Caucasian man doing incline chest presses with dumbbells in gym

Beginners Workouts: Effective Dumbbell Training without the B.S.

Way before we got the nice, symmetrical look of the dumbbell, Ancient Greek athletes lifted something called the Halteres. They were also used as part of the long jump Olympic event. They were held in both hands as a method of allowed the athlete to jump longer distances.

Now, we have the dumbbell – a great, versatile tool that allows you to target nearly your entire body. For the beginner, however, the question is…where to start?

The following is a list of 11 effective exercises targeting each muscle of the body:

Arnold Dumbbell Press

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  • Named after it’s originator, Arnold Schwarzanegger, this variation of the dumbbell press hits all three heads of the deltoid muscle.
  • Sit down on the a chair or bench, holding dumbbells in each hand with palms facing you. From here press the dumbbell over your head while twisting your arms outwards.
  • The end position should be an overhead press with palms facing away from you.

Calf Raises on a Dumbbell

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  • Place two dumbbells side by side on the floor.  Make sure the dumbbells are not circular. You can also place some elevated object, such as a wooden board or a weight plate. The idea is that you stand at the end to work your calves.
  • Step on to the edge of the surface, or on the handles of the dumbbells with the balls of your feet. Grab onto a sturdy object for balance. Make sure you do not cheat with this exercise by using your arms.
  • From here, press down on the balls of your feet, lifting your heels as high as they will go. Pause and squeeze your calves, then slowly return to starting position.

Dumbbell Squat

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  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart while holding a dumbbell on each hand.
  • Push your hips back and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Keep your abs tight, and hold the dumbbsll firmly by your sides. Make sure your knees do not go past your toes.
  • From here, push off your feet back to starting position.

Reverse Dumbbell Curl

  • 168_2 Stand with your feet shoulder width apart while holding a dumbbell on each hand with an overhand grip. Your palms should be facing your body.
  • From here, curl the dumbbells towards your body, keeping your forearms straight. Make sure your abs are tight, and posture straight.
  • Once the dumbbells are at the top position, pause then lower them back to starting position.

 

 

Dumbbell Bench Press

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  • Lay down on a bench while holding a dumbbell on each hand with an overhand grip. Your palms should be facing your body. Keep your feet firmly on the ground for stability.
  • From here, push the dumbbells up towards the ceiling.
  • Once the dumbbells are at the top position, pause then lower them back to starting position.

Hanging Knee Raises

  • hanging-knee-raise2 Grab onto a pullup bar with an overhand grip. Your palms should be facing your body.
  • From here, pull your knees up towards your chest. Do this with control so that your body does not start swinging. Your back will round slightly.
  • Once your knees are at the top position, pause then lower them back to starting position.

 

 

Dumbbell Shrugs

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  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand on either side of your body with an overhand grip. Your palms should be facing your body.
  • From here, shrug your shoulders as high as they will go towards you ears. Do this with control to feel the tension. Keep your abs tight and back straight.
  • Once your shoulders are at the top position, pause then lower them back to starting position. This is a simple up and down movement. Do not make the mistake of rolling your shoulders back or forward, as this will lead to injury.

Alternating Hammer Curls

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  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand on either side of your body with an overhand grip. Your palms should be facing your body. You can perform this movement seated or kneeling as well.
  • From here, curl the dumbbell towards your shoulders. Do this with control to feel the tension. Keep your abs tight and back straight.
  • Once the dumbbell is at the top position, pause then lower them back to starting position. This is a simple up and down movement.

Close-Grip Dumbbell Presses

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    • Lay down on a bench while holding a dumbbell on each hand with an overhand grip. Your palms should be facing your body. Keep your feet firmly on the ground for stability.
    • The dumbbells should be touching each other, touching the middle part of your chest. Keep your elbows tucked into your body. From here, push the dumbbells up towards the ceiling.
    • Once the dumbbells are at the top position, pause then lower them back to starting position.

 

 

 

Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlifts

  • 22_2 Stand with your feet shoulder width apart while holding a dumbbell on each hand with an overhand grip. The dumbbells should be in front of your body, resting near your knees.
  • Push your hips back, keeping your legs as straight as possible, and lower the dumbbells towards the floor. Your back should also be straight. If you feel a curve in your back, stop the movement.
  • Go as low as you can. In the beginning you may not be able to tough the dumbbells to the floor. Remember to use your hamstrings to perform the movement, and not strength from your back.
  • From this position, reverse the movement and stand back up to starting position.

Twisting Dumbbell Row

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  • Place a dumbbell to each side of the bench. Place your left hand and left knee on the bench. Grab the dumbbell with an overhand grip using your right hand.
  • Keeping your back straight, pull the dumbbell towards your body. When you get to the top position (armpit area), twist your body slightly, pulling your right shoulder back slightly for a greater range of motion.
  • Lower the dumbbell back to starting position and repeat. Complete all reps on one side before moving to the other side.

That’s all folks. 11 Incredible exercises that target your entire body! For more dumbbell exercises and workouts, make sure to grab yourself a copy of the Dumbbell Exercises & Workouts manual. Click here for more info. 

Published by

Parth

Parth Shah is the creator of ShahTraining.com which teaches people how to use mental mind tricks to conquer the world and become healthier and awesome in the process. Check out his Book Bodyweight Toughness Thanks, and enjoy the site!

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