Sitting Exercises With Dumbbells

Some of the most effective strength exercises can be done sitting down.
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Whether you're nursing a lower-body injury or just looking to change up your fitness routine, taking a no-standing approach is no excuse for not squeezing in a tough workout. Sure, your fellow gym-goers might give you the side eye for hogging the weight bench, but rest assured you can get in a challenging and effective strength workout without ever getting off your butt.

Dumbbell Triceps Extension

    While seated on a bench with feet flat on the floor, grip a dumbbell over your head with both hands positioned on the front-facing end for the dumbbell triceps extension. Without flaring your elbows outward, slowly lower the dumbbell down and behind your head by bending your arms at the elbows. Raise the dumbbell back up to the starting position and repeat.

Rear Lateral Raise

    For the rear lateral raise, sit on the end of a bench with your feet together and positioned on the floor just beyond your knees. Bend at the waist to bring your upper body down to your thighs and, holding dumbbells, place your hands behind your ankles with elbows slightly bent. Without moving your torso, raise your arms up to shoulder level, maintaining a slight bend in the elbow throughout the move. Lower your arms back down and repeat.

Bicep Curl

    Sitting on a weight bench, place your feet flat on the floor and let your arms hang at your sides, holding dumbbells with palms facing forward to do the bicep curl. Slowly raise the dumbbells up to shoulder level by bending at the elbow, keeping your wrists straight and shoulders back and down throughout the move. Lower the dumbbells back down and repeat.

Trunk Rotations

    For trunk rotations, sit on the floor with your knees bent, your feet touching and your heels on the floor. Hold a dumbbell close to your body and in front of your chest, with your hands gripping opposite ends of the dumbbell. Engage the core muscles and twist at the waist to turn your torso to the left; maintain the position of your arms, letting the dumbbell move along with the upper body. Pause briefly before rotating to the right side and repeat.

One-Leg Calf Raise

    Place a block or thick book on the floor about a foot away from the base of your bench for the one-leg calf raise. Sit on the bench with your left foot flat on the floor, and position the ball of your right foot on top of the block, heel on the floor. Rest a dumbbell on your right thigh, just above the knee and slowly raise your right toes up as high as you can while contracting the calf muscle; your hands should be used to steady the dumbbell but not bear any of its weight. Hold the move for one second before lowering back down. Complete all reps on the right side before moving on to the left.

Seated Press

    For the seated press, sit on a weight bench, both feet flat on the floor and a dumbbell in each hand. With palms facing forward, raise the dumbbells up to shoulder height so that your elbows form 90-degree angles and your arms create L shapes. Push the dumbbells straight up over your head until your elbows are straight, then slowly bend your elbows to bring the dumbbells back down to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

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