A whole dumbbell exercise that hits each muscle to construct balanced energy


If you want to move through life as efficiently and safely as possible, building balanced strength is key – and we’ve got a complete dumbbell workout to help you get the job done.

“It is important to do strength-based workouts to help prevent injury and to train the muscle fibers to work repeatedly at a higher load,” certified personal trainer Francine Delgado-Lugo, CPT, movement and strength coach and co-founder of Form Fitness Brooklynsays SELF.

The most functional and balanced strength workouts include movement in multiple planes of motion as well as unilateral and bilateral exercises.

First of all, most of us spend a lot of time in the sagittal plane – which involves back and forth movements like lunges, step-ups and presses – and neglect the other two planes of motion. , the frontal plane (side to side). -lateral movements) and transverse plane (movements diagonally or in rotation). But life happens in all three planes, whether you’re cutting sideways quickly to dodge an obstacle in your path or dashing diagonally to confuse a child. By incorporating multiple planes of motion into your routine, your body will be better prepared to move safely and efficiently in almost any scenario.

As for the importance of strength work which includes unilateral exercises (those where only one side of your body does most of the work, such as lunges and one-arm rows) and bilateral exercises (those where both sides contribute, such as squats and overhead presses)? Again, it’s just a super functional way to train since you encounter both types of movements in everyday life. For example, when you sit in a chair, you use your legs and hips to lift and lower yourself. But when you’re climbing stairs, you’re using one leg at a time to climb the next step, Delgado-Lugo explains.

« In order to get stronger and fitter in these movements, we train similar movements in the gym, » she explains.

Unilateral work in particular can also help you identify, and ultimately correct, strength and mobility imbalances that exist side by side. “We all have these tendencies to only rely on one side of our body,” Delgado-Lugo explains. « And so, by training unilaterally, it gives us a chance to address some of the weaknesses in the sides of our body that we don’t use as often. » By correcting these imbalances, you can increase your overall strength while reducing your risk of injury.

The workout below, which Delgado-Lugo created for SELF, includes movement in multiple directional planes (primarily the transverse and sagittal planes) as well as a mix of bilateral and unilateral functional exercises. This is a full body routine with compound exercises that engage multiple muscle groups, including shoulders, chest, back, core, quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

This is traditional strength training where you use heavy weights for yourself (in this case, in the form of dumbbells) and do fewer reps with longer rest periods. Since this workout is all about strength, not speed, really take your time and make sure you’re doing slow, controlled movements, says Delgado-Lugo. See if you can feel your muscles lengthen and contract as you perform the reps.

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