Exercises for Home

Below are exercises that can be done at home just using a simple bench and adjustable dumbbells.  The workouts can be split out into two days and this circuit can be done twice a week.

Day 1:

  1. Bench Press
    1. Lie with your back down on the bench while holding your dumbbells against your chest.
    2. Bring your elbows out to the side while making sure that your upper arm is parallel to the floor.  Your arms should form an “L” shape.
    3. Push the dumbbells away from your body and make sure the dumbbells are over your chest area when you extend your arms.  Focus on flexing your chest.  Lower back down to the starting position mentioned in step #2.
    4. If you cannot control the lift you are most likely using too much weight.
    5. Repeat the above steps for 9 more repetitions for a total of 10 repetitions.
  2. Bent-over row
    1. Place your right hand and right knee on the bench with your left foot on the floor and a dumbbell in your left hand.  Make sure that your right hand Is under the shoulder.  Make sure your back is flat like a table and parallel to the floor.
    2. Raise the dumbbell with your left hand to the point where the dumbbell barely touches your chest.  As you lift, focus on the flexion of your back.  When you’ve raised your arm, the upper arm should be parallel with your torso.
    3. Lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.
    4. Repeat 9 more times.
  3. Military Press
    1. Sit on one end of the weight bench with your spine properly aligned and not slouched.  Raise your dumbbells up so that your arms form an “L” shape out to the sides of your body, not in front of it.  Your upper arms should be parallel to the floor and your forearms should be perpendicular to the floor.
    2. Push the dumbbells up toward the ceiling while concentrating on the flexion of your shoulders.  Return the dumbbells to the starting position.
    3. Repeat for 9 more times.
  4. Bicep Curls
    1. You may either stand or sit on one side of your bench for this one.  Hold a dumbbell in each hand to your sides with your palms facing forward.
    2. Bend your arms at the elbow in a pivoting motion and slowly raise the dumbbells until you can’t raise them up anymore.  As you do this, concentrate on the flexion of your bicep.
    3. Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
    4. Repeat 9 more times.
  5. Tricep Kickbacks
    1. Assume the same starting position that you did for bent-over rows in item #2 above.  Bring your left elbow up next to your torso.  Your left arm should form an “L” shape with your upper arm parallel to the floor and the forearm perpendicular to the floor.
    2. Raise your left hand behind you using your elbow as a pivot.  Both your forearm and upper arm should be parallel to the floor.  Feel the flexion on your left tricep.
    3. Lower to the starting position.
    4. Repeat 9 more times.
  6. Forearm Curls
    1. Stand up straight holding a dumbbell in each hand behind your legs.  Make sure your palms are facing behind you and not toward the front.
    2. Using your wrist as a pivot, raise your hands.  Make sure the rest of your arms are not moving.  Feel the flexion in your inner forearms.
    3. Lower your hands to the starting position.
    4. Repeat 9 more times.
  7. Forearm Twists
    1. Stand up straight holding a dumbbell in each hand in front of your legs.  Make sure that your palms are facing behind you and not toward the front.
    2. Similar to a bicep curl (item #4 above), raise your hands using the elbow as a pivot.  Do not change the positioning of your hands – the palms of your hands should be facing the floor.  Concentrate on the flexion of your outer forearms.
    3. Lower your hands back to the starting position.
    4. Repeat 9 more times.

Day 2:

  1. Lunges
    1. Stand with your left foot in front of you and your right foot behind you.  Do not have weights in your hands as we need to discover your optimal starting position.
    2. Bend your front and back legs at the knees.  Come down until your front knee is over your front foot.  Your back knee should come down toward the floor but not touch it.  You should be able to do this comfortably without pain. Your front knee should not go beyond your front toes.
    3. Continue to experiment with your feet placement noted in step 1 until the top portion of your front leg (above the knee) is almost parallel to the floor and the top portion of your back leg is almost perpendicular to the floor.
    4. Push off with the heel of the front foot (not the toes) and bring yourself to the original starting position.
    5. Grab dumbbells in each hand and repeat steps 1 through 4 above for 10 repetitions.
  2. Squats
    1. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and with the feet rotated slightly outward by 2-3 inches.  Do not stand with your toes directly pointing straight-ahead.  Have dumbbells in each hand.
    2. Bend at the knees and bring your butt down toward the floor as if you’re going to sit in a chair.  Keep your upper body aligned at the spine and avoid slouching.
    3. Come down until the top portion of your leg (above the knee) is almost parallel to the floor.  Your knees should not be too far forward of your toes.  The ideal form is to have the knees not pass the toes but this may not be possible for taller people.
    4. Push off with the middle and heel portion of your feet (not the toes!) and come back to the starting position.  Repeat 9 more times.  You don’t want to push off with your toes because this will put pressure on your knee joints.
  3. Stiff-legged deadlifts
    1. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and toes pointing forward.  Hold dumbbells in each hand with the palms facing behind you.
    2. Keeping your upper body straight (not slouched), bend forward at the hips (not the waist) and bring the dumbbells toward the floor.  Do not bend your knees or hyperextend them.  Your legs should be perpendicular to the floor and your upper body is aligned during the entire movement.  Feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
    3. Return to the starting position using your upper leg just under your butt and your lower back.
    4. Repeat 9 more times.
  4. Tippie Toes
    1. Stand next to a wall or a chair for support.  Place your right hand on the wall or on the top of a chair.  Wrap your left foot behind your right ankle.
    2. Rise up on your right toes like a tippy-toe.  Feel the contraction in your calf.  Lower your right heel back to the floor.
    3. Repeat 9 more times.
    4. Repeat steps 1 thru 3 with your left foot making sure that your left hand is resting on the wall.
  5. Crunches
    1. Lie on your back on a padded gym mat.  It is not advisable to do crunches on a hard floor because it may cause discomfort in your vertebrae.
    2. Put your feet flat on the floor with your knees raised off the mat.  Your legs should be forming an upside-down “v.”  You are in this position so that there is no unessesary strain on your lower back.
    3. Raise your shoulders and head off the mat and hold.  Fell the flexion in your abs.
    4. Lower your upper body back down to the mat.
    5. Repeat 9 more times.