The last time you touched 10-pound dumbbells was probably while searching for shoes under your wife’s side of the bed. After all, light weights are for women and injury rehab, right? Serena says: “Wrong, dumbass!” Working both ends of the dumbbell rack hits a broader spectrum of muscle fibers and challenges your muscles in ways that using heavier weights alone can’t. “You’ll increase your strength, power, and mobility,” says MH fitness director BJ Gaddour. Weave these 10 exercises into your workouts to see for yourself.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a pair of dumbbells above your shoulders, palms forward. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Drive through your heels to return to the starting position. Do 5 sets of 10 reps.
Crab to toe touch (with dumbbell)
Assume a crab-walk position, holding a dumbbell in your left hand in front of your shoulder. Raise your right leg and reach for your toes with the dumbbell. Return to the starting position. Do 10 reps, switch arms and legs, and repeat. That’s 1 set; do 3.
Lie on your back with your right leg bent and left arm by your side; hold a dumbbell in your right hand above your chest. Roll onto your left side and prop yourself on your left forearm. Straighten your left arm, raise your hips, and push into a half-kneeling position, threading your left leg behind your right. Stand up. Reverse the move to return to the starting position. Switch sides and repeat. Do 100 reps (50 per side) on days you don’t hit the gym.