# training tech
5 things to do with those big bad dumbbells lying round the gym
The burn is so deep.

‘ACCURACY’ HAS BECOME one of the most common words uttered by Irish athletes in search of greatness in recent years.

It relates, not just to hitting the target with a ball or putting your feet in the right place during competition; it encompasses everything within the daily grind of trying to become fitter, faster, stronger, better.

So, every Tuesday we’ll aim to bring you the best technical advice on an exercise that can make all the difference to both your physique and performance. This week, we reach for those imposing weights taking up a whole wall at your gym.

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The dumbbell rack is normally where you find the gym regulars. And man, some of those guys really look like they know what they’re doing*. You want to get in on that action too, because you know the benefits of using weights to target specific muscle groups… but not at the risk of looking stupid.

So, accepting the fact that you shouldn’t start lifting any weight you can’t comfortably carry from the rack to the bench, here’s a few moves to get you settled.

1. Lunge

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or tone up, there’s no point in just taking the dumbbells and trying to pump up your biceps like Ron Burgundy impressing Veronica Corningstone. Don’t ignore the largest muscle group in your body – work the legs.

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If you’ve already perfected your lunge technique (here) then hold a weight in each arm. Now, keep your arms hanging straight down and stationary as you bend the knee.

2. Push-up with rotation

Take two light dumbbells and hold them as you assume the push-up position. Doing a push-up this way (as opposed to the tradition palms-down motion) challenges your core stability and tests your forearms that extra bit.

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Use a lighter weight here because it’ll get real tough, real fast… and make sure they’re weights with flat surfaces while you’re at it. We don’t want you rolling away.

3.  Incline rows

Grab yourself a workout bench and adjust it to a 45 degree angle. Sit yourself down with your chest braced by the bench. Your starting point will be with your arms hanging straight down and the motion is a simple one, row.

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Pull your elbows straight back, bringing the weights up to the level of the bench. This is a great way to strengthen your back and chest.

4. Tricep extensions

Take a seat, take a weight and hold it above your head. Now, take it down behind your head and back up.

That’s one. Keep going for eight to ten reps to start off.


5. Lateral raises

A great way to strengthen you shoulders, the lateral raise simply involves you taking a set of dumbbells from the side of your hips up to shoulder height. Kind of like a flying motion.

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You can do these seated or standing, but we like to go with a lighter weight and a squat position - knees bent, back straight with weight on your heels –  to make sure your legs are never feeling left out.

(*Those people who look like they know what they’re doing, ask them for help. They’re usually not as mean as they look.)

Not ready for weights? there’s plenty of other ways to exercise

5 ways to work out your abs without getting off your arse

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