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Full-Body Dumbbell Workout : 14 Best Dumbbell Exercises

Full-Body Dumbbell Workout : 14 Best Dumbbell Exercises

If you’re not making the best dumbbell exercises part of your weekly fitness regimen, you should be. Despite their somewhat rudimentary design, these timeless tools remain fundamental to upper body strength training, in particular. Even burly bodybuilders and celebrities—who have legions of expensive equipment at their disposal—still incorporate dumbbell workouts on a frequent basis. And who are you to ignore bodybuilders and celebrities? Even better, dumbbells are relatively inexpensive and highly portable, which is great if you’ve suddenly found yourself unable to hit the gym. By picking up a few dumbbells online, you can ensure you have all the tools for a killer home workout or gym session. Get the ball rolling (or should we say the bicep curling) with the following dumbbell exercises.

What Are Dumbbells ?

Full-Body Dumbbell Workout : 14 Best Dumbbell Exercises

A dumbbell, by definition, is a short bar with a weight at each end. It may be covered in a variety of materials or have dials that can be adjusted, but the basic principle has remained the same for centuries. The forerunners of these useful hand weights can be traced all the way back to ancient Greece.

Dumbbells are available in weights ranging from 1 pound to 375 pounds. Most dumbbells, however, weigh between 5 and 25 pounds. The heaviest dumbbell at the local gym normally weighs about 60 pounds. Since you’re a beast, you can go to one of those special gyms if you’re looking for something stronger.

Dumbbells are widely used for joint isolation exercises because they are free weights. You’ve seen them before. You’ve most certainly used them. But are you getting the most out of your dumbbell workouts ? Let’s take a look.

Best Dumbbell Exercises

Full-Body Dumbbell Workout : 14 Best Dumbbell Exercises

You’re not a dumbbell, which is why you want to get the most out of your weekly workout. Know that starting with lighter weights and working your way up is superior to starting with heavy weights and working your way to the hospital.

With that in mind, here are some of the most effective dumbbell exercises for muscle growth and other purposes. When it comes to rep and set recommendations, we mostly stick to intermediate-level recommendations. If you’re just getting started, start small and work your way up.

The 14 best dumbbell exercises for men are listed below.

# 1 Shoulder Press

Full-Body Dumbbell Workout : 14 Best Dumbbell Exercises

This famous dumbbell exercise adheres to the importance of having strong shoulders. While the shoulder press specifically targets two sections of the deltoids, it also engages a variety of other muscles, including the trapezius, triceps, and rotator cuff. For this exercise to be effective, all of these frameworks must work together with your shoulders. Let’s get started:

  1. Hold a pair of dumbbells on either side of your body when standing upright.
  2. The dumbbells should be around the same height as your elbows, your arms should be slightly bent, and your palms should face your body.
  3. When you hit the top, keep pressing upward and twisting your wrists so that your palms are facing upward.
  4. Straighten your arms by lifting the weights directly above your shoulders.
  5. Lower the bar and repeat.

Reps: 6-10 per set
Sets: 3-4
Rest: 90-120 seconds between each set

# 2 Bench Press

Full-Body Dumbbell Workout : 14 Best Dumbbell Exercises

Dumbbells have a wider range of motion than barbells, enabling you to increase your pectoral strength even more. A good dumbbell bench press will also tone your triceps and strengthen your shoulder muscles. The most important thing to remember when doing dumbbell workouts, as with any workout, is to squeeze at the top of the movement. This will keep the muscles you’re targeting focused and involved. The following are the steps to performing a dumbbell bench press:

  1. Keep a dumbbell in each hand when lying down on a bench.
  2. Maintain a slight bend in each arm to the side of each elbow, palms facing upward.
  3. When you press the weights over your chest, stretch your elbows.
  4. Continue until your arms are straight over your chest, but avoid touching the weights.
  5. Lower the weights to just below shoulder level.
  6. Repetition

Reps: 8-12 per set
Sets: 3
Rest: 90-120 seconds between each set

# 3 Bicep Curl

Full-Body Dumbbell Workout : 14 Best Dumbbell Exercises

One of the most basic and common weight-lifting exercises is also one of the most effective. It engages a wide variety of bicep and triceps muscles. Keep your back straight and your upper body under balance during this movement. We’ve all seen guys at the gym that are lifting weights that are too big for them and tossing dumbbells back with complete disregard for their backs. This dumbbell exercise focuses solely on isolated control. To properly execute a dumbbell bicep curl, follow these steps:

  1. Keep a dumbbell in each hand and stand erect.
  2. Both of your arms should be at your sides.
  3. Maintain a near relationship between your elbows and your torso, with your palms facing outward.
  4. When you curl the weights up to shoulder level, don’t move your upper arms.
  5. As you go, contract your biceps and exhale.
  6. Return to your original spot.
  7. Repetition

Reps: 8-10 per set
Sets: 3
Rest: 90-120 seconds between each set

# 4 One Arm Swing

Full-Body Dumbbell Workout : 14 Best Dumbbell Exercises

Dumbbells have the advantage of producing tangible results from basic routines. Look no further than the mighty one-arm swing for evidence. It works your leg muscles as well as your shoulder muscles. Although you may be familiar with this as a common kettlebell exercise, you can easily replicate it with a dumbbell. This is a fantastic multi-purpose move that can be integrated into strength or HIIT workouts. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Holding a dumbbell at arm’s length between your thighs
  2. Take a squat spot.
  3. As you push yourself upward, swing the dumbbell across your thighs.
  4. As you straighten your legs, raise the dumbbell all the way up to your forehead level while keeping your arm straight.
  5. Rep for a complete set, then switch weapons.

