The "Alpha" of resistance training
The dumbbell is a symmetrical weight that is easy to manage for most people and does not require much skill for one to start training with. Strangely enough they did not start out that way. The origin of dumbbells is actually the halters that were used in Greece as lifting weights. They were mostly made from stone and were used for ballistic movements rather than the common slow controlled movements you see in the gym nowadays.
Today, dumbbells can be found in every gym around the globe. No gym would be complete without a proper rack of dumbbells. They were probably made popular by fitness celebrities in the USA like Jack Lalanne and Arnold Schwarzenegger who used to work out at “Muscle Beach” California, located on the south side of Santa Monica Pier.
Most people will recognize the dumbbell as the most basic of resistance training tools, though, in recent years many more have been added. They are excellent for beginners because the balanced distribution of weight on both sides does not require one to have any prior experience to use, unlike kettle bells.
Dumbbells can mimic the weights we have to lift in activities of daily life (ADL) such as groceries, books, chairs, luggage etc. One can and should start a (self training) program using dumbbells with traditional body building exercises like curls, presses and extensions. However doing such movements alone is not realistic. Gradually it is definitely a good idea to move on to more functional movements using dumbbells; that require both upper and lower limb movements. This increases the level of difficulty, hence requiring more mental alertness because of the co-ordination and balancing involved.
Functional movements mimic movements in ADL and prepare the body for sports activities a whole lot better than traditional body building movements (which are more geared towards muscle growth). Using the same tool for different training will make a huge difference in the way your body looks, moves and feels in the long run.
In outer space, astronauts lose muscle mass rapidly because of zero gravity. Your body will get rid of muscle mass when it deems them not necessary because muscles burn calories, and the body is designed to burn less (to survive starvation which was common in the past). Add resistance training with dumbbells to stimulate muscle growth today, more than you actually require because you will lose muscle mass as you age.
So build yourself up now to ensure you will be able to move normally, optimally for the rest of your life.