The key to making this plan effective: Make sure to choose weights that are heavy enough. You should feel like you could do about two more reps at the end of each set, but no more. “It’s important to challenge yourself with heavier weights in order for muscle growth to take place,” says Comas Keck. Perform the following routine twice a week.
Want even more dumbbell moves? Try these exercises for total-body toning:
EXERCISE 1. DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS
Lie faceup on a bench with your arms straight, a dumbbell in each hand (A). Lower the dumbbells until they’re close to the sides of your chest (B), then press them back up to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps, then go to move 2 without rest.
Start on all fours, your palms slightly wider than your shoulders, feet close together. Your body should form a straight line from head to toe (A). Lower down until your chest almost touches the floor. Keep your upper arms at a 45-degree angle to your torso (B). Pause, then push back to the starting position. Do 10 pushups and rest 90 seconds.
Repeat moves 1 and 2 one more time (so you’ll do each exercise twice). Rest 90 seconds before move 3.
EXERCISE 3INCLINE DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS
Sit on an adjustable bench set to a low incline (about 15 to 30 degrees) and place your feet flat on the floor. Grasp two dumbbells and hold them up above your shoulders, arms straight (A). Slowly lower the weights down to the sides of your chest (B). Pause, then press the dumbbells back up toward the ceiling. Do 10 reps, then go to move 4 without rest.
EXERCISE 4DUMBBELL FLY
Lie faceup on a flat bench with your feet flat on the floor. Hold a pair of dumbbells above your shoulders with your elbows slightly bent (A). Keeping the slight bend in your elbows, lower the weights until your elbows are even with your chest (B). Keep the same bend in your elbows as you press the weights back up. Perform 10 reps. Rest 90 seconds.
Repeat moves 3 and 4 (you’ll do each exercise twice).