If you have been looking to add some new exercises into your routine, dumbbell exercises are a great place to start. There’s a reason dumbbell exercises never seem to go out of style, no matter what fancy and expensive new pieces of gym equipment are developed. Whether you are a gym rat who never misses a session or a homebody trying to build up your own home gym to save money and a trip, the best dumbbell exercises will be perfect for your routine.

The great thing about dumbbells is how cost effective they are along with the fact that you can work so many muscle groups with little equipment. In this article, we outline ways you can exercise everything from your chest to deltoids to glutes, so your whole body can be in excellent shape. And all without any huge, bulky equipment, either.

Dumbbells can come in a simple pair that will take up little space in your home, and they don’t have to be assembled either. You can also buy a simple pair for as little as $10, meaning everyone can get a start on their workout routines with these best dumbbell exercises. Whether you just don’t want to pay for a gym membership or you can’t seem to fit the time into your schedule for a stop at the gym, dumbbells will solve all of these problems for you.

Of course, if you do go to the gym, you probably want to be more familiar with the equipment there. It is crucial to be safe with gym equipment when using it, and this article will explain the best dumbbell exercises for you to get the results you want. You will be able to find exercises for every different muscle group, and most of the exercises are beginner friendly as well so that anyone can start with them immediately.

These best dumbbell exercises will make you feel like a pro in no time and will often work multiple muscle groups so that you can spend more time doing better things. By the end of this article, you will have the perfect dumbbell exercises in mind to improve your regular routine.

Dumbbell Exercises FAQ

a man doing a dumbbell exercise

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1. What Are Dumbbell Exercises?

2. Why Should I Try Dumbbell Exercises?

3. Where Can I Use Dumbbell Exercises?

4. Where Can I Buy Dumbbells?

How We Reviewed

a man doing squats while holding dumbbells on each hand

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In comparing these best dumbbell exercises, we searched through tons of editors picks and looked through the advice of many personal trainers. We describe these exercises for you and list the pros, cons, focus area, and difficulty level so that no matter which choice we make, you can still make the best personal choice for your exercise routine.

Overall Price Range 

If you are just looking for a pair of dumbbells, you can pay around $10 – $20 for those. If you would prefer a set of light to medium weights for your dumbbell set at home, you will probably pay more in the $40 – $100. If you want really heavy and varied sets, you could pay up to $1000 or more for a set of different weighted dumbbells. The more weights you desire, the more money you will pay, but you have the convenience of using them forever. You could also sign up for a gym membership and take advantage of the dumbbells there if you prefer.

What We Reviewed 

  • Goblet Squat
  • Two-Point One-Arm Dumbbell Row
  • Lateral Raise
  • Two-Arm Dumbbell Stiff Legged Deadlift
  • Dumbbell Skullcrusher
  • Lunge
  • Bench Press
  • Dumbbell High Pull
  • Chest Flye
  • Cross Body Hammer Curl

Goblet Squat

Description

Stand so that your feet are more than shoulder width apart, and hold one end of a dumbbell in front of your chest with both of your hands. While keeping your back straight, sit down into a squatting position and then stand back up. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Pros

  • Great for all levels of weightlifters
  • Targets glutes
  • Improves hip mobility

Cons

  • None

Area of Focus

Hips and glutes

Where to Learn More

Level of Difficulty

Beginner

Two-Point One-Arm Dumbbell Row 

Description

Begin standing with feet in two point position, about shoulder-width apart and staggered, holding a dumbbell in one hand. You can use your other hand to rest on your thigh for support. Bend over so that your torso is parallel to the floor, you’re facing the ground, and your dumbbell hand is hanging towards the ground. Bring the dumbbell up by your side and squeeze your muscles at the top while keeping your back in position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Pros

  • Stabilizes torso through stance
  • Strengthens core
  • More reps required burns more calories

Cons

  • Can be difficult for some

Area of Focus

Core and triceps

Where to Learn More

Level of Difficulty

Intermediate

Lateral Raise 

Description

Stand comfortably with a dumbbell in each hand, arms down by your sides. While keeping your back straight and your elbows slightly bent, slowly raise your arms to shoulder height so that they’re parallel to the floor, before returning them to your side. Repeat for desired number of reps.

