Finest Dumbbell Exercise To Construct Muscle at Residence

You don’t have to have entry to a health club to construct muscle, get sturdy, and burn fats. As long as you may have a few dumbbells and an adjustable bench, you’ll be able to construct the physique of your goals within the consolation of your own home.

Bear in mind, your muscle tissue can not actually inform the distinction between utilizing a high-tech chest press machine and doing units of old-school dumbbell bench presses. As long as you’re employed laborious, your muscle tissue will get larger and stronger.

There may be nothing dumb about dumbbell coaching!

Regardless of their title, dumbbells are literally a superb coaching instrument and, in some methods, are literally superior to barbells, resistance machines, and even body weight workout routines. Their benefits embody:

Security– getting caught beneath a heavy barbell throughout bench presses could cause severe harm. If you’ll be able to full your rep, you would find yourself with the barbell crushing your chest or neck. That is a lot much less possible with dumbbells. If you’re unable to finish a rep, merely decrease your weights all the way down to the ground. You possibly can’t do this with a barbell, and a failed rep of barbell bench presses could cause severe harm. Dumbbell squats are additionally probably safer than barbell again squats.

Elevated vary of movement– with no bar to hit your chest or shoulders throughout rows and presses, you’ll be able to transfer your joints by means of a bigger than regular vary of movement. That is good for joint mobility, flexibility, and muscle development.

Repair left-to-right power imbalances– most individuals have one arm or leg that’s stronger than the opposite. That is very regular. However, if that imbalance turns into too nice, it could actually result in postural abnormalities, lop-sided muscle growth, and athletic efficiency points. Coaching with dumbbells can spotlight any imbalances and in addition gives you with the means to repair them.

Enhance your stability and coordination– lifting two weights as a substitute of 1 will problem your nervous system greater than utilizing a barbell or resistance machine. This can develop your stability and coordination. These health attributes are essential in sports activities and may assist make on a regular basis actions simpler.


Selection– there are lots of of various dumbbell workout routines, and most of them may be carried out utilizing two palms, one hand, and even utilizing an alternating arm motion. Some workout routines are solely attainable with dumbbells – there is no such thing as a barbell equal. Utilizing dumbbells, even when they’re your solely type of coaching, ought to by no means be boring!

So, if dumbbells (additionally spelled dumb-bells) are so good, why have they got the phrase dumb of their title?

Dumbbells are so-called as a result of they had been initially developed in order that 18th century English church bell ringers may apply their abilities in silence and keep away from disturbing the individuals close by. They had been actually ‘dumb’ ‘bells,’ dumb being an old-fashion phrase for silent (1).

Dumbbells do have a few disadvantages too. For urgent workout routines, it may be tough to get heavy dumbbells into the proper beginning place. Additionally, for workout routines like squats and deadlifts, barbells are normally simpler to make use of.

That stated, if you happen to solely have entry to dumbbells, don’t fear an excessive amount of about what you’ll be able to’t do, and focus extra on what you’ll be able to. In the end, any train is healthier than no train, and you may nonetheless work all of your main muscle tissue utilizing dumbbells.

Listed below are three exercises that use nothing greater than dumbbells and an adjustable bench. Do every exercise a few times per week to work your whole main muscle tissue equally, i.e.:

  • Monday – exercise #1
  • Wednesday – exercise #2
  • Friday – exercise #3


  • Monday – exercise #1
  • Tuesday – exercise #2
  • Wednesday – exercise #3
  • Thursday – exercise #1
  • Friday – exercise #2
  • Saturday –  exercise #3
  • Sunday – relaxation

Please word that the six-days per week coaching plan is simply appropriate for knowledgeable/superior exercisers who even have glorious restoration skills. Intermediate and newbie exercisers ought to use the primary possibility.

Earlier than you start…

A great exercise begins with a correct warm-up, and dumbbell coaching is not any totally different. Put together your physique and your thoughts for coaching by doing a couple of minutes of sunshine cardio, comparable to leaping rope.

Jumping Rope

Then, while you really feel heat and barely out of breath, do some dynamic stretches and joint mobility workout routines for the physique components you’re about to coach. Lastly, do 1-2 units of every train in your exercise utilizing a light-weight. It’s best to now really feel able to work!

Exercise #1: Dumbbell leg exercise

No leg press machine? No squat rack? No drawback! Construct decrease physique power and muscle measurement with this old-school dumbbell-only leg exercise.

No. Train Units Reps
1 Goblet squats 4 8
2 Dumbbell Romanian deadlifts 4 10
3 Bulgarian cut up squats 3 12
4 Dumbbell leg curls 3 12
5 Single-leg calf raises 3 15

Train descriptions

1.1 Goblet squats

Goblet squats work your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. You solely want one dumbbell to do that train.

