Dancing With Dumbbells

No, I’m not talking about a day at the office.

I’m talking about an exercise routine last night at the Kachmann Mind Body Institute.

The “heavy” dumbbells in my weekly training sessions are the 15 pounders. They seem real heavy during some exercises and not so very heavy in others. My arms are skinny as well as short, so, proportionally, the 15 pounders look large on me. They feel large, too, when I dance with them.

I performed a nice little routine with them last night when Erin Long had her open training group use them in the first set of the night. Holding one weight in each hand, standing with legs spread, we lunged to the right and bent our knees, transferring the weights from either side of our waists downward, one dumbbell inside our leg near the ankle and one dumbbell to the outside. Twelve lunges to the right, then twelve to the left. Imagine what sort of stretching takes place in the back and legs during this little boogie. I feel the resulting effects right now. Minor discomfort, no pain.

I worked up a sweat before we were halfway through the evening’s session. We did lots of work with the dumbbells and moved them a considerable distance in each routine. Maybe one of these days I’ll graduate to the 20 pounders. I might have to put on some weight to be able to throw those big hogs around.

Another interesting exercise last night was the one-footed push-up. They’re just like regular push-ups except that we were allowed only one foot touching the floor instead of two. I noticed a big difference in the stress put on my arms. I think the small amount of imbalance in the weight distribution makes a disproportionate impact on the arms. By the third repetition, I was struggling.

It seemed very warm in the exercise room. The temperature was 72, which doesn’t sound all that warm but when you’re working hard and burning lots of calories in a short period of time, things get hot pretty fast. Erin turned the temp down a few degrees after she heard some grumbling from her students. She doesn’t really want to torture us.

Perhaps the most unusual exercise (in my own view) was also done with dumbbells. Bending over at the waist, holding the dumbbells at our sides, we pulled them up in front to our shoulders, then let them down to our sides. This was done four times, then we had to bend down low and place one dumbbell in position between our ribs and our quadriceps and hold them there while we, still crouching, went into a swimming pantomime. Forty swimming strokes later, we got back up and did the same things over again. By the second repetition in each set, my quadriceps were on fire. Well, not on fire but pretty damn hot.

All in all, the night’s session was very productive. I felt as if I had done something constructive. The more I sweat and the harder I work, the better I feel afterward. I felt pretty good by the time I got home.

I’m looking forward to biking weather. We’ve had a few days recently that qualified, but I passed them up. I opted instead for workouts on my elliptical trainer. But I need fresh outside air. I get some during my daily walks, but there’s nothing as invigorating as gulping tons of fresh air while peddling your butt off down a country road. Oh boy.

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