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Dumbbell Bench Press

The dumbbell bench press is an upper body exercise that strengthens the chest, shoulders, and triceps while improving muscular balance. Using dumbbells allows for a great range of motion in the chest and can also be easier on the shoulders and prevent pain.

Pick up the dumbbells off the floor, palms facing in. Position the ends of the dumbbells on your thighs, and sit down on the bench. To get in position, you need to rock back pushing the dumbbells back with your thighs and only slightly bending at the elbows.

Lie on your back with your feet firmly on the bench, your spine in neutral position. Pull your shoulder blades down and back so that they make firm contact with the bench.

Keeping your wrists in neutral, press the dumbbells toward the ceiling. With the elbows fully extended, the dumbbells should be above your chest.

Inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells to the sides of your chest.

With elbows close to your sides the exercises emphasizes more triceps. If the elbows are flared out from the body the exercise emphasizes more pectorals. Do not allow the back to arch away from the bench. Maintain all points of contact with the bench and keep your feet firmly on the bench.

Exhale and gently press upward to straighten the elbows back to starting position.

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Triceps dips

The triceps dip is an excellent exercise for toning your arms. It can be performed almost anywhere.

Put your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or stable chair, fingers facing forward and elbows pointing backward with a slight bend in the elbows.With your legs extended out in front of you, slide your butt off the front of the bench.

Inhale and slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench.

Once you reach the bottom of the movement, exhale and press down into the bench to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position.

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Calf stretch

The calves are one of the most overused and overlooked muscles in the body and stretching them is a must.

Stand facing a wall, arms length away with your feet hip-width apart and toes facing forward. Place your hands on the wall and engage your abs. Pull your shoulder blades down and back. Step back with your right leg into a split-stance position keeping both feet flat on the floor and toes pointing forward. Keep your head in line with your spine.

Slowly, move your body towards the wall. Allow the elbows and the left knee to bend. Do not bend at the hips. Keep your spine lengthening out of your pelvis. Do not arch the back. Continue to bend the left knee while keeping the back leg straight. Push the right heel into the floor with toes pointed forward. Support your body weight with your arms as you shift your weight forward. Increase the stretch by leaning your body more deeply into to the wall and increasing the bend in your left knee. Continue to press your heel into the ground.

Hold the stretch position. Repeat changing sides.

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Standing barbell row

Barbell Rows are a full body, compound exercise. They work your upper back, lower back, hips, and arms. They build a stronger, muscular back and bigger biceps. Technique is very important in this lift. The tendency is to increase the curve in the low back during the lifting phase. Engage your abdominals to maintain a normal-to-flat spine through the entire lift.



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Lying Rear Lateral Dumbbell Raise

The incline rear deltoid raise is an effective way to target your posterior deltoid. The incline position of this exercise isolates the deltoid (shoulder) muscles, which makes the movement more rigorous. Because it’s done on a bench, the lower back is supported, reducing the risk of injury.

Holding a dumbbell in each hand, lie on a bench facing the backrest, which is angled at 10 to 30 degrees. Allow your arms to hang toward the floor with your elbows slightly bent and back of our hands facing each other. Brace your core and abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine.

Exhale and slowly raise the dumbbells up, forward and out to the sides until your arms are almost level with the shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades together as you reach the end position. In the raised position, your arms should look like a “V”. Keep your torso firmly pressed into the backrest and do no allow the back to arch.

Inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells back to your starting position. Repeat.

Technique is very important in this lift. If the dumbbells are raised to an end position behind the head, the emphasis shifts off the shoulders and onto the latissimus dorsi (back).

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