Alternatives for dumbbell exercises over the head?

  • I am new to BFL.  I just finished reading the book and am going for it!  Previously, I've been working out and watching what I eat without much success.  I have the drive, I just don't think I'm putting it together correctly.  I hope BFL is the answer.

    Today was my first work out, my upper body feels like rubber.   But I don't think I like the workouts that involve pushing the dumbbells over my head.  In short, my last two sets of dumbbell presses were pretty shaky.  Concentrating very hard to maintain form.   I was very worried about dropping a dumbbell  on myself.

    The book seemed to want to steer away from the machines in the gym but since I work out alone, I'm really not comfortable with the exercises that have me pushing the dumbbells over my head.  That and getting into the starting position with 100lbs of dumbbell was not easy either.

    Are there alternatives for these exercises?

    Any advice would be terrific.  As I continue, I'm hoping to tune my workout to provide the most success.

  • First off welcome!

    I personally feel dumbbells and free weights are the way to go. In the situation you described above...I would just lower to a more manageable weight to start and THEN increase as you get stronger...and you WILL. For the set when you have only the 6 reps, there you can really test your limits because it is only 6 reps.

    Alternatively, when you are doing that real heavy set, just ask someone in the gym for a spot...people are usually glad to help... I've done it for people before. Just to be there for that little push and for reassurance you won't drop the dumbbells on your head :)



  • Hey Steve,

    Welcome to the community. My experience is that free weights and dumbells are great. Not that Machines are not good, I just workout alone at home and do not have a variety of machines. You will need to be careful in the beginning to be sure you are using a weight that you can handle safely and with proper form. It will likely take a few workouts to figure out your baseline and where you should start. The dumbells will produce excellent results, but you will have to build up the stabilizer muscles to get over that shaky feeling. I use 75% dumbells in my workouts and have had great results. There are endless alternatives that you may like to incorporate into your workouts. Just search around and see what fits your needs. Always be safe and do not put yourself into a compromising position for the sake of lifting too heavy. An injury can derail any progress you have made. Results will come soon enough.

    Good luck with your journey.

  • Steve ...

    Welcome to BFL & the forum community. The folks here are great & so helpful. Here is a link to a video that really helped me with bench presses. It shows how to safely get the dumbbells into position & how to safely put them down when finished.

    www.bodybuilding.com/.../dumbbell-bench-press

  • Thank you all for the responses.  I hadn't even thought about stabilizing muscles.  I've been benching for several months with a free weight machine so I have built some strength but haven't had to worry about balancing the dumbbells.  Also, the video is very helpful.   I'm set to give it a go again on Friday.   I will continue to work with the dumbbells.  I would still like to include the free weight bench machine just to challenge myself from time to time.  

    Great advice and thanks for the support.