Ageless Strength Functional Exercise: Dumbbell Swings

The following exercise comes from Jeff Horowitz‘s new book Ageless Strength: Strong and Fit for a Lifetime, which combines balance, strength, and functional exercises to help athletes of any age combat the effects of aging and reach their best fitness.

Functional exercises involve applied strength and balance to perform movements that mimic the way the body moves in real life. These exercises prepare you for shoveling snow, storing boxes on the top shelves of your closet, and lifting heavy grocery bags and suitcases. In sum, this is where exercise meets the road and helps us through our daily lives.

 


DUMBBELL SWINGS

This complex movement is highly functional, engaging your muscles in a movement pattern that’s similar to the way you would accomplish a number of real-life tasks, such as shoveling snow.

Ageless Strength Functional Exercise Dumbbell Swings muscles

 

 

THE MOVEMENT

Level 1

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell with both hands against your outer hip. Keeping your arms as straight as possible, swing the weight up and out diagonally toward your other side until the weight is a little higher than eye level, and then return to the starting position. This constitutes 1 rep.

Ageless Strength Functional Exercise Dumbbell Swings Level 1

Level 2

Perform this exercise with your feet together (as shown below), which decreases stability and further engages your lateral stabilizing muscles, including your gluteus medius, abductors, and adductors.

Engage your legs by bending your knees even more on the downswing and straightening them on the upswing. This will introduce a modified squat movement, which further engages your legs and hips.

 

Ageless Strength Functional Exercise Dumbbell Swings Level 2

Level 3

Perform this exercise from atop the soft side of a BOSU.

 

 

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Ageless Strength is for those who are ready to get back into shape—and into the best shape of their lives. Using a dynamic mix of over 50 simple exercises, Ageless Strength builds sustainable fitness for a lifetime of active pursuits.

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