Dumbbells are one of the most versatile weights you can use while exercising. The availability and weight scalability of dumbbell exercises are the primary reasons for their popularity. As a result, they are widely used in the gym and at home.
Furthermore, dumbbells allow for unilateral training, allowing you to correct any pesky muscle imbalances as they arise. This results in evenly distributed gains in your body, preventing most injuries.
Dumbbell workouts can be found all over the internet. A quick internet search will offer more moves than you could have imagined. However, there is no need to overthink things right now. All you need are a few great moves and a set of dumbbells, as this article will thoroughly guide you through the best dumbbell exercises.
Even if you are just starting with dumbbell workouts, this article will help you because all of the exercises mentioned below can also be performed at the beginner level.
Best Dumbbell Workouts For Beginners
1. Lateral Raise
Lateral Raises (also called Side Lateral Raises) is the best and most effective shoulder-strengthening dumbbell exercise that helps tone your shoulder muscles and in addition to the part of your upper back muscles.
It targets your deltoid muscles, the rounded, triangular muscles that wrap around each upper arm and shoulder. Furthermore, with the proper form, lateral raises enhance your muscle growth and also increase your range of motion.
2. Biceps Curl
Biceps Curl is a well-known weight-training exercise that targets the muscles of the upper arm and, to a lesser extent, the lower arm. It’s also known as arm curls or dumbbell curls.
Biceps Curls/Dumbbell Curls help you build bigger biceps, strengthen your elbow flexion, and improve your grip strength.
3. Triceps Kickback
Triceps Kickback is one of the best exercises for toning your triceps muscles. Triceps Kickback primarily targets the triceps brachii muscle which is made up of a lateral head, medial head, and long head, in the back of your arm.
It is a simple, versatile, and effective way to strengthen your arms and upper body, which will help you perform better in other physical activities.
Adding triceps kickback to your workout routine helps to build upper body strength and stabilize your shoulder joint. Furthermore, triceps kickback is one of the most effective exercises in the strength training routine.
Lunges are unilateral exercises in which one side of the body is trained independently of the other. As a result, your balance and coordination will greatly improve.
Furthermore, lunges are a popular strength training exercise that focuses on the lower body. It also helps to tone your body and strengthen your back, hips, and legs. As already mentioned, it improves your mobility and stability, which improves your overall fitness and athletic performance.
5. Dumbbell Overhead Press
Dumbbell Overhead Press (also known as Dumbbell Shoulder Press), helps in strengthening your shoulder and also improves your core stability.
You can do an overhead press with various equipment such as barbells, kettlebells, or even with an exercise machine, but using dumbbells while performing an overhead press provides you the unique benefits. Dumbbell overhead press activates the anterior (front) deltoid more effectively than other forms.
Depending on your fitness level and goals, you can perform the dumbbell overhead press in a variety of ways.
6. Dumbbell Bench Press
Dumbbell Bench Press is a unilateral movement that helps in the improvement of your form and the correction of muscle imbalances. It works the front and top of the shoulders, the triceps in the back of the upper arms, and the pectorals, or chest muscles.
This dumbbell exercise helps you build a strong chest and also provides benefits that barbell presses do not. When compared to a barbell press, using a dumbbell allows for a wider range of motion. As a result, there is more muscle stretch and better contraction at the top of the movement.
The dumbbell bench press also engages stabilizing muscles, which results in the hyperactivation of more muscle fibers. Furthermore, working with dumbbells allows for wrist rotation as well as free elbow and arm movement, making the exercise less stressful on your joints.
7. Dumbbell Calf Raise
Dumbbell Calf Raise is the most effective exercise to strengthen your calf muscles. This results in protecting your calf from injury and also stabilizes your feet and ankle.
This simple and easy dumbbell exercise can boost your entire lower body performance and also helps you speed up your running. Furthermore, calf raises are also good for your joints.
8. Hammer Press
Hammer Press is a variation on a standard flat dumbbell chest press with a wider range of motion as compared to barbell variations.
Hammer press is primarily a chest exercise, but it also activates your arm and shoulder muscles.
9. Dumbbell Floor Press
Dumbbell Floor Press is an upper body compound exercise with a limited range of motion that primarily strengthens your chest, shoulders, and triceps.
This exercise targets the triceps muscle group more effectively as they remain active throughout the full range of motion. Furthermore, this dumbbell floor press helps to add muscle mass to your triceps.
10. Dumbbell Woodchop
Dumbbell Woodchop is an excellent and effective core functional exercise. As you twist and lift dumbells, your abs and obliques work overtime. This strengthens your core and as a result, boosts your performance during your everyday activities and sports.
11. Dumbbell Hip Thrust
Dumbbell Hip Thrust is an effective exercise for building glute strength and improving athletic performance. Your hips are being used to raise and lower a dumbbell while performing this dumbbell exercise.
The primary muscle groups that are targeted by the dumbbell hip thrust are the Glutes, Hamstring, and Adductors. Among all these muscle groups, the glutes are the most heavily targeted body part.
Furthermore, along with all the benefits like bigger and stronger glutes, better squatting strength, enhanced power, dumbbell hip thrust significantly helps you get a better posture.
12. Dumbbell Shrugs
Dumbbell Shrugs are effective and straightforward exercises to develop strong shoulders and upper trapezius muscles.
This exercise also helps in other upper body exercises. In addition to this, it partially improves your grip and forearm strength. Dumbbell shrugs are a great way to bulk up your back, neck, and shoulders.
13. Farmer’s Walk
The Farmer’s Walk, also known as the Farmer’s Carry, is a strength and conditioning exercise in which you walk with a heavy load (i.e., Dumbbells) in each hand for a set distance. This full-body workout targets most of the major muscle groups while also improving your cardiovascular health and endurance in addition to increasing muscle strength and power.
14. Single-Leg Deadlift
Single-Leg Deadlift is a simple but effective exercise for strengthening and toning the butt muscles while also improving your balance.
The single-leg deadlift increases muscle mass while also improving grip strength, correcting muscle imbalances, and improving your posture. Aside from these benefits, it is a beginner-friendly exercise that can be done at home with dumbbells.
The dumbbell squat is a beginner-friendly and versatile compound exercise that strengthens your lower body and core.
Dumbbell squats focus primarily on the quadriceps muscle group. Furthermore, they also work the glutes and hamstrings, however to a lesser extent.