So you want to have a tight body and nicely shaped hands, but the gym is not your cup of tea and time works against you. We have five tricks for you to give your hands just the right muscular look. Recent trends in working out have one thing in common. Simplicity. With a little perseverance, you can give your hands the firmness you like without all those fancy machines in gyms. Use smart exercises only with your body or simple dumbbells, which will firm your body and strengthen select muscle groups. Here go five easy yet non-traditional dumbbell routines that will take only 15 minutes of your time each day. And you will love them. Seven repetitions in three series as recommended and results are not far away.
1) Biceps and Water Dumbbells
This exercise is ideal for those of you who do not have any dumbbells at home. You can start firming your body right now, even watching evening news or a TV show. Fill up two 1,5-litre bottles with water and stand with your knees slightly bent to make sure your lower back is straight. Grab the bottles and, with one in each hand, and pull them up towards your chest with simultaneously breathing out and then return back down together with breathing in. For more dynamics, you can alternate the hands and speed of curls. This will exercise namely your biceps. Another trick is not to fill your bottles full. As the water keeps flowing during the movement, you are forced to use shoulder and hand muscles that would otherwise not be a part of this exercise.
2) Lateral Raises – Yes, But Diagonally
Many would know the classic lateral raise with dumbbells. Take a different approach to this exercise and you will not only like it but it will also be more effective. Start standing, relaxed, lighter dumbbells up to 3 kilos in each hand, crossed in front of your chest as if to protect yourself. Now simultaneously extend your arms so that one can always head to the right from the body diagonally upwards and the other to the left diagonally downwards. Then fully extend, hold a bit and then return your hands on front of your body again. Switch your hands and directions for the next repetition. Diagonal position of your hands not only exercises your hand muscles, but also employs and shapes shoulder and back muscles.
3) Tricep Extension – No More Saggy Arms
Tricep exercises are often forgotten, which is a pity, as namely women then face the issue with saggy bottom parts of their arms, fat’s favourite hiding place. Grab one dumbbell by both hands and try the so-called tricep extension. When sitting or standing, hold the dumbbell by its end and place it behind your head. Start pushing the dumbbell up until your arms are fully extended, hold for a bit and then let go down again in position behind your head. Your triceps will flex and work like not many other exercises will make them.
4) Thrusters aka Rocket Boost
This exercise is inspired by the American concept of cross-fit, which puts emphasis on short intervals and high intensity of workout. You will need two heavier dumbbells, beginners will do with 6–8 kilos per dumbbell. This exercise combines squats with lifting the dumbbells above your head. Stat standing with dumbbells in bent hands, positioned several centimetres above your shoulders. Leave the dumbbells in position and do a squat. Now is the time to strengthen the hands. When moving up from squat to stance both hands start rocket fast upward, above your head, until fully extended and the body standing upright. Simultaneously with breathing out bend your hands back above your shoulders and do another squat. Five reps in three series are recommended and you will work your hands, become more explosive and stretch your thighs and back.
5) A Different Take on Push-Ups
Push-ups – everybody knows them, but not everybody is their fan. Give them a like, it will pay off. Push-ups will not only strengthen your hands, but also shoulders, back and abdominal muscles. The braver of you can also try a certain non-traditional version of push-ups. Put two dumbbells parallel with the direction in which you are about to do the push-ups, pitched according to your shoulder width. The dumbbell weight is not important, you will not be lifting those. It is important though that they give you enough space for your fingers between the mat and dumbbell. Grasp the dumbbells and assume the basic push-up position. If you do not feel like it, you can do the ladies’ version with your knees touching the mat apart from your hands and tips of your feet. Now let’s go. Can you feel a higher strain than with normal push-ups? Push-ups on dumbbells are deeper than the classic ones, and thus put more load on triceps and shoulder as well as chest muscles. This results in better fat burning and muscle strengthening. Apart from that, the body is forced to work harder on the dumbbells to maintain balance so as a bonus you are simultaneously strengthening your core muscles. The exercise can be altered by changing hand position and thus focusing load on various muscle groups.
Give your hands 15 minutes every day. You will never stop wanting to show them around.