Top 10 Exercises with Dumbbells


We often think that doing gym with various equipment can only help us to build a muscular physique. But, all of us are not able to pay the higher gym charges to avail of the benefits of that equipment.

Hence, for those people who get devoid of these benefits, we are introducing a hack for them which can help them to build muscular physique even without the use of multiple gym equipment. To train at home or any place, we need simple equipment i.e., dumbbell.

A dumbbell is a versatile piece of equipment that we can do multiple exercises to train our whole body. The trick that helps us to gain weight or cut down fat in our body is to increase the weight of the dumbbell gradually.

It is always suggested to kick-start the dumbbell exercises with a small weight and then increase the weight as the physique allows.

But, it’s not the weight of the dumbbell that helps us to build the physique, it’s the type of exercises we perform. So, below we have mentioned some of the exercises we can do using a set of dumbbells.

How To Perform Dumbbell Exercises?

Before learning about different ways to do dumbbell exercises, you must have to know how to perform them effectively. Below we have mentioned some of the important things to remember while doing a dumbbell exercise.

Start With Small Weight

Always start with lower weights and easy exercises, as it is a wise way to begin the dumbbell exercise. The initial weight good for men and women can be taken as 5-10 lb. (women), and 10-20 lb. (men).

And start with easy exercises like bicep curls to begin the exercise process. Never do hard exercises initially, as they can affect your body negatively.

Gradually Increase Weight

Starting with a small weight is ideal, but continuing with that weight is foolishness. The motive of doing exercise is to exhaust the body muscle or the concerned muscle for which the exercise is being done.

Hence, to keep the muscle gaining process going, increase the dumbbell weight by 5-10 lb. per week.

Workout For the Whole Body

Make a routine and do a certain number of reps for each set of each type of exercise. Focus on building all parts of the body to make a fit body. Otherwise, focusing on only one portion will benefit that part only.


Nothing can be achieved with a lack of consistency. Hence, following the routine consistently will help you get your target quickly. Moreover, consistency will help you to increase the hard work, or else you will be stuck where you started at first.

But, don’t do dumbbell exercises daily, try to give rest to your muscles, which means take a few off days a week.

Best Exercises with Dumbbells

There are a lot of exercises that can be done using a pair of dumbbells, but below we have mentioned some of the common dumbbell workouts for the whole body.

Bench Press

A quality bench press will help you get results for three areas i.e., pectoral area, triceps, and shoulder muscles. This exercise helps to gain more strength in the pectoral area.

An important concept to do this exercise is to squeeze at the top of the movement that will help to keep the muscle active and engaged.

  • First, lie on a bench facing upward.
  • Then, take a pair of dumbbells, one in each hand.
  • Now, keep your arms bent with the upper arm and lower arm making a 90° angle and place the arms on the shoulder level with palms facing upwards.
  • As you start the exercise, extend the elbow to make a 180° angle between the arms while the dumbbells are raised above the chest, but make sure the dumbbells don’t touch each other above.
  • Now, bring the arms to the initial position to make it count as one rep.
RepsEach set should have 8-10 reps
SetsAt least, 3 sets at once.
RestTake rest for about 90-120 seconds between two consecutive sets.

Bicep Curl

This is a very simple exercise that can be done using a single dumbbell too. This exercise targets the bicep and triceps muscles in our body. But, always keep your back straight, while doing this exercise.

  • Stand straight and hold a pair of dumbbells, each in both hands.
  • Keep the arms hanging on both sides and your elbow positioned near your torso.
  • While performing the exercise, keep the upper arm stiff and curl the lower arm towards the shoulder level.
  • Make sure you contract the biceps and exhale while curling the arms.
  • Now, come back to your original position and this will be taken as one rep.
RepsPerform 8-10 reps in each set
Sets3 sets
RestMake sure to take at least 90-120 second’s rest.

Shoulder Press

A simple way to get stronger shoulders. Performing shoulder presses will mainly focus on two portions of the deltoid, but will also benefit other muscles like the trapezius, triceps, and rotator cuff.

  • Stand with your back straight and hold a pair of dumbbells with both your hands.
  • The arms should be placed almost or a little below the shoulder position and the arms should make an angle while holding the dumbbells.
  • As you are ready to go, start pressing upward until the arms are straight and parallel to each other.
  • Then pull down both the arms to the normal position to repeat the process.
Reps6-10 reps per set will be enough.
SetsGet better results with 3-4 sets.
RestTake rest for 90-120 seconds after each set.

Bent-Over Row

This one is a tough dumbbell exercise, which is not ideal for beginners as it can have a serious impact, if not done properly. This exercise builds muscle in the lower back and shoulders.

  • At first, stand straight with dumbbells in both hands.
  • The legs should be kept shoulder-width apart and bend the knees slightly.
  • Now bend down by keeping the back straight, but make sure not to bend more than 45°.
  • Start lifting the weight as you exhale and stand stiff.
  • While pressing the dumbbells upward, make sure the arms never cross the shoulder level.
  • Now, take down the arms to the normal position, but make sure you do not change the posture until the set is complete.
RepsDo 6-8 reps in each set.
Sets3 sets will be perfect for getting the desired results.
RestResting should be there for 90-120 seconds after every set.

