When it comes to women lifting weights, a common myth is that you'll get "bulky" or look "manly". According to a 2006 review in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the benefits of weightlifting for men and women are: increased bone mass, lean muscle mass, improved cardiovascular fitness, strength, and an enhanced sense of well being. As for the worry about getting bulky, the authors said it's physically impossible for women to become bulky. "Basal hormonal differences (that is, decreased testosterone) ultimately limit the absolute amount of lean body mass that women can accrue with strength training."

Get ready to build lean muscle and improve your upper body strength with the 18 dumbbell exercises ahead.