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Stretching before using dumbells is important. Doing so correctly gets blood flowing to muscles, lubricates joints and stimulates nerves. Stretching can help you maintain flexibility needed to continue maintain regular activity maximize the effects of your dumbell workout. With your muscles and connective tissue loosened up, you'll enjoy a more full range of motion and will have a better chance of benefitting from each exercise. Skipping the pre-workout stretch can actually lead to injury.
Warm up with light cardio activity before stretching. This will get blood flowing to your muscles so that you get the most out of your stretch and decrease the chance of injuring cold muscles and connective tissue. Walk slowly for 10 minutes or do a few minutes on a cardio machine.
Stretch the upper back, deltoids and triceps by crossing your arms in front of you either together, like giving yourself a big hug, or one at a time using the opposite arm to hold the stretch. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat three or four times alternating the "top" arm each time.
Sit or stand with your back straight, arms down at your sides. Lift your shoulders into a shrug position and roll them forward and backward in a circular motion. Keep the neck long and straight and keep your movements slow and deliberate. Roll the shoulders three to four times in each direction.
Behind the Back
Extend one arm straight up with fingers pointed toward the ceiling, the palm of your hand facing behind you. Bend your elbow and reach your hand to the space between your shoulder blades. Reach the other arm over your head and grasp the elbow and gently pull the arm into a deeper stretch. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and repeat with the opposite arm.
Extend both your arms, one straight out in front of your body and one straight behind you. Move them in a large circular motion, clockwise and then counterclockwise, while keeping them straight. Keep shoulders, elbows and wrists loose but keep movements fluid. Jerking your body into position can cause injury.