Fitness crazes come and go, but if you’re looking for a workout that ramps up results, these dumbbell exercises used in the Nalini Method offer serious gains. Already a hit Stateside, this intense routine is poised to be the next big thing in fitness.
Developed in New York by fitness pro Rupa Mehta, the Nalini Method (named after Rupa’s mum), is a challenging combination of Eastern and Western practices. “It fuses mental and physical conditioning for a total body and mind workout,” says Rupa. And it delivers noticeable results in a matter of a few sessions.
The premise is pretty simple: there’s no need for fancy kit or gruelling machinery, this is a no-frills workout with minimal equipment required. Weights are kept low (beginners starting on a tiny 1kg with advanced levels using up to 5kg) and reps are high to work muscles to fatigue. The focus is on enhancing flexibility and balance and improving endurance and energy while sculpting a dancer’s physique. Free weights will help you tighten and tone.
“Ultimately, physical and emotional weight go hand in hand and by achieving balance with both, you can live your happiest and healthiest life,” Rupa explains.
Want to give these dumbbell exercises a go? Try these moves two to three times a week to de-stress, sculpt and slim your whole body.
Kit you’ll need: 2 x 1-5kg dumbbells
Beginner: Sets 1 Reps 20 Weight 1.5kg
Intermediate: Sets 1 Reps 20, hold last rep for 3sec Weight: 2-3kg
Advanced: Sets 1 Reps 20 rising onto the balls of your feet, hold last rep for 10sec Weight: 4-5kg
Areas trained: Bottom, calves
Lie on your back and place two weights on your hips, holding them in place with your hands. Bend your knees, bringing your feet up to your bottom. Lifting your bottom, curve your lower spine up toward the ceiling, tucking your pelvis upward, but keeping most of your back on the floor. Make the movement small and isolated to target your bottom effectively.
Field goal thruster
Beginner: Reps 20 Weight: 1-2kg
Intermediate: Reps 20 Weight: 2-3kg
Advanced: Reps 20 reps plues 20 pulses Weight 4-5kg
Area trained: Shoulders
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, raise your arms to shoulder height, bending your elbows at a 90º angle, palms facing forward. Keeping your chest open, core tight and elbows back, press up to the ceiling and then lower back down to the starting position. If you feel tension in your neck or back, switch to lighter weights.
Dumbbell side bend
Beginner: Reps 10 each side
Intermediate: Reps 15 each side
Advanced: Reps 20 each side
Area trained: Obliques
Position a pair of weights on top of one another to form the letter X and hold them in your right hand with your arm by your side. Ensure your feet are wider than your hips and position your left hand behind your head. Slightly tuck your tailbone forward, keep your chest open and lifted, then lean to your right for two counts before returning to the centre over two counts, using your upper body. Perform all the reps on one side before repeating on the other side. Keep good posture throughout.
This article first appeared in Women’s Fitness