Tips for Making Your Workout More Challenging When You Have Just One Set of Dumbbells

Working out at home has its perks, from convenience to comfort, but one potential shortcoming is a lack of equipment. Whether you are working with minimal storage space or don’t want to spend money on new fitness gear right now, you may find yourself feeling stuck in a rut with your same old single set of dumbbells.

Certified personal trainer Alexia Clark knows how you feel, and she has a few ideas for how to challenge yourself even if you only have one set of weights. These ideas also may come in handy if you have another, heavier set of dumbbells, but don’t feel ready to graduate to that next level. She shared her three-step advice in an Instagram video, demonstrating each technique with a dumbbell front arm raise.

The first way to add an extra challenge to your strength training is “time under tension.” In the video, Clark holds the dumbbells at her sides and lifts them up for three seconds, then down for three seconds. According to Clark’s Instagram caption, “this forces your muscles to work harder and optimizes muscular strength, endurance and growth.”

Next is adding a pulse — the short range of motion keeps the muscles contracted, Clark explains.

And finally, add a negative. “Negative training makes a deeper inroad during each repetition,” she writes, “which stimulates natural muscle-building growth hormone.”

If you’re looking for other workouts that require minimal or no equipment, you can check out these 10 arm-sculpting exercises, or this five-move arm and ab workout using paper plates.

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