Dumbbell Workout - Great Results With Dumbbells!

A dumbbell workout can be good for someone who only has dumbbells available to them. It can also be a good change from your normal workout routine. Perhaps you simply love dumbbells! Whatever the case, this page is the the total package for your dumbbell workout needs!

Chest Workout

Here is a list of our favorite dumbbell exercises using only dumbbells. Choose as many as you like for your workout (usually between 3-4).

Perform 2-4 sets depending on what you can handle. A repetition rage of 10-12 is perfect for gaining new muscle and conditioning them as well.

Dumbbell Bench Press: This is the fundamental chest exercise that will promote growth throughout the whole muscle. Your hands should be shoulder width apart. Control the dumbbells throughout the whole motion. They should not touch your chest.

Decline Dumbbell Flyes or Bench Press: This will help target your lower chest muscles. This exercise is recommended to those with a partner to help them.

Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover: This is another great exercise to really stretch your chest muscles. This one takes some practice and careful precision.

dumbbell bench press

Incline Dumbbell Press: This is the best exercise to build your upper chest. It is arguably better then using a barbell. It really stresses your muscle and takes much concentration and focus. Incline the bench. Grab each dumbbell and lift like the man in the picture, this is your starting position. Press the weight up until you have full extention. Slowly lower the weight until your arms are parallel with the ground, again refer to the picture. This is a highly recommended to add to your dumbbell workout!

incline dumbbell press

Dumbbell Flyes: This is a very good exercise you can super-set after dumbbell bench press. It stretches your chest muscles and stimulates very good blood flow. You should always have a slight bend in your elbow like you are hugging a tree. Take a look at the picture for an example.

Incline Dumbbell Flyes: You can super set this after you do incline dumbbell press. Another highly recommended exercise to build your upper chest.

Decline Dumbbell Flyes or Bench Press: This will help target your lower chest muscles. A partner would be wise during these exercises to prevent injury as well as help you lift the weights initially.

Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover: This is another great exercise to really stretch your chest muscles. This one takes some practice and careful precision.

dumbbell flyes

Dumbbell Push-ups: This is a twist on the traditional push-up exercise and it is a bit more challenging. It allows more space between your chest and the floor so you can lower your chest more then you usually would. This in turn allows for a greater stretch.

Looking for workouts? Check out the bench press workout page!

dumbbell push up

Bicep Workout

Here you will find our favorite exercises you can work into your dumbbell workout routine. Each one should be done for 3-4 sets, and like usual the repetition range should be between 10-12 for optimal gains.

Dumbbell Bicep Curl: This is your basic exercise. Great for overall mass. Keep your elbows in and squeeze your bicep at the top. Of course, no swinging of the weights or body.

Preacher Hammer Dumbbell Curl: Instead of using a barbell or EZ bar, use dumbbell instead. They serve as an interesting and challenging twist on an otherwise basic exercise.

Seated Dumbbell Curl: Just like the regular dumbbell bicep curl, but sitting down. Make sure your back is flat against the surface. Sitting down reduces momentum and the temptation to swing the weight (which you should never do).

dumbbell bicep curl

Hammer Curls: This is a great exercise. You can curl with both arms, or you can do one at a time. Your elbows should stay close to your torso. Your palms should be facing your torso like the woman in the picture. Get a good squeeze at the top!

Cross Body Hammer Curl: This is just like the hammer curl except you are curling the weight to the opposite side. For example, if you have the dumbbell in your right hand, curl it to your left side. When you complete the movment it should be near the middle of your left pectoral muscle as if your were doing the pledge of allegiance. Palms facing your torso at all times, when you curl don't change your palm rotation into a normal curl.

hammer curl

Concentration Curl: Great to finish your dumbbell workout. Place the back of your upper arm against or on top of your leg. Slowly extend your arm, and at full extension, contract your bicep muscle and curl the weight back up. CONCENTRATE on the movement.

concentration curl

Incline Dumbbell Curl: Set the bench to an incline. Grab each dumbbell off the ground with you palms pointing out. Only your forearms should move as you curl the weight. Keep your back flat and squeeze the biceps for best results.

incline dumbbell curl

Shoulder Workout

Your shoulders are just as important as every other muscle group! They help your whole upper body during most movements. The exercises that follow are some of the best. Choose which ones you like to add to your dumbbell workout.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press: A great alternative to the barbell shoulder press. Raise the dumbbells to shoulder height, this will be the starting position of the exercise. Press the dumbbells upward until your arms are extended. Remember not to go to fast. It should take you 3-4 secondsto bring the dumbbells to the starting position to start the next repetition.

dumbbell shoulder press

Power Partials/Lateral Raise: Grab the dumbbells with a neutral grip at your side. Begin to raise the weight. You should have a slight bend at your elbow. Raise the dumbbells until they are shoulder level, or slightly higher. Lower the weights slowly.

