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April 04, 2022 2 min read

Dumbbells are versatile and practical free weights that can target various muscle groups. But people make common mistakes when using these free weights that can impede their fitness progress. Make sure you’re not making these common dumbbell mistakes that are affecting your workout.

Using Momentum to Your Advantage

Using the momentum of the weight and your body is a common problem with all free weights, especially with dumbbells. Perhaps the best example is the bicep curl, where people often use the velocity gathered from their swinging arm to help finish the rep.

Essentially, it makes the rep easier, which may feel good at the moment but will slow your fitness progress in the long run. Using momentum means you’re not targeting the muscles as much as you want to. Ensure there’s no excess motion in your movements and keep your elbows pinned to your torso while doing curls.

Not Finishing Reps

You may get to the end of the set and feel exhausted, so you don’t do the entire movement to make it a little easier. We’ve all been there. To use the bicep curl example again, this is when you don’t fully straighten or bend your elbow all the way to complete the rep.

Again, it might be a little easier, but you’re taking shortcuts that won’t help you reach your long-term goals. If you struggle to finish reps, you’re probably using a weight that’s too heavy or doing too many reps. Adjust so that you can finish reps strong and not risk injury.

Bending Your Wrist

Whether using rubber free weights or other free weights, you always want to keep your wrists straight. Holding a straight wrist during a movement activates your forearm muscles and gives you greater control of the dumbbells. Therefore, you avoid accidents and mistakes.

This applies to both pushing and pulling movements and all free weights, from dumbbells to kettlebells and anything else. If you struggle to keep your wrists straight, consider lighter weights or a different exercise.

Rushing Reps

Like not finishing reps, many people make the mistake of rushing through their sets and doing reps as quickly as possible. You may feel like you’re pushing yourself, but keeping a steady pace and proper form is often more effective during a workout.

Plus, you risk using momentum to your advantage when rushing, which is another common mistake. Going fast means focusing less on form, so take your time and do things right.

Hopefully, you don’t make any of these dumbbell mistakes that can affect your workout. But if you do, you now know not to do them and adjust accordingly. The crucial thing to remember is to emphasize form and pace.


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