Up in Arms!
In this month's edition of Essential Exercises for Women, we highlight a variation of a traditional exercise, the dumbbell chest press. By alternating sides and adding the stability ball, this exercise becomes much more challenging! By alternating the arms, you add a new dynamic to the move where you have to engage your core to keep the body stable. When doing this version, you may need to go lighter on the weights. You might also want to try it on a bench or floor before moving on to an exercise ball.
Lie down on a bench, step, or stability ball. (If using a stability ball, be sure that your upper back and head are on the ball!) Begin with the weights in each hand straight up over the chest, palms face out.
Keep the left arm in place while bending the right elbow and lowering the arm down until it's at or just below the chest (the arm should look like a goal post).
Press the arm back up without locking the elbow, then immediately repeat the move on the left arm while keeping the right arm in place.
Continue alternating sides, engaging the abs to keep the torso from moving.
Repeat for 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 15 repetitions on each arm.
- Keep the abs contracted throughout the movement to protect your back.
- Keep the motion slow and controlled -- try not to use momentum to lift the weight.