Pros

  • Targets outer part of deltoid muscle
  • Doesn’t require ton of core strength
  • More reps required burns more calories

Cons

  • Doesn’t target as many areas as some exercises

Area of Focus

Outer deltoid muscle

Where to Learn More

Level of Difficulty

Beginner

Two-Arm Dumbbell Stiff Legged Deadlift 

Description

Stand comfortably with your back straight and a dumbbell in each hand. Lower each dumbbell to the tops of your feet while bending through your stomach, and then slowly return to your standing position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Pros

  • Targets your fast twitch lower body muscles
  • Prevents lower back and hip injuries
  • Great free weight exercise for lower body

Cons

  • Harder for those who are less flexible

Area of Focus

Lower body

Where to Learn More

Level of Difficulty

Beginner

Dumbbell Skullcrusher 

Description

To start, lie on your back on a bench, with a dumbbell in each hand. Put your arms straight above your head so that the dumbbells are over your face and your palms face each other. Bring your dumbbells down towards the sides of your forehead, keeping your elbows tight. Once the dumbbells are at your head, use your triceps to push them back to their starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Pros

  • Works each arm individually so you burn more calories
  • Maximizes results for your triceps

Cons

  • Can be more difficult for some
  • Needs area for lying down

Area of Focus

Triceps

Where to Learn More

Level of Difficulty

Intermediate

Lunge

Description

​Start by standing straight with a dumbbell in each hand, arms by your sides. Take one large step in front of you and step down until your knees are both at about 90-degree angles. Push through your front leg and return to your starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Pros

  • Adds resistance to legs
  • Works glutes
  • Working lower body burns even more calories
  • Safer than a heavy bar

Cons

  • Difficult when first starting out
  • Needs area for lying down

Area of Focus

Glutes and lower body

Where to Learn More

Level of Difficulty

Beginner

Bench Press

Description

Lying down on a bench or flat surface, hold a dumbbell in each hand near your armpit. Push straight up in the air so that both dumbbells are across from each other above your chest and then slowly bring them back to their starting position. Repeat for the desires number of reps.

Pros

  • Works out pecs
  • Safer than a large barbell
  • Builds bigger pecs than barbell since you can push further with arms
  • Safer than a heavy bar

Cons

  • Need area for lying down

Area of Focus

Pecs

Where to Learn More

Level of Difficulty

Beginner

Dumbbell High Pull

Description

​Start out holding a heavy dumbbell in each hand with your arms in front of your thighs, hanging towards the floor. Bend slightly at the knees and as you thrust your hips forward in an explosive movement, bring your arms up as high as possible, like you’re shrugging your shoulders. Bring your dumbbells back to their starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Pros

  • You can use more weight than other exercises
  • Explosive movement works many muscles at once

Cons

  • More difficult than other exercises

Area of Focus

Triceps

Where to Learn More

Level of Difficulty

Difficult

Chest Flye

Description

Start by lying on a flat surface with your feet on the ground and a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping a slight bend in your elbows, bring your arms up from your sides so that the dumbbells are almost straight above you. Slowly return your weights to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.

Pros

  • Isolates chest muscles
  • Great way to put focus on chest as opposed to back and shoulders

Cons

  • Needs surface for lying down
  • Can accidentally put too much pressure on shoulders

Area of Focus

Chest

Where to Learn More

Level of Difficulty

Intermediate

Description

​Start by standing straight and comfortably with a dumbbell in each hand by your side. Curl one dumbbell up towards the opposite shoulder and then return to its starting position. Repeat with the other side and alternate for the desired number of reps.

Pros

  • Use more muscles focusing on one arm at once
  • Engages neural system

Cons

  • Be careful not to hurt shoulders or elbows

Area of Focus

Chest

Where to Learn More

Level of Difficulty

Beginner

The Verdict – Best Dumbbell Exercises 

a pair of dumbbells and gloves

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Though all of these best dumbbell exercises will ensure you get your money’s worth with your dumbbells at home, we have determined the lunge to be the best of the best dumbbell exercises. For one, it’s great even for beginners who are just getting started with their dumbbells, whether at home or in the gym. Lunges also have the added benefit of working out your glutes and your lower body muscles too, which can be so easily skipped when people are using dumbbells.

If you’d prefer a beginner exercise that works out your arms exclusively, the lateral raise is one of the best dumbbell exercises that will target your outer deltoids. This exercise is ideal for those who haven’t worked up their core to be super strong yet, so it’s an exercise many can seamlessly incorporate into their routines.

We understand that you will have your own muscle groups you are concerned with working out, but the best thing about dumbbells is how versatile they are. With this list of best dumbbell exercises, you will be educated and prepared to exercise any part of your body, at home or on the go.

Featured Image Source: Pexels.com

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