Now what? You’ve decided to start lifting weights because you have heard it’s one of the best ways to fight off the glorious hormonal shifts and their side effects that you are blessed to endure for the better part of your life as a woman. But now you’re standing in the aisle at your local store looking at all the options: dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, medicine balls, sandbags, and other things you’ve never even heard of. And for the first time in your life, you feel like your husband when you’ve sent him to the grocery store with the full ingredient list to make Thanksgiving dinner and he is trying to decide if baking soda is the same thing as baking powder.
Don’t reach for your phone to call the gym bro that lives down the street just yet though. We know more about fitness than just Pilates and we have some advice, woman to woman, we think you might want to hear! Dumbbells are way underrated, in our professional opinion, as a personal trainer and we hope you won’t consider skipping your resistance training with them any more than you’d consider skipping your weekly Pilates session. Believe it or not, you will find several similarities between the two but the top four reasons we think dumbbells are underrated are:
- First, if you are like us, you want to work out at home, with the kids probably in the next room, but nobody nearby to spot you like if you were in a gym. You’ve probably all seen a viral video of some poor guy stuck under a barbell that was too heavy. And, truthfully, there is a lot to unpack about that situation but the beauty of dumbbells is if you get in a tight spot and decide you need to jump ship, you just drop ’em and move out of the way. So, we love the safety and convenience of using dumbbells at home.
- Who has an abundance of time? Nobody! In real life you are moving multiple muscle categories and coordinating a lot of moves together, so why not practice that in your workouts? Dumbbells are designed in such a way that, like Pilates, they require you to use a wider range of muscle categories at one time like your stabilizer muscles. That’s better for real-life applications and also you get more benefits in less time so, a win-win.
- Ever try to unlock your front door with your non-dominant hand? You likely don’t have the same muscle control or strength from side to side. Pilates is known for bringing awareness to muscular imbalances and helping build a more balanced body. In their own way, dumbbells do the same thing. You have one for each hand much of the time making you work both sides independently, or unilaterally, highlighting imbalances you will want to strengthen and improve.
- What good is being strong if you can only use that strength to a certain point and then it’s gone? Like, what if you need to put your luggage in the overhead compartment on your next flight but you only trained to chest height, not all the way overhead? Dumbbells are great for training to your end range of motion in your joints so you will easily be able to lift your carry-on over your head. Plus, the size and wide range of weight options allow you to easily add more dimension to your movements, like rotation or supination, and to work to the end range of motion.
If you want to learn more about how to incorporate dumbbells into your weekly routine, join us for Summer Sculpt kicking off July 25 in our on-demand video library. Each week, for three weeks, we will be dropping three new classes including one classical mat Pilates class with no weights, one contemporary Pilates Barre fusion class with light weights and one strength-based class using medium to heavy weights. Anyone who is a Pilates Cure On-demand member will be automatically enrolled in Summer Sculpt. Join the on-demand membership now or buy just the Summer Sculpt.
|Purchase On Demand Video Library Access||$39/mo|
(3 mos minimum)
|Summer Sculpt Program + 3-week access to On Demand||$139||Purchase|
Need hand weights? Try these! Melissa uses these at home and to record her on-demand videos for you.