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The Key To A Shaped And Defined Body: Using Dumbbells

You spent all that time lifting heavy weights, you perform your cardio religiously, you've watched your diet, you've been taking protein supplements, but your musculature isn't as shapely and defined as you want.

What to do, what to do?

Dumbbells could be the answer. The mechanics involved in performing dumbbell exercises work the muscles in a different manner than by using a straight barbell or weight machine.

The exercise dynamics of hefting individual weights in each hand make each muscle do all the work by itself.

Most of the major bodybuilding champions have used dumbbell exercises to work every upper body part and parts of the lower.

These exercises are incorporated into their weightlifting routine for each muscle group, usually after the muscle has been worked with free weights and machines.

Finishing sets of dumbbells breakdown the muscles that extra little bit that will lead to a better shape and more cuts.

Since your body is already warmed and worked by the time you get to the dumbbell sets, you can start with your heaviest weight and work down.

The approach is to use a weight with which you can complete eight to ten reps. Most pros view the dumbbells as the way to "rep-out" at the end of a workout, totally ripping and exhausting each muscle group.

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Here are some of the dumbbell exercises for each muscle group:

* Shoulders - After completing your shoulder work with barbells and machines, use these moves to blitz the deltoids and trapezius.

o Lateral Raises - With a dumbbell in each hand, and arms at your sides, alternately raise the weights in front to eye level. Perform ten reps for three sets.

o Side Lateral Raises - Starting with the same position as above, simultaneously raise the dumbbells to the side rising to shoulder level. Perform ten reps for three sets.

o Shrugs - Using heavy dumbbells, stand erect with arms at sides. Raise and rotate your shoulders in a shrugging motion, reversing the circular movement after five reps and complete a total of ten reps for three sets.

o Alternate Dumbbell Presses - Seated on a bench with the dumbbells held at shoulder level, alternately press them overhead. Ten reps for three sets.

o Bent Over or Incline Rowing - Either bent forward at the waist or face down on an incline bench (head up, feet down), allow the dumbbells to hang straight down.

With your arms straight raise the weights in a movement parallel to your shoulder line. Ten reps for three sets.

This shoulder workout routine will help you build your muscles fast.

* Chest - Use these exercises to finish off the pectoralis major and delt-pec tie-in.

o Dumbbell Presses - Lying supine on a flat bench with your arms straight overhead and palms facing towards your feet, lower the dumbbells simultaneously to your chest while keeping your arms parallel with your shoulder line. Ten reps, three sets.

o Incline Dumbbell Presses - Perform the same exercise as above on an incline bench. Ten reps, three sets.

o Decline Dumbbell Press - Perform the same exercise as above on a decline bench. Ten reps, three sets.

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o Dumbbell Flies - In the same position as the dumbbell press on the flat bench, face your palms inward, keep your arms slightly bent at the elbow, and lower the weight simultaneously. Ten reps, three sets.

This is one of the best chest workout routine for bodybuilders to use.

* Arms - Biceps

o Alternate Dumbbell Curls - Seated on a bench, beginning with your arms hanging at your sides, alternately curl the dumbbell until the bicep is fully contracted. Ten reps for three sets.

o Concentration Curls - Using a preacher bench and working one arm at a time, begin with the weight high and the biceps fully contracted. Lower the weight to full arms length and curl while focusing your attention on the movement of the muscle. Ten reps for three sets.

* Arms - Triceps

o Triceps Extensions - Bent forward at the waist with your arms bent at a ninety degree angle, lower arm straight down, alternately extend your arm backwards until it is straight, contracting the triceps. Ten reps for three sets.

o Triceps Press - Seated on a bench with one heavy dumbbell in both hands, begin with the weight behind your neck and press overhead. Ten reps for three sets.

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