Reps: 6-8 per arm per set
Sets: 3
Rest: 90-120 seconds between each set

# 5 Lunge

Full-Body Dumbbell Workout : 14 Best Dumbbell Exercises

Bring in dumbbells and take this classic bodyweight exercise to the next level. Make sure you have enough space and that you’re prepared to work a variety of muscle groups (legs, glutes, etc). Attempt to maintain influence of the movement once more. This dumbbell exercise requires no speed, so take your time, maintain your balance, and squeeze at the tip. Carry out the following procedures:

  1. Keep a dumbbell in each hand and stand erect.
  2. With your palms facing inward and your feet a little less than shoulder-width apart, hang your arms on either side.
  3. Move forward with your chosen leg, bending at the knee so your thigh is parallel to the ground.
  4. When you descend, land on your heel and inhale.
  5. On the toes, the back leg should be bent at the knee and balanced.
  6. When you exhale, return to the starting spot.
  7. Rep with the other leg for a full rep.

Reps: 8-12 per set
Sets: 2-3
Rest: 90-120 seconds between each set

# 6 Bent-Over Row

Full-Body Dumbbell Workout : 14 Best Dumbbell Exercises

Using free weights to their maximum potential with this classic muscle-building exercise that targets the back and shoulders. Just keep in mind that this is not a beginner’s exercise and that poor form will result in serious injury. As with most exercises, it’s important to keep your back straight and knees slightly bent; the aim is to target your lower back rather than overload it. When you’re ready, go through the following steps:

  1. With a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing the body, stand up.
  2. Maintain a shoulder-width distance between your legs and arms, with your knees slightly bent.
  3. Bend just to a 45-degree angle, bracing your heart and maintaining a straight back.
  4. Exhale as you lift the weights up in a straight line.
  5. Keep your wrists stiff and your legs still.
  6. As you lift the hand weights, your arms should never reach shoulder level.
  7. At the top of the movement, it should feel like you’re pinching your shoulder blades together.
  8. Return to the starting spot with the weights and repeat.
  9. After you’ve completed each set, don’t change your posture.

Reps: 6-8 per set
Sets: 3
Rest: 90-120 seconds between each set

# 7 Triceps Kickback

Full-Body Dumbbell Workout : 14 Best Dumbbell Exercises

Starting with lighter weights and will the load as you progress is the best way to do this dumbbell workout. This is especially true for the triceps kickback, a movement that targets the often-overlooked back of the arm. Assuming a position close to the bent-over row, it’s important to limit the movement to your lower arm alone. Throughout this movement, try to keep the shoulder and upper body as still as possible. Here’s how to do it:

  1. With a dumbbell in each hand, stand erect.
  2. Maintain a slight bend in your knees and palms facing inward.
  3. When you hinge at the hip, tighten your core and hold your spine straight.
  4. Continue until the torso is nearly parallel to the ground.
  5. Your upper arms should be held tight to your neck, your head and spine should be in a straight line, and your chin should be tucked in slightly.
  6. Exhale by straightening your elbows while keeping your upper arms still.
  7. Return to the starting position by holding, inhaling, and returning to the starting position.

Reps: 10-15 per set
Sets: 2-3
Rest: 90-120 seconds between each set

# 8 Lateral Raise

Full-Body Dumbbell Workout : 14 Best Dumbbell Exercises

The lateral raise is another great deltoids-targeting movement that has been a favorite among bodybuilders since the sport’s inception. This exercise is vital to those hulking shoulders you’ve been looking for, with an emphasis on the outside rotor of the muscle. This successful dumbbell exercise relies on maintaining proper shape. Keep your movements small and regulated, and try to lead with your elbows. The measures are as follows:

  1. Assume a sitting or standing position.
  2. With your palms facing inward, hold a dumbbell on either hand.
  3. Your heart should be braced and your back should be straight.
  4. Slowly raise your arms out to your sides so they are parallel to the floor.
  5. When doing so, keep the elbows slightly bent.
  6. Lower with care and repeat.

