What might first come to mind when you think about training with dumbbells is a stuffy gym full of people pumping iron. If going to a gym is just too intimidating, try exercising in a pool. Many of the dumbbell exercises you do in a gym can also be done in water and can be even more effective and challenging. The reason is because water provides a natural resistance -- the harder you push through it, the more it resists you, according to the IDEA Health & Fitness Association. The biggest difference is with the dumbbells -- they’re made of foam.
Perform lateral raises to help strengthen your shoulders. To start, grab an aqua dumbbell with each hand and hop into a swimming pool. Move into shoulder-deep water and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Hold the dumbbells with a firm grip and position your arms straight by your sides. Turn your hands so your palms face your thighs. Slowly lift the dumbbells beneath the water out to your sides. Keep a slight bend in your elbows.
Stop lifting your arms when they become level with your shoulders. Hold the lift for 10 seconds, slowly lower the dumbbells back to your thighs and repeat.
Perform bicep curls to work the muscles in the front of your upper arms. To begin the exercise, hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand in waist-high water with your feet hip-width apart.
Hold the dumbbells beneath the water next to your thighs with your elbows tucked in close to your body. Rotate your hands so your palms are facing forward.
Bend your elbows and by only moving your forearms, lift the dumbbells toward your shoulders. Stop when your forearms are level with the surface of the water.
Hold the position 10 seconds and then rotate your hands so your palms are facing down. Slowly push your hands down to your thighs and repeat.
Get into waist-deep water to do squats. This exercise is effective in working the muscles in your hips and thighs. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hold the dumbbells by your sides and turn your hands so your palms face inward.
Bend your hips, knees and ankles and lower your body as far as you can into a deep squat. Keep your head up and back straight. Don't allow your knees to bend more than 90 degrees and keep them directly over your toes.
Hold the squat position five seconds. Push with your legs, return to the standing position and repeat.
- Perform a short warm-up before exercising. This helps get your blood flowing and muscles loose. Your warm-up might consist of jogging or jumping jacks in chest-high water.
- Perform two sets of 10 to 12 reps, or until fatigued, with each exercise.
- If you haven't been active for a long period of time, be sure to get the OK from your doctor before starting an exercise program.