Middle Deltoid Dumbbell Exercises Your deltoids are the biggest and strongest muscles in your shoulders,

Middle Deltoid Dumbbell Exercises

Your deltoids are the biggest and strongest muscles in your shoulders, and are made up of front, back and middle sections. The middle deltoid muscle is the one you use to abduct your arm -- that is, move it away from your body. Exercises to tone and strengthen this muscle will help give your shoulders their characteristic, defined shape.

Man Working Out With Dumbbels

The Arnold Press

This exercise gets its name from the man who created it, Arnold Schwarzenegger. You can sit or stand to do it, but regardless of the position you choose, keep your back straight throughout the exercise. Take a dumbbell in each hand and bend your elbows so the weights are positioned in front of your chest, palms facing in, and your elbows pointing down towards the floor. Raise the dumbbells straight up over your head, turning your wrists inwards as you do so, so your palms face forwards at the top of the movement. When the weights are raised, keep your elbows slightly bent to avoid locking out the joints. To lower the weights, rotate your wrists back so that you finish with your palms facing in towards your chest.

Reverse Lateral Raises

Sit or stand with a dumbbell in each hand and raise your arms out to the sides to shoulder height. Keep your palms face up and your elbows slightly bent. Then engage your shoulder muscles to lift the weights up so they meet over your head. Slowly lower your arms back down to shoulder height and repeat the exercise as many times as you can while keeping the movements controlled.

Lateral Raises

The starting position for this exercise is standing with your feet shoulder-width distance apart and your arms by your sides with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing inwards. Raise both arms out to your sides at the same time, stopping when they reach shoulder height. In the raised position, the backs of your hands should be pointing towards the ceiling. Hold for a second before lowering back down to the starting position, finishing with your palms facing in towards your thighs. Repeat as many times as you can while maintaining proper posture and control of the movements.

Upright Rows

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width distance apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Start with your arms straight so the weights are resting against your thighs and your palms are facing inwards. Bend your elbows up and out to the sides and lift the weights up to shoulder height. Hold for a second then lower back down and repeat. In the raised position, try to keep your elbows slightly higher than your hands.

Exercises With 5 lb. Dumbbells

By Sava Tang Alcantara

Exercising with 5-lb. dumbbells for 20 minutes at least twice a week will help tone the muscles in your arms, back and chest. Strength training is one of the components of a well-rounded fitness routine that also includes 150 to 300 minutes a week of moderately intense aerobic exercise. Also, the sheer variety of exercises that use dumbbells ensures that you'll stay engaged and motivated. You won't get bulky lifting 5-lb. dumbbells, but you will be boosting your fitness level.

Young woman exercising with weightsA woman holding pink dumbbells.Image Credit: Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

Effective Training With Good Form

Resistance training means lifting weights against gravity to build muscular strength, size and definition. Doing resistance training with free weights or with exercise machines can improve fitness, and it is a matter of what is appropriate for you. In a study published by the National Institutes of Health, 11 slightly overweight women were placed on a diet and also instructed to do exercises using 5 lb. dumbbells and resistance bands. In 12 weeks, they increased hand and grip strength and lost weight. Using 5 lb. dumbbells in each hand, you can do many types of exercises. Using light weights is especially good if you are a beginner to learn correct ergonomic form.

Standing Alternate Dumbbell Lunges

Start with standing lunges to work the quadriceps of the thighs and gluteus maximus of the hips. Stand with feet apart, hip width distance, with lower abs drawn in toward the spine to protect the lower back. Hold each dumbbell so that your arms and hands are down by your sides. Keeping your head and chest tall, step your right foot forward, bending the knee to about 90 degrees so it is stacked above its ankle. Step back and repeat to the left side. Do 15 to 20 reps. Work up to three sets.

Standing Alternate Bicep Curls

Proceed with standing alternate dumbbell bicep curls. Remain standing and begin with hands and arms down by your sides. Lift your right hand, bending the elbow and draw the dumbbell toward your right shoulder, so your palm faces your chest. Pause before lowering the weight. Repeat on the left side. Do 8 to 12 reps for one set. Build up to three sets. This works the bicep muscles of the inner arm above the inner elbow crease.

Single Tricep Kickbacks on Flat Bench

Work opposing muscle groups -- the triceps of the upper arm -- with single tricep kickbacks. Set your left hand on the bench in front of you as you balance your bent left knee on the bench. Holding a 5 lb. dumbbell in your right hand so it is down by your right thigh. Pin your right inner elbow to your side as you bend the elbow and bring the dumbbell up toward your right shoulder. Pause before lowering it straight back without locking the elbow joint. Do 8 to 12 reps on each side. Gradually work up to three sets.

Seated Rotator Cuff Exercise

Sit on the bench sideways, so your feet are flat and knees are bent to about 90 degrees for a rotator cuff exercise. Place your left palm flat on your left thigh. Hold a 5 lb. dumbbell in your right hand, bending your right elbow to a 90-degree angle. Start with the dumbbell near your left bicep and draw it across your chest until it is about 65 degrees away from your right thigh. Pause and return to the starting point. Do 8 reps. Repeat on the left side. Keep your head and chest tall and lower abs engaged.

Tips and Warnings

Many more resistance training exercises can be done with 5 lb. dumbbells. If you are new, learn them from a very experienced friend or a certified personal trainer to prevent injuries.

Weights are best used for resistance training in exercises in which your body is not vulnerable to injury. This means doing exercises in which you can sustain proper form to protect your neck, lower back and all the joints of your body, including ankles, knees, hips and shoulders.

Check with your health-care provider before beginning an exercise program for the first time or if you have been away from fitness programs for a while, or if you have any chronic health issues that would prevent you from lifting weight.