Choose 1-2 exercises from each section and create the perfectly balanced routine.
Dumbbell Workout Exercises
To make your full-body workout, select 1-2 exercises from each group. Perform exercises in 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps. Choose a weight such that the last repetitions in the set are difficult, but do not compromise on technique.
If your dumbbells are too light to tire you in 12 reps, and increasing the weight would be too heavy, you can increase the reps up to 20.
Dumbbell Exercises For Biceps
1. Standing Bicep curl
Grip the dumbbells while keeping your palms facing your body. Bend your elbows and bring the dumbbells up to your shoulders while pivoting your wrists outward. At the top, the palms should be turned inwards towards the body.
This is an isolated biceps exercise also targeting only the forearms. The rest of the body should be stationary: there are no jerks, swaying and other unnecessary movements.
2. Seated Incline Bicep curl
Sit on an incline bench with your body against the back of the bench, and your feet firmly planted on the floor. Lower your arms with dumbbells so that they hang freely. From this position, raise the dumbbells to shoulder level and lower them back, keeping your elbow in place. Always return to the starting position to work a full range of motion. This position puts more tension on your biceps as compared to when standing, and can help overcome plateaus in arm growth.
3. Single Seated Bicep curls
Sit on a bench, spreading your legs wide, pressing your feet to the floor. Take a dumbbell in your right hand, pressing your shoulder to the inside of the right thigh, closer to the body. Do not put your elbow on your leg: this will take the load off the biceps and make the exercise meaningless. Place your left hand on your left knee for support.
Perform the lift, focusing on the contraction in each arm. Switch sides, and repeat.
Dumbbell Exercises For Triceps
1. Bench-supported bent-over Tricep extension
Put your knee and palm against the bench. Take the dumbbell in your other hand. First, bend it at the elbow at a right angle, then straighten it, return it to its original position and repeat. Move only your forearm, keeping your elbow in place. Switch sides, and repeat.
2. Bent over Tricep extension
This exercise is similar to the previous one, only it is performed without support. Tilt your body, keeping your lower back straight. Lower your shoulders, letting your arms form a right angle at the elbow.
Extend your arms with dumbbells, return to starting position and repeat. Try to focus on keeping your body position stable, and your elbow in place, focusing only on the tricep contraction.
3. Standing dumbbell Tricep extension
This movement is also known as the “Skull Crusher” (recognizing the obvious risks of raising a heavy weight over your head). Grasp one end of the dumbbell with both hands and lift it above your head. Bend at the elbows, lowering the weight behind your back, lift it up and repeat. Be sure to keep your elbows tucked in firmly.
Dumbbell Exercises For Shoulders
1. Standing Dumbbell Press
Raise your dumbbells to shoulder level, spread your chest, bringing your shoulder blades together. You will instinctively “shrug” with your traps to help support the weights. You must fight this urge and keep your shoulders down. Press the weights up and pull your head slightly forward (to keep you from arching your back too much). Lower them to their original position and repeat.
2. Lateral Deltoid raise
Raise your arms while gripping the dumbbells to the sides to shoulder level, lower them back and repeat. You can bend slightly at the elbows so as to not over-stress the joints.
3. Bent-over rear-Deltoid raise
Tilt the body to almost parallel with the floor, slightly bending your knees. Extend your arms with dumbbells to the sides to shoulder level and return them back. Perform the movement smoothly, without jerking or swinging. Be sure to keep your body position stable until the end of your set.
Dumbbell Exercises For Back
1. Dumbbell Incline Bench Rows
Lie on an incline bench, lower your arms with dumbbells. Bring your fists up to your waist, bring your shoulder blades together, and lower your shoulders. Return your arms to the initial position and repeat.
2. One-arm bench-supported dumbbell row
Lean on the bench with your left palm and knee. Straighten your right leg, pressing your foot to the floor. As you bring the weight to your waist and lower it back down, be careful to not flare your elbow out, but keep it tucked in close to your body. Don’t lift your shoulder or hunch your back, but direct your gaze to the floor in front of you so your neck is in line with your back. Switch sides and repeat.
3. Bent-over dumbbell row
Tilt your back to parallel with the floor or slightly higher, hold the dumbbells in outstretched arms. Lower and straighten your shoulders, bring your weight to your waist, bringing your shoulder blades together, and then lower back. Be sure to keep your back straight, and not rounded.
Dumbbell Exercises For Chest
1. Dumbbell bench press
Lie on a bench with your feet firmly planted on the floor. Bend your elbows at right angles, place your shoulders parallel to the floor or slightly below. Hold your wrists as if you were pinching a barbell. Squeeze the dumbbells up, while simultaneously turning your hands, palms towards each other and connecting them. At the top, both weights should meet. Lower your arms to the starting position and repeat.
2. Dumbbell flys
Lie on a bench, press your feet to the floor. Connect your arms with dumbbells above you, and then spread them apart, stretching your pectoral muscles. Bend your elbows slightly to protect the joints. Bring your arms to the starting position and repeat.
3. Raising dumbbells from a right angle
Lie on a bench, press your feet to the floor. Bend your elbows at a right angle, turn your palms towards your body. Straighten your arms, but not completely: at the extreme point, leave them slightly bent to protect the joint. Return your forearms to initial position and repeat.