Written by Caitlin

5 exercises with a dumbbell

Weight training at home is easy and it takes up little space. Exercises with dumbbells are not only effective, but also a good addition to any exercise program. Dumbbell exercises you often train multiple muscle groups, so your whole body gets a workout. Despite everyone having their own preferences, there are a number of dumbbell exercises that almost everyone does. I listed these 5 dumbbell exercises for you.

1. Dumbbell Bench Press

Muscles dumbbell bench press

Muscle groups

The Dumbbell Bench Press is the most famous dumbbell exercise for your chest. In this exercise you mainly train your pectoral muscle, but your triceps and shoulders are also put to work. The exercise is also a good preparation for bench presses.

Tip: Make sure to keep your elbows open and try not to bring them towards your upper body when you do this exercise. Do you want more variety? Place the bench at a 45-degree angle to activate the upper part of the chest muscles.

Explanation of dumbbell bench press

Step by step

  1. Stretch your arms above you at chest height.
  2. Open your hands slightly and bring the dumbbells towards your chest.
  3. Don't extend your elbows beyond your body.
  4. Slowly raise the dumbbells again.

2. One Arm Dumbbell Row

Muscles dumbbell row

Muscle groups

The One Arm Dumbbell Row is an exercise with weights you can use to train a large part of your back. Because you only train it one side at a time, it's harder to compensate and easier to find the right posture. In addition to your back, you also train your biceps and shoulders with this exercise.

Tip: Make sure to keep your back and shoulder at rest during this exercise. Your upper body can't hang sideways. Do you want to make the exercise more intense? Lower the dumbbell a bit slower. This is called negative training, and it will give your body new stimuli.

Explanation of dumbbell row

Step by step

  1. Put one leg on the bench and the other on the floor.
  2. Let the arm with the dumbbell hang and then pull it up alongside your body.
  3. Keep your elbow as close to your body as possible.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbell.

3. Dumbbell Bicep Curl

Muscles bicep curl dumbbells

Muscle groups

A dumbbell exercise that you should really include in your routine is the Dumbbell Bicep Curl. This is known as the exercise all men do in front of a mirror in the gym. This exercise only trains your biceps, as it's an isolation exercise.

Tip: It's important to keep your elbows at your sides and don't bring them up during this exercise. To make this exercise heavier, you can do 1 arm at a time, instead of both at once.

Explanation of bicep curl dumbbells

Step by step

  1. To start the exercise, stretch your arms all the way down.
  2. Keep your elbows still and by your sides, and bring your forearm up
  3. Bring your arm all the way to your chest for a full bicep curl.
  4. If you want to put the emphasis on the lower part of the muscle, bring it up only halfway.
  5. Lower your arm completely.

4. Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Muscles shoulder press dumbbells

Muscle groups

Another good exercise with weights is the Dumbbell Shoulder Press. This exercise mainly focuses on the shoulders, but also uses your triceps and some back muscles. Because you put the weight above your head, the weight feels heavier than with other exercises.

Tip: Make sure to keep your elbows open and try not to bring them towards your upper body when you do this exercise. Do you want more variety? Place the bench at a 45-degree angle to activate the upper part of the chest muscles.

Explanation of shoulder press dumbbells

Step by step

  1. Bring the dumbbells slightly higher than shoulder height for the starting position.
  2. Bring your elbows outwards and pull your shoulder blades together.
  3. Stretch your arms upwards in a straight line until the dumbbells almost touch.
  4. Bring them back down again.

5. Dumbbell Lunges

Muscles dumbbell lunges

Muscle groups

Never skip leg day. That's why we also close the list with a dumbbell exercise for your legs. Dumbbell Lunges mainly focus on the hamstring and gluteal muscles, but also includes your quadriceps and calves.

Tip: Make sure your knee doesn't go past your front toe to avoid pressure on your knee. Do you want to make the exercise heavier? Make small pulses at the bottom. This way, the muscles are continuously tense.

Explanation of dumbbell lunges

Step by step

  1. Put one leg in front of you on the floor and keep your other leg behind you.
  2. Your back heel is always off the ground.
  3. Bend through your front leg until both legs are at a 90-degree angle.
  4. Stretch your legs again.
  5. Hold the dumbbells in your hands during this exercise and let them hang alongside your body.

Train carefully

With these 5 dumbbell exercises, you use every muscle in the body so you can build a good foundation. Pay attention to your posture when exercising. A wrong posture or movement is more likely to injure you with dumbbell exercises than on a machine. With dumbbells you can make any movement, whereas you only have a limited range of motion on a machine. After all, the machine guides your movement. Do you really want to train with a goal and get more advice on exercises? Go to a gym so that you get personal advice.


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