One Arm Swing

This exercise is easy to understand. By doing this exercise, you will be activating the shoulder as well as leg muscles too. This is a replication of the kettlebell exercise using a dumbbell.

  • At first, stand in a half squat position.
  • Hold only one dumbbell in one hand and position the dumbbell between your legs, present apart at arm’s length.
  • Now to begin with the process, start swinging the dumbbell from the initial position to the final position i.e., forehead level.
  • While swinging, slowly straighten your legs, so that by the time the dumbbell reaches the forehead level, you are standing straight.
  • Do the whole process with both arms.
RepsEach arm should complete 6-8 reps in one set.
SetsA total of 3 sets will be enough.
RestTake at least 90-120 seconds rest before jumping to the next set.


One of the most effective workouts for legs and glutes using a dumbbell. This exercise requires more control and stability while doing it.

Here, speed doesn’t matter much, so as a beginner, start doing this slowly with full control. But this exercise requires a good room space or an outer space.

  • At the first step, stand straight and after that hold the dumbbells in both your hands.
  • Keep your legs apart at least for about shoulder width.
  • After taking the position, start by taking a step ahead and bend that leg from your knee, so that the thigh is parallel to the ground.
  • The other leg should also be bent at the knee, but the thigh should be placed at a right angle to the ground and it should be resting on the toes.
  • After completing the whole process described above, return to the normal position and swap legs to repeat.
RepsIn each set, do at least 8-12 reps.
Sets2-3 sets will be great, for this.
Rest90-120 seconds rest should be taken between sets.

Calf Raise

Calves play a huge role in the mobility and stability of a person. Hence, keeping the calves stronger will help them to assist lower body parts to stand straight and strong. This exercise mainly targets the calf of a person and helps to make it stronger.

  • First, stand straight and hold one dumbbell in each hand.
  • Keep your legs apart from each other, at least shoulder-width distance.
  • Now, hang both your arms straight with dumbbells below the shoulder level.
  • Slowly lift your body until you are standing on your toes.
  • As you can feel the tension in the lower leg, come back to the normal position and repeat.
RepsMake it 12-15 reps in a rest.
Sets1 or 2 sets will be enough for this exercise.
RestBetween two sets, rest for about 90-120 seconds.

Lateral Raise

This exercise is very commonly used by both beginners as well as professionals to build their shoulder muscles and arms stronger. Perform this exercise slowly and maintain the proper form.

  • This exercise can be done in both standing and seating positions.
  • Let’s consider the standing position.
  • While standing, make sure that the back is straight and the core is braced.
  • Take two dumbbells and hold them in two hands.
  • Now, slowly start raising both the hands laterally or sidewise until the hand reaches parallel to the ground level.
  • A slightly bent elbow is acceptable while doing this exercise.
  • Now, slowly lower the raised hands and repeat the process.
RepsAt least do 10-12 reps in every set.
Sets3 sets will be enough for lateral raise.
Rest90-120 second rest is essential between consecutive sets.

Goblet Squat

Goblet squat is just like a normal squat which is performed using a dumbbell. This exercise mainly focuses on the glutes, quads, and hamstring area, while the upper portion is passive in this exercise. Perform this exercise to fully activate the body.

  • Stand straight with raised chest and keep your legs one foot apart or hip-width apart.
  • Now, tightly hold one dumbbell, usually a heavier one of your choice from one end with both hands. Position the dumbbell nearer to your chest.
  • Start bringing yourself down, until the knees are at a 90° angle.
  • Always keep the position of the dumbbell nearer to the chest throughout the process.
  • Now, return to the original position to complete one rep.
RepsTry to do 10-12 reps in each set.
SetsAt least, 2-3 sets of this exercise will be ideal.
RestTake rest for about 90-120 seconds after every set.

Farmers Walk

It is the easiest dumbbell exercise and one of the smartest ways for a full-body workout. This is similar to carrying bags in the shopping complex as in this exercise we need to hold heavy dumbbells and walk.

It is mainly effective in the thigh portion, while other body parts also get benefitted from this exercise.

  • Stand tall and straight first.
  • Then take two dumbbells of heavyweight or the highest weight dumbbell you can carry in both your hands.
  • Then start walking here and there within your room or outside.
  • But, make sure to keep the body straight and your core engaged.
  • Continue walking until you start losing your grip.
RepsWalk until you lose the grip on your dumbbell.
SetsDo the above workout 2-3 sets.
RestTake rest for 90-120 seconds, before starting the next set or exercise.

As we have discussed previously too, that the dumbbells are a versatile tool in building a muscular physique. No matter how many dumbbells you have, one or two, you can do an exercise and train your whole body.

All the exercises mentioned above, are common exercises done by fitness freaks. All these exercises if done combined, then it will activate all the muscles in the body and initiate muscle growth quickly.

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