Goblet Squat

Methods to do it:

  • Maintain a dumbbell in entrance of your chest in order that it’s vertical, and your palms are towards the within of the highest weight plates. Step out and right into a shoulder-width stance, toes turned barely outward. Brace your abs and look straight forward.
  • Push your hips again, bend your knees, and squat down till your thighs are parallel to the ground. Don’t spherical your decrease again or bounce out of this lowermost place.
  • Stand again up and repeat.

1.2 Dumbbell Romanian deadlifts

This train works your posterior chain, i.e., your hamstrings, glutes, and decrease again.

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts

Methods to do it:

  • Stand together with your toes hip-width aside, knees barely bent, and a dumbbell in every hand, held in entrance of your thighs.
  • Push your hips again and hinge ahead with out rounding your decrease again. Decrease the weights down your legs to simply under knee-height.
  • Push your hips ahead and rise up, however don’t lean again as doing so places an excessive amount of stress in your lumbar backbone.

1.Three Bulgarian cut up squats

This total-leg train can be good for hip mobility and total stability.

Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat

Methods to do it:

  • Stand together with your again to a knee-high bench or chair. With a dumbbell in every hand, bend one leg and place your foot on the bench behind you. Hop ahead and right into a split-stance.
  • Bend your legs and decrease your rearmost knee down towards the ground so far as your mobility permits. Lean ahead barely, however don’t spherical your decrease again.
  • Stand again up and repeat. On completion, relaxation a second after which do the identical variety of reps on the opposite leg.

1.Four Dumbbell leg curls  

This dumbbell train is the old-school equal of the hamstring curl machine. It’s a bit difficult however, as soon as mastered, will present your hammies with a really efficient exercise.

Dumbbell Leg Curls

Methods to do it:

  • Lie in your entrance on a flat train bench. You may also do that train on the ground. Place and maintain a dumbbell between your toes. Squeeze your legs collectively to maintain it in place.
  • Beginning together with your legs straight, bend your knees and curl your legs up till your shins are perpendicular to the ground.
  • Lengthen your legs and repeat.

1.5 Single-leg calf raises

This low-tech train will flip your calves into cows! It really works each calf muscle tissue; the soleus (the smaller, decrease calf muscle) and the gastrocnemius (the bigger, higher calf muscle.)

Single Leg Calf Raises

Methods to do it:

  • Stand on one leg on a low, secure step, so the ball of your foot is on the sting, and your heel is free to maneuver up and down. Maintain a dumbbell in a single hand. Use your free hand for stability.
  • Decrease your heel down towards the ground so far as your flexibility permits.
  • Push up and onto your tiptoes. Elevate up as excessive as you’ll be able to.

Exercise #2: Dumbbell chest and again exercise

Most gym-based exercises for the chest and again contain barbell bench presses and lat pulldowns. You’ll be glad to listen to you’ll be able to nonetheless work each of those essential muscle teams utilizing nothing greater than your trusty dumbbells and an adjustable bench.

No. Train Units Reps
1 Alternating incline dumbbell press 4 10
2 Renegade rows 4 10
3 Dumbbell flies 3 12
4 Single-arm dumbbell row 3 12
5 Dumbbell fly, pullover, and press combo 3 8

Train descriptions 

2.1 Alternating incline dumbbell press

This dumbbell train works your higher chest, anterior (entrance) deltoids, and triceps. The alternating arm motion will increase time beneath stress, making gentle and average weights really feel heavy.

Incline Alternating Dumbbell Press

This will likely be helpful if you happen to solely have entry to gentle dumbbells.

Methods to do it:

  • Modify your bench at a 30 to 45-degree incline. With a dumbbell in every hand, lie on it together with your head uppermost. Press the weights as much as arms’ size.
  • Preserving one arm prolonged, bend the other arm, and decrease the load down to simply exterior your shoulder. Press it again up after which swap sides.
  • Proceed alternating sides in the course of your set. Bear in mind, one arm ought to all the time be straight and stationary.

2.2 Renegade rows

This lat, mid-traps, posterior deltoid, and biceps train additionally works your core. Use gentle weights initially till you may have mastered this difficult however rewarding transfer.

Renegade Row Exercise

Methods to do it:

  • With a dumbbell in every hand, undertake the push-up place together with your legs and arms straight, and your core braced. Your palms must be shoulder-width aside.
  • Preserving your supporting arm straight, row one dumbbell up and into the aspect of your ribs.
  • Decrease the dumbbell again to the ground after which do a second rep on the other aspect.
  • Proceed alternating arms in the course of your set.
Renegade Row:  Mix operate and power for spectacular muscle growth !

