Over the years, gyms and fitness equipment have evolved tremendously. Workout and equipment trends and fads have come and gone. From machines that promised to “shake the fat away” to at-home functional trainers and everything in between, there has been no shortage of change in the fitness industry.
HOWEVER, THERE IS ONE PIECE OF EQUIPMENT THAT HAS STOOD THE TEST OF TIME, CHANGING VERY LITTLE IN ITS BASIC STRUCTURE: THE HUMBLE DUMBBELL.
When you think about strength workouts, the dumbbell is probably one of the first pieces of equipment that comes to mind. It’s an incredibly versatile and effective piece of equipment that can bring a lot of benefits to your workouts.
What are the benefits of dumbbell workouts?
Dumbbells let you train your body asymmetrically, giving muscles a chance to “catch up” if there is weakness on one side of the body versus the other. You can’t cheat your way out of a dumbbell shoulder press by helping with your “stronger” side.
Dumbbells are typically small enough and come in such a wide variety of weights that they can help you perform targeted work on a wide range of muscle groups.
From light weight dumbbell exercises that target stabilizing muscles in your shoