If you've picked up a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells and are looking for new ways to work out, you could do a lot worse than this toning session, which takes just 30 minutes to complete.
Designed exclusively for Fit&Well by top UK PT Nicole Chapman (opens in new tab), this workout incorporates yoga-style aspects of mobility, stretching out your calves, quads and back in addition to toning muscle in your whole body. Check out the full video below: all you need are a few dumbbells and space to move in.
Check out Nicole's weight training workout here:
Why do this workout?
For starters, this dumbbells workout is going to build muscle. Building muscle isn't just for bodybuilders like Arnold Schwarzenegger: everyone needs to consider building at least a little bit of muscle to get fitter and fight ageing. Improving your body's fat-to-muscle ratio will increase your base metabolic rate, burning more calories at rest due to the oxygen required by a body full of muscles.
Building muscle also fights against muscular atrophy, the process via which we get weaker as we get older. If we actively grow our muscle, we get stronger instead of weaker, and that muscle takes much longer to waste. This leaves us active for much longer in later life. For both men and women, doing exercises with weights also increases testosterone, which improves our muscles, bones, memory patterns (opens in new tab) and even sexual health.
The other component for fighting atrophy is stretching. As the muscles waste, they also get shorter, which accounts for the stiffness in our muscles as we age. Picture an elderly person's shuffle in comparison to a healthy middle-aged person's stride.
Stretching mitigates all this. As we stretch and lengthen our muscles, this actively fights against the shortening process. This means we have a greater range of motion for longer, allowing us to stay active well into our old age. Conveniently, this workout contains both muscle-building and stretching exercises, which is what makes it so good: just 30 minutes to warm up, burn calories and combat the effects of ageing in our bodies.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and News Editor at Fit&Well, covering all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen runner, gym-goer, and infrequent yogi. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
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