Lateral raise

Front Two-Dumbbell Raise: When holding the dumbbells at your side your palms should be facing down. Begin to raise the weight. You should have a sleight bend at your elbows. Lift upward until at shoulder position or slightly higher.

Dumbbell raise

Palms-In Dumbbell Press: Your starting position is slightly above your shoulders and your ending position is at the top when your arms are fully extended. Lower the weight slowly and repeat until satisfied.

Palms in dumbbell press

Reverse Flyes: You can do this exercise on a bench as well. Start with the dumbbells to your side. With a slight bend at the elbow, raise the weight until your arms are parallel with the floor. Lower the weight in a slow manner and repeat. This exercise is good to add into your dumbbell workout to focus on your rear delts.

Reverse flyes

Back Workout

Unfortunately, not a lot of dumbbell exercises for back exist. However we will list what you can add to your dumbbell workout for now!

One-Arm Dumbbell Row: This is for middle back. Put one arm forward on the bench and the opposite knee on the bench as well. Your other leg should be planted on the floor. Grab the dumbbell with your other hand. Your back should remain fairly parallel with the ground. When you raise the weight, your arm should remain close to your body and your torso should remain stationary (no momentum). Concentrate on using your back when you lift the weight, then lower slowly.

Dumbbell row

Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row: Again with the same concept. Both dumbbells should be in hand and you should be bent over so your back is straight but almost parallel to the floor. Your palms should be facing in just like the last 2 exercises. Raise the weight as you keep your arms close to your body. You should feel your shoulder blades squeezing together. Hold for a second the lower the weight.

Dumbbell Incline Row: Same concept as the one-arm dumbbell row. Incline the bench so it is not flat. Lay on the bench with your stomach flat against it while standing. The dumbbells should be in your hand with your palms facing in like the one-arm dumbbell row. Keep your arms close to your body and raise the weight until you contract your back muscles.

What is the best lower back exercise?

Tricep Workout

Just like the back, the triceps don't have many options when it comes to a dumbbell workout. Here are the few that are worth while and will benefit you with your goals.

Tricep dumbbell kickback

Tricep Dumbbell Kickback: Put one hand flat on the bench and one knee on the bench as well on the same side. The other foot should be planted firmly on the ground with a slight bend at the knee so that you can allow your back to be parallel with the ground. It should remain stationary the whole time. With the dumbbell in your hand and your palms facing in like the man in the picture, "kick" the dumbbell back until your arm is extended and your tricep muscle contracts. Lower slowly for perfect form.

Seated Tricep Press: Grasp the dumbbell and hold it overhead with your arms extended. This is the starting position. Have some one hand it to you in this position if you cannot lift it. Keep your elbows in and begin to lower the weight slowly. Your forearms should hit your biceps (example in pictures). Then bring the weight back to the starting position and repeat. This exercise is a for sure great addition to your dumbbell workout for overall mass.

tricep press
seated tricep press

One-Arm Dumbbell Triceps Extension: Fully extend your arm with the dumbbell in your hand above your head. You should hold it like the man in the picture, except your arm should be fully extended, this is your starting position. When you are ready, then you can lower the weight. The way the man is holding it in the picture is the ending position, or you can bring it down slightly lower if you can handle the tension. Your elbow should be close to your head while doing this exercise. A good way to know when to stop lowering the dumbbell is when your forearm touches your bicep. The only thing that should be moving is your forearm to lower the weight, not your arm.

one arm dumbbell tricep extension

Leg Workout

Legs are your biggest muscle group and should not be left out of your dumbbell workout! If you are lost on which exercises to do, here are a couple you can throw it your routine with just using dumbbells.

Dumbbell Squats: Grab each weight off the ground and stand with your legs shoulder width apart. Before you begin, make sure to keep your back straight at all times and look forward. Slowly lower your body until your legs are near parallel to the ground. Push with your legs to bring yourself back up to the starting position. This is a great exercise for overall development.

dumbbell squats

Dumbbell Lunges: This exercise requires a lot of balance so be cautious. Before adding it to your dumbbell workout, perhaps practice with no weights first. Stand stationary with 2 dumbbells in hand by your sides. When your ready step forward with one foot about 2 feet in front of you while the other foot remains firmly planted. Your knee should not go forward past your toes in this exercise. Use your leg muscles to push you back up to the starting position. If you are looking for a bigger challenge, you can hold the dumbbells over head like the man in the picture to the right.

dumbbell lunges
dumbbell lunges

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