Reps: 10-12 per set
Sets: 3
Rest: 90-120 seconds between each set

# 9 Calf Raise

Full-Body Dumbbell Workout : 14 Best Dumbbell Exercises

Squats and lunges aren’t the only movements you can perform to improve the lower body. Since your calves are so critical for mobility and stability, adding some dumbbell exercises that target the region is a good idea. Stronger calves are sexier calves, after all, and here’s how to get stronger calves:

  1. Keep a dumbbell in each hand and stand erect.
  2. Maintain a shoulder-width distance between your knees.
  3. Hold your arms straight and hang them below your knees.
  4. Lift your feet until you’re on your toes.
  5. The tension in your lower legs should be palpable.
  6. Return and repeat the process.

Reps: 12-15 per set
Sets: 1-2
Rest: 90-120 seconds between each set

# 10 Glute Bridge

Full-Body Dumbbell Workout : 14 Best Dumbbell Exercises

Another bodyweight movement that gets even better when you add a dumbbell to the mix is this one. You’ve probably seen people wearing this at the gym, and while it might seem crazy at first, there’s a method to the madness. A main component of the body’s largest muscle group is activated by the glute bridge. You can help create an area that controls stability and overall strength by pressing very close at the tip. Expect heavy glutes if you do the following:

  1. Bend your knees and lie back on a mat.
  2. Hold your feet flat on the floor and balanced behind your knees.
  3. Place a moderately heavy dumbbell (20 pounds or more) on top of your lower abs and keep it in place with both hands.
  4. Flex the abs and glutes as you arch your hips toward the ceiling.
  5. From your shoulders to your knees, draw a diagonal line with your body.
  6. Keep for three seconds at the end.
  7. Return to your starting spot.
  8. Repetition

Reps: 10-12 per set
Sets: 3
Rest: 90-120 seconds between each set

# 11 Russian Twist

Full-Body Dumbbell Workout : 14 Best Dumbbell Exercises

Let’s give it a Russian twist, boy! The joke might be a little ahead of its time, but Chubby Checker fans will appreciate it. In any case, here’s how to do this excellent core exercise:

  1. Sit with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor in a sitting posture.
  2. In both hands, take a dumbbell and hold it in front of your chest.
  3. Maintain a straight back and solid abs.
  4. Lift your feet a few inches and lean back slightly.
  5. When you bring the dumbbell to the left side of your body, slowly rotate your torso to the left.
  6. Return to the neutral position and twist to the right, bringing the dumbbell in sync with the motion once more.
  7. Rep for another rep by returning to the core.

Reps: 15-20 per set
Sets: 3-5
Rest: 90-120 seconds between each set

# 12 Lying Dumbbell Fly

Full-Body Dumbbell Workout : 14 Best Dumbbell Exercises

This dumbbell exercise can be performed on a variety of surfaces, such as an incline bench, a flat bench, or even a gym ball. We used the conventional flat-bench technique for this particular movement. You can target the mid-section of the chest with this, but you can also target the upper and lower parts of the muscle group with an incline or decline bench. Obviously, not everyone has access to a bench, but a flat bed with movement options or a Swiss ball will easily suffice. On a flat or incline seat, however, here’s how to do it:

  1. Return to your original spot on the bench, holding your feet flat on the concrete.
  2. Dumbbells should be placed directly over your chest, palms facing each other.
  3. Lower the free weights as far as you can safely go out to the sides.
  4. When you return to the starting spot, engage your pectoral muscles.
  5. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows and a straight (i.e. un-arched) back during the exercise.
  6. Repetition

Reps: 8-12 per set
Sets: 2-3
Rest: 90-120 seconds between each set

# 13 Tricep Extensions

Full-Body Dumbbell Workout : 14 Best Dumbbell Exercises

Let’s finish up your dumbbell workout with this triceps-targeting gym staple. You may use a double or single-handed grip for this movement, but the most important thing to remember is the location of your elbows. Throughout the movement, try to keep your arms locked in close to your body, as this will better target the triceps and help you prevent injury. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Hold a single dumbbell in both hands and stand tall.
  2. Maintain a shoulder-width distance between your feet and a tight heart.
  3. Lift the dumbbell above your head, palms facing inward, by completely extending your arms.
  4. You’ve arrived at the starting stage.
  5. When you lower the dumbbell behind your shoulders, bend your arms at the elbows and activate your triceps.
  6. Return to your starting place and repeat the process.

Reps: 8-12 per set
Sets: 2-3
Rest: 90-120 seconds between each set

# 14 Weighted Sit-Ups/Jack Knives

Full-Body Dumbbell Workout : 14 Best Dumbbell Exercises

You can use a dumbbell if you’re doing normal sit-ups or more difficult jack-knives. We’ll assume you already know how to do sit-ups, so here’s how to do the jack-knife version:

  1. Lie down on your back with your legs raised toward the ceiling.
  2. Hold a dumbbell over your chest with your arms straight.
  3. Raise the dumbbell toward your feet as you crunch upward.
  4. When you drop your legs toward the floor, keep your legs straight and try not to arch your back.
  5. When you lower your knees, try not to lift your back.
  6. At the same time, lower your head.
  7. Perform another crunch by extending the legs upward once more.

Reps: 10-12 per set
Sets: 2-3
Rest: 90-120 seconds between each set

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