Here’s a full-body dumbbell workout plan that you can do at home or at the gym.
These are the most frequently asked question by beginners in exercise.
- Can you tell me about exercises I only do with dumbbells?
- Can you tell me about exercises I can do at home?
Here are some exercises that can answer both questions.
When I was a beginner, I did these exercises at home and saw great results.
You can build muscle even if you don’t do machine exercises. Dumbbells are enough to build muscle.  However, keep in mind that if the weight is too light, the exercise effect may be somewhat reduced.
Here are 6 exercises that will strengthen your whole body.
- Dumbbell Chest Press (Chest)
- Bent Over Dumbbell Rows (Back)
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press (Shoulder)
- Lunges (Lower Body)
- Dumbbell Curl (Biceps)
- Dumbbell Kickback (Triceps)
1. Dumbbell Chest Press (Chest)
It is effective in increasing the size of the central and outer muscles that gather the chest because the movement is performed in the entire range of motion of the pectoralis major. When lifting dumbbells, you can develop a strong and stable upper body because you can develop muscles to maintain balance together.
Start the dumbbell bench press by lying on a bench and lifting your chest slightly. When lying down, make sure your hips, lower back, back, and shoulders are touching in order. When repeating contraction and relaxation, be careful not to overextend your shoulders behind your back. This may increase your risk of injury to the muscles around your shoulder. While lying on your back, move your elbows vertically without raising your elbows toward your shoulders or lowering them toward your lower back.
If you do not have a bench, you can do the exercise while lying on the floor in the same position. The range of motion is a little shorter, but if you make the contraction strong all the way to the end, you can get a sufficient exercise effect.
Dumbbell Chest Press : 4 sets / 12~15 reps per set
2. Bent Over Dumbbell Rows (Back)
It is an exercise that can develop the muscles of the back close to the spine as it has a wide range of motion. If your back muscles are weak, you can reduce the burden by performing the motion while lying on an incline bench. Doing it with one hand can increase the range of motion and increase stimulation of the target muscle.
Make the angle of your upper body about 25 to 30 degrees with respect to the ground. You can also bend your legs slightly. Keep the dumbbells in your hands, but think of them as hanging on your elbows. Instead of bringing the dumbbells towards your body, try sending them to the back of your body. Don’t pull with your shoulders, send your entire arm back.
If the dumbbells are heavy, it is better to deadlift. But not many people at home have such heavy weights. So, you can do dumbbell rows that can increase the thickness enough.
Bent Over Dumbbell Rows : 4 sets / 12~15 reps per set
3. Dumbbell Shoulder Press (Shoulder)
This exercise can increase the volume and clarity of the anterior and lateral deltoid muscles. Compared to the barbell press, it has the advantage of being able to exercise with the full range of motion of the shoulder. It can maximize the balanced development of the deltoid muscle because the force is applied in the front and rear or left and right directions.
Keep the angle of the forearm muscles perpendicular to the ground. When you contract your muscles, exercise as if you were hurrahing. It is better to sit on a hard chair than on a soft chair. Be careful as there is a risk of injury to the surrounding muscles if the dumbbell moves too far outward or toward the body.
Dumbbell Shoulder Press : 4 sets / 12~15 reps per set
4. Lunges (Lower Body)
It is one of the representative leg exercises, which strengthens the muscles of the lower body by strengthening the thighs and buttocks. Even if you use your own body weight, you can feel enough stimulation, but if you want a stronger exercise effect, it is better to exercise slowly using dumbbells.
When doing lunges, do the exercise while lowering your body vertically. It is recommended that the knee of the front leg does not go beyond the toe, but it is not too much of a concern if it deviates slightly. With the center of the body slightly in front, go down and then rise as if jumping forward. Do 15 reps with dumbbells and 5 more reps immediately after releasing the dumbbells. Do this drop set exercise. This exercise is mainly for the front legs. If you have done 20 reps on one leg, immediately switch legs and do 20 reps.
Lunges : 4 sets / 20 reps on each leg per set
5. Dumbbell Curl (Biceps)
This is an exercise that can increase the clarity of the biceps brachii. You can exercise in a standing position or a sitting position on a bench or a gym ball, and the muscles that are developed vary depending on the direction you hold the grip. You can exercise both arms at the same time, or alternate one arm at a time.
When lifting the dumbbells, be careful not to lift your shoulders first. Keep your elbows on your sides and contract your biceps. Make sure the dumbbells don’t go out of your body.
Dumbbell Curl : 4 sets / 12~15 reps per set
6. Dumbbell Kickback (Triceps)
It is an effective exercise to develop the upper part, especially the outer part of the triceps brachii. It is important to increase the number of repetitions with a light weight and concentrate on the muscle tension and contraction with an accurate posture. This can be done with both hands or lying face down on a bench. In order to promote the development of the triceps brachii with more definite tension and contraction, the method of performing one arm at a time is recommended.
Keep your upper body almost parallel to the ground. If your back or hind legs are difficult to withstand due to lack of flexibility, 15 to 20 degrees is fine. While maintaining the posture, place your arms on your sides and straighten your arms while sending the dumbbells back. Please hold the upper arm so that it does not shake too much. Shaking too much can make the exercise less effective. If you can’t hold the last contraction for 3 seconds, use a lighter weight.
Dumbbell Kickback : 4 sets / 12~15 reps per set
With these 6 exercises, you can exercise 3 times a week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. On the rest of the days, you can get better results by doing aerobic exercise.
What to do Next?
If you’re a beginner, try this routine for just 4 weeks. You will gain muscle and you will definitely be motivated to exercise.
Check out our article on 15 foods that are good for building muscle if you want to gain muscle faster.