2.Three Dumbbell flyes

The dumbbell fly gives a wonderful solution to isolate your chest. With minimal triceps involvement, this train is finest performed utilizing gentle to average weights and utilizing a gradual, managed tempo.

Dumbbell Flyes Exercise

Methods to do it:

  • Lie on a flat train bench with a dumbbell in every hand. Press the weights as much as arms’ size and switch your palms, so your palms are dealing with inward. Bend your elbows barely after which hold them inflexible for the remainder of the train.
  • Open your arms and decrease the weights out and all the way down to your sides. Go so far as your flexibility permits with out hyperextending your shoulder joints.
  • Squeeze the dumbbells up and collectively over your chest and repeat.

2.Four One-arm dumbbell row

Along with your free arm offering help, this bent over row variation is comparatively straightforward in your decrease again. When you’ve obtained the weights accessible, be happy to go heavy on this train.

One Arm Dumbbell Row

Methods to do it:

  • With a dumbbell in a single hand, bend your knees barely and lean ahead to position your supporting hand on a sturdy knee-high bench. Your again must be barely arched and never rounded, and parallel to the ground. Lengthen your arm straight all the way down to the ground.
  • Bend your elbows and pull your dumbbell up and into the aspect of your ribs. Deal with main together with your elbows and holding your wrist straight.
  • Decrease the load to arms’ size and repeat. Do the identical variety of reps on all sides.
  • Preserve your shoulders pulled down and again all through.

2.5 Dumbbell fly, pullover, and press combo

Your last train is a three-in-one transfer that works your chest and again from a number of totally different angles. Use gentle to average dumbbells and concentrate on getting an ideal pump.

Methods to do it:

  • Lie on a flat bench with a dumbbell in every hand. Press the weights as much as arms’ size and switch your palms in so your palms are dealing with inward. That is your beginning place.
  • Preserving your arms barely bent however inflexible, open your arms and decrease the weights down and out to your sides. Squeeze the weights up and again collectively. Repeat seven extra occasions.
  • Subsequent, flip your palms, so your palms are dealing with down your physique. Bend your arms and decrease the weights to the surface of your shoulders. Press them again up and repeat seven extra occasions.
  • Lastly, flip your palms inward once more and, together with your elbows barely bent however inflexible, decrease the weights down behind your head, so your biceps brush your ears. Pull the weights again up and over your chest after which repeat.

Exercise #3: Dumbbell shoulders and arms exercise 

Whereas your shoulders and arms get an oblique exercise throughout most chest and again workout routines, if you’re severe about constructing a physique to be pleased with, these muscle teams deserve a extra direct exercise too.

No. Train Units Reps
1 Dumbbell push-press 4 8
2 Aspect raises 3 12
3 Reverse flies 3 10
4 Prime-down biceps curls 3 10
5 Dumbbell cranium crushers 3 10
6 Dumbbell curl and press 3 15

Train descriptions

3.1 Dumbbell push-press

This is a superb train for shoulder mass and explosive energy. After getting warmed up, be happy to go laborious and heavy on this one.

Methods to do it:

  • With a dumbbell in every hand, curl your weights as much as shoulder top. Stand together with your toes shoulder-width aside and brace your abs.
  • Bend your knees and descend into 1 / 4 squat. Lengthen your legs and use this momentum that can assist you push the weights overhead to arms’ size.
  • Below management, decrease the dumbbells again to your shoulders after which repeat.

3.2 Aspect raises

Concentrating on your medial or aspect deltoids, this train helps give your higher physique additional width.

Dumbbell Side Raise

Methods to do it:

  • Maintain a dumbbell in every hand and stand together with your toes shoulder-width aside for stability. Maintain the weights towards your outer thighs.
  • Along with your arms barely bent however inflexible, increase your arms up and out to the aspect till they’re parallel to the ground. Your palms must be dealing with down towards the ground.
  • Decrease your dumbbells again to your sides and repeat.

3.Three Dumbbell Reverse flies

Reverse flies work your posterior or rear deltoids in addition to your mid traps and rhomboids. Along with being vital for higher posture, well-developed put up delts, center traps, and rhomboids are vital for shoulder well being and might add quite a bit to your total physique.

Reverse Flies

Methods to do it:

  • Sit on the tip of your train bench and maintain a lightweight dumbbell in every hand.
  • Lean ahead and relaxation your chest in your legs. Attempt to keep away from rounding your backbone an excessive amount of. Let your arms cling down the surface your legs, palms dealing with inward.
  • Elevate your arms up and out to the aspect. Use the goal muscle tissue; don’t jerk the weights up utilizing your again.
  • Decrease the weights again down and repeat.

3.Four Prime-down biceps curls

This distinctive dumbbell train retains your biceps beneath stress for longer than common biceps curls, producing a wonderful pump and loads of stimulus for muscle development. In addition they make lighter weights really feel more difficult.

Methods to do it:

  • Seated or standing, curl your dumbbells as much as shoulder top.
  • Preserving one arm stationary, decrease the other dumbbell all the way down to your aspect after which curl it again as much as your shoulder.
  • Subsequent, decrease the opposite weight and curl it again up.
  • Proceed alternating arms in the course of your set.
Bicep Curl vs. Hammer Curl: 
3.5 Dumbbell cranium crushers

Cranium crushers are normally performed utilizing a barbell or EZ bar. However, utilizing dumbbells, you need to use a bigger vary of movement and are additionally much less more likely to hit your self within the head. They’re referred to as cranium crushers for a motive!

Dumbbell Skull Crushers

Methods to do it:

  • With a dumbbell in every hand, lie flat on an train bench together with your arms straight and the weights above your shoulders. Flip your palms, so your palms are dealing with inward.
  • Preserving your higher arms vertical, bend your elbows and decrease the weights all the way down to both aspect of your head.
  • Lengthen your arms and repeat.

3.6 Dumbbell hammer curl and press

This train works you your forearms, biceps, triceps, and deltoids . Do a few excessive rep units to complete off these muscle teams and get an ideal pump.

Methods to do it:

  • Stand together with your toes shoulder-width aside or sit on a flat train bench as most well-liked. Maintain a dumbbell in every hand, arms by your sides, palms turned inward.
  • Bend your elbows and curl the weights as much as your shoulders. Subsequent, press the dumbbells up and overhead.
  • Decrease them again to your shoulders after which all the way down to your sides. That’s one rep – hold going.


Do you may have any dumbbell coaching questions? We’ve obtained solutions! When you can’t discover the data you’re in search of under, drop us a line within the feedback part, and we’ll get again to you as quickly as we are able to.

I’ve solely have gentle dumbbells – can I nonetheless do these exercises?

You most positively can! Make your gentle dumbbells really feel heavier by adopting a gradual tempo, comparable to lifting in 4 seconds and decreasing in 4 seconds, and by taking brief rests between units – 30-45 seconds. You may also do greater than the prescribed variety of reps.


I don’t have an train bench. What can I do?

You are able to do any train that must be carried out seated within the standing place, or you’ll be able to sit on a sturdy chair. For the mendacity workout routines, do them on the ground. This can scale back your vary of movement for bench presses and flys, however you’ll nonetheless get a good exercise.

I solely have one set of dumbbells. Will I nonetheless be capable of do these exercises?

Sure, however it’s possible you’ll discover that some workout routines are more durable than others since you can not change weights. For instance, it’s possible you’ll discover goblet squats too straightforward, however reverse flies very laborious. On this case, simply do as many reps as you’ll be able to of every train, and don’t fear in regards to the advisable reps.

I’m a newbie. Can I do these exercises?

If you’re new to understanding with dumbbells, we recommend doing fewer units of every train and utilizing gentle weights to acclimate your physique to any such coaching. You also needs to do every exercise simply as soon as per week. Do solely 1-2 units of every train as a substitute of the advisable 3-4. Then, as you get stronger and fitter, regularly work as much as doing the total exercises.

Can I take advantage of dumbbells for cardio coaching?

Whereas these exercises are designed for bodybuilding, there may be nothing to cease you from utilizing dumbbells for cardio and fat-burning exercises too. Do that circuit and see! Do every train for 30 seconds, after which relaxation for a minute. Repeat 5 occasions.

  • Dumbbell thrusters – dumbbell entrance squats to overhead press.
  • Dumbbells swings – like kettlebell swings however utilizing one dumbbell.
  • Dumbbell squat jumps – squat down and leap up with a dumbbell in every hand.
  • Single-arm dumbbell snatches– raise your dumbbells from the ground to overhead in a single motion. Alternate arms rep by rep.
  • Dumbbell burpees – like common burpees however with a dumbbell in every hand.

The wrap-up

Don’t see solely having dumbbells and a bench to coach with as a drawback. These low-tech coaching instruments permit you to work, each main muscle group within the consolation and security of your individual dwelling. In addition they imply you’ll be able to work out anytime you want – your own home health club is rarely shut! Offering you practice laborious, eat proper, and get loads of relaxation and sleep, these dumbbell exercises will make it easier to get stronger and extra muscular.

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