There are many fitness crazes out there today: Zumba, TRX, power plates to name a few.


Although each and every one of these are efficient one fitness method that has been around since the 17th century is the use of dumbbells.


While many believe an individual should go from body weight exercises to medicine ball/ resistance bands and then onto dumbbells, I tend to consider dumbbells as a perfect beginner level equipment and should be used right up to advanced level users.


Dumbbells can improve fitness in a variety of ways:

  • Muscle Building – You can build muscle by using heavier weights
  • Cardio Health – Raising the rate at which you use the dumbbells can move your heart rate into the aerobic zone.
  • Weight Loss – When in the aerobic zone your heart rate is risen and you burn more calories
  • Muscular Endurance – Use less weight and perform more repetitions.
  • Bone Health – Weight bearing exercises help increase bone density, decreasing risk of fracture. Ideal for seniors as you can use dumbbells sitting/ lying down.


An example of an exercise using dumbbells that works the arms, shoulders, glutes and hips is the Russian Swing:

Grab a dumbbell with an overhand grip. Set your feet wider than shoulder width apart. With lower back slightly arched lower torso until it forms a 45 degree angle to the floor. Swing the dumbbell between your legs. Keeping arms straight, thrust hips forward, straighten knees and swing dumbbell up to chest level as you rise to standing position. Repeat for desired number of repetitions and switch hands.

About The Author

Nicol Muller

Born and raised in Cape Town. As a child I was always influenced positively by my father to be active, from sports in school to attending gym. This grew on me throughout my life and I took an interest in running from the age of 10. Competing in my first 10km at the age of 16 , I was hooked on fitness. Not only for the benefits of what it did to my body, but for how it made me feel, my body, mind and soul felt alive! After school I went to the UK where I studied to become a Personal Trainer, living out my passion was a must for me. I returned to South Africa in 2011 after 4 years in the UK. I began working as a Personal Trainer within 2 weeks of landing. Fitness is more than about just looking good, it’s about feeling good. My aim is to instil this view into all my clients’ minds. If I can achieve this I believe I have achieved what I sought out to. I am a fun loving individual who believes that life is what you make of it. I am self-motivated and believe that I am a great motivator for others as well.

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