towel handy and dry off your hands as often as you need to. Use a weight that you are comfortable managing. Until you've practiced and mastered the form, don't elevate the weight above chest level, and only progress to overhead swings after you're completely comfortable with the exercise. Keep an eye out for any other people working out near you.