June 14, 2010
Working with light dumbbells can be quite effective if you perform the moves with correct technique and alignment. In this exercise, maintain a straight spine throughout the move for maximum benefit.
Grasp a 3- to 5-pound dummbell in each hand and stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes facing forward. Bend your knees and sit back on your heels to avoid putting stress on your lower back. Begin with your elbows bent and tucked in to the sides of your body, palms facing forward.
Use your abdominals to support and brace your spine as you simultaneously bring your left arm in front of you and your right arm behind you. Pause when your dumbbells are at shoulder level and make sure your elbows do not "lock out." Bend your arms and return to the start position. Repeat the exercise, this time extending your right arm to the front and your left arm to the back. Continue to alternate arms for a total of 16 repetitions. Rest for 30 seconds and repeat for a second set.
Voight is the creator of a line of fitness DVDs, including "Sleek Essentials."