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Get in Gear: PlateMates

If you're looking to tone up this summer, using dumbbells is a great way to get results. I've noticed that for certain exercises, like bicep curls, I can use a heavier weight, but since I have a torn rotator cuff, I need a lighter weight when doing side dumbbell raises.

I've discovered something that has solved my problem. Instead of buying tons of different sets of weights, check out PlateMates. They are hexagon-shaped weights that attach to any metal weight securely with 3 superstrong magnets. Use them with solid metal dumbbells, Olympic bars, power blocks, or stack weight machines.

You can get either a pair of 5/8 lb or a pair of 1 1/4 lb weight plates ($23.99), so you can add a bit more weight to your dumbbell when you're working muscle groups that you want to work harder. It's called "microloading," and it's a safe way to avoid injury to muscles and tendons when increasing intensity for toning, strengthening or physical therapy.

Fit's Tips: Check out your local fitness store to see if they sell PlateMates so you can try them out for yourself. Or you can order them at bodytrends.com.

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