If you have been pounding away on your treadmill or elliptical cross trainer but you feel you have reached a plateau, then try using free weights such as dumbbells and barbells to input some variety into your workout.
Most fitness trainers will tell you that a set of dumbbells is vital to any fitness equipment in your home gym.
With a dumbbell you can actually target specific muscle groups, but it goes much further.
Pick up a 5kg dumbbell sets in each hand and do a set of ten reps. Immediately, you notice you’ve changed the dynamics of the exercise by adding 10kg or more to your body weight. Now larger stabilizer muscles in your abs, legs, and back have to work to keep you in balance. By using a set of free weights you’re actually developing your large stabilizer muscles (not to mention your coordination!) and this compound movement results in the most effective gains for muscle growth while exercising with dumbbells.
Although the primary function of weight training is to increase strength, did you know that you can burn between 250-400 calories an hour? Any improvement in your lean muscle mass and metabolism will help you to increase fat burn at all times (even while sleeping). This is something cardio alone can’t achieve.
Toning your muscles using dumbbells is essential if you want to achieve an ideal weight on your frame since a pound of muscle requires about 30 to 50 calories per day just to support itself, while fat cells don’t burn up a thing. So pick up a dumbbell set, start pumping free weights, and get off that exercise plateau.