The Best Dumbbell Workout Routine You Can Do At Home
If you want to improve your physique, dumbbells are an essential piece of equipment. As well as being portable and easy to store, I find that they work my muscles in ways that exercise machines are unable to. They also offer a greater range of motion than barbells, which means I can achieve better muscle definition.
I can train most of my body with dumbbells alone, while keeping the workout sessions reasonably short. Just a twenty to thirty minute session, three times per week, is enough to keep me looking good and feeling fit.
Here are some of the exercises I use, which you can try:
Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with your arms down by your sides. Keep your arms straight, while raising them up to the sides, until they are at a ninety degree angle to your body. Hold that position for a second, then steadily bring your arms back down.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level, with your arms bent. Push your arms straight upwards, until they are fully extended, then lower them back down to shoulder level. Sometimes, I find it easier to do this exercise whilst sitting down.
Sit in a chair or stand up straight and grip a dumbbell in each hand, with your palms facing outwards. Curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders, while twisting your hands round so your palms face your shoulders at the top of the movement. I find that this helps to isolate my muscles and improve my definition.
Lower the dumbbells back down to your sides, while twisting your hands round so your palms face outwards again.
Lie down on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand, positioned in line with your shoulders. Push the dumbbells straight upwards vertically, until your arms are fully extended. Carefully lower your hands back down to their starting position.
I like doing bench presses with dumbbells, because I can get a fuller range of movement than I can get when using a barbell. I find that this really works my chest, shoulders and tricep muscles effectively.
Lie down on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Your arms should be almost fully extended to the sides, horizontally. Keeping your arms as straight as possible, bring your hands together in an arching motion, so they meet above your chest.
Hold this position momentarily, then carefully lower your arms back down to their horizontal position.
I find this exercise is excellent for getting a real pump in my pectoral muscles. The key is to use dumbbells of the right weight, so you can perform the movement correctly, while working your muscles to the maximum extent possible.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand up at shoulder level. Your feet should be a shoulder width apart. Keeping your back straight, squat down until your thighs are slightly lower than parallel with the ground. Then, stand up straight again.
Obviously, when squatting with dumbbells, you use less weight than you would use in a gym with a barbell. However, I find this helps me to get a fuller range of movement, so it’s still a great exercise for the legs. I just go for a higher number of repetitions than I would attempt with a barbell.
Bent Over Rows
Rest your right knee and right hand on a bench, while looking down at the ground with a dumbbell in your left hand. Your left arm should be fully extended and close to the ground. Pull your left hand up to your chest, getting a full range of movement, then lower it back down again.
Repeat the same exercise with your right arm. I enjoy this exercise, because I can feel the muscles in my back getting bigger and stronger.
While sitting down, hold a dumbbell in your right hand bent behind your head. Your right elbow should be pointing towards the ceiling. Your left hand should be positioned on the right side of your torso. Straighten your right arm to exercise the tricep muscle, then bring it back to its’ original position.
Repeat this with your left hand. Triceps get incidental training with bench presses and shoulder presses, however I find this exercise is good for bringing out the definition in the muscle.
Stand up straight with your feet a shoulder width apart. Place the dumbbells on the floor, just to the outer side of each foot. Keep looking straight ahead, as you bend your knees, grasp a dumbbell in each hand, then stand up straight while keeping your arms by your sides.
Carefully bend your knees to place the dumbbells back on the floor, then repeat the movement.
This exercise works the legs and lower back effectively, and is good for increasing your general strength. I tend to use heavier dumbbells for this exercise, because the back and thigh muscles are the strongest muscles in the body.
In addition to training, you must eat enough protein to help your muscles grow. Also, you should get at least seven hours of sleep each night, otherwise you will stunt your progress.
Using the above exercises, here’s one of the best dumbbell workout routines you can do at home:
I normally finish my workouts with two sets of twenty crunches or leg raises, to tone my abdominal muscles. This is a good way to wind down your exercise session, because it gives your other muscles a chance to cool off before you hit the shower.
I usually do some cardio work to warm up for my workouts. Most of the time, I will go for a short jog or jump rope for a few minutes. I would recommend you do the same, to prevent any unnecessary injuries. For more info, read my post on how to properly warm up before working out.