Considered one of the first pieces of home workout gear you should invest in, dumbbells allow you to do a total body workout in a short amount of time, with minimal equipment needed!
Since dumbbells are so versatile, they can be used for both full-body workouts, compound exercises, and isolation exercises. They also offer many benefits for building muscle and increasing flexibility.
Suitable for beginners, follow along for a full body workout using dumbbells. Best part is, you can do it in your living room!
Lateral raises target the small deltoid muscles around your shoulders. For this exercise, start light and work your way to heavier dumbbells overtime. For beginners, we recommend 2-pound to 5-pound dumbbells.
- Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them at your side.
- Raise your arms straight out from your sides until they are in line with your shoulders, elbows slightly bent.
- Slowly lower your arms to starting position.
- Repeat for 10-12 repetitions, for 3 sets.
Chest presses primarily target the chest muscles, however, it also works the shoulders and triceps, making it a great compound exercise. Since the chest is a larger muscle group, beginners can start with a heavier weight. Start with 10-pound to 15-pound dumbbells and increase the weight if it feels too light.
- Lie down on the floor or a flat bench.
- With your palms facing your feet, push the dumbbells up so that your arms are directly over your shoulders.
- Once extended, squeeze your chest for a second, then lower the dumbbells slowly until your elbows bend to 90 degrees and the weights are at chest level.
- Press the weight up again for 10-15 repetitions, for 3 sets.
Your upper body should be nice and warmed up by now! This exercise works your shoulders, arms, and upper back. Medium weight is great for this exercise, we recommend 10-pound to 15-pound dumbbells for beginners.
- Stand with feet about hip-distance apart, holding weights at ear level with the elbows bent.
- Press the weights up and overhead while keeping the abs engaged to keep a straight back.
- Lower your arms to ear level and repeat for 10-12 repetitions for 3 sets.
Bent-Over Row with Dumbbells
Adding dumbbells to a Bent-Over Row builds and targets your back muscles. Be sure to engage your core and keep your back straight to achieve perfect form. Beginners can start with 10 pound to 15 pound dumbbells and adjust weight as needed.
- With a dumbbell in each hand (palms facing your body), bend your knees slightly and lean forward by hinging at the hips.
- Keep your back straight and let your arms hang perpendicular to the floor.
- Lift the dumbbells to your sides, keeping the elbows close to the body while squeezing your shoulder blades and back muscles at the top of the movement.
- Slowly lower the weight back down to the starting position. Repeat for 10-12 repetitions for 3 sets.
When you think of dumbbells, you might automatically think of bicep curls! Curls are one of the most highly recognizable dumbbell exercises. They target your biceps and can be added to workouts no matter if you are a beginner or advanced strength trainer! Beginners can start with 5-pound to 12-pound dumbbells depending on bicep strength.
- Lock your elbows into your rib cage and hold a dumbbell in each hand.
- Bend your elbows and curl the dumbbells up, squeezing your biceps at the top.
- Slowly lower your dumbbells in a controlled movement.
For beginners, concentrate on form and doing this exercise correctly. Doing this exercise properly can be tricky at first but is simpler than you think! Deadlifts make a great transition to the lower body part of a workout. Deadlifts target the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back. Start with low weight dumbbells and instead focus on proper form!
- Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart holding dumbbells by your side.
- Slowly hinge at your hips and bend your knees slightly to lower the weight, keep the dumbbells close to your body.
- Maintain a flat back, moving forward as if you were going to pick something up from the floor until you feel a stretch in the hamstrings.
- Squeeze your hamstrings and glutes and reverse the move, lifting the weight back to starting position. Repeat for 8-10 repetitions for 3 sets.
Squats are essential to a workout routine as this motion helps utilize muscles that are critical to movement in our everyday lives. We recommend medium weight for squats with 10-pound to 15-pound dumbbells for beginners.
- Hold weights in each hand and stand with feet about hip-distance apart.
- Bend the knees and lower into a squat, knees behind the toes and squatting as low as you can.
- Push back to start and repeat for 10-15 repetitions for 3 sets.
Lunges work multiple muscle groups including quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. This exercise can be done by any level but balance is required and is not recommended for those with balance issues. We recommend holding onto 10-pound to 15-pound dumbbells for this exercise.
- Choose a pair of dumbbells and stand up straight with a slight bend in your knees.
- Hold the dumbbells down at your sides. You are now in the starting position.
- Step forward with your left leg while maintaining your balance and squat down through your hips.
- Keep your torso straight and head up. Don’t allow your knee to track out over your toes.
- Push yourself back to the starting position by using your heel to drive you.
- Repeat this movement with your right leg and then repeat for 10-12 repetitions for each leg, for 3 sets.
See your doctor before trying this workout if you have any injuries, illnesses or other medical conditions that affect your ability to exercise. Substitute or skip any exercises that cause pain or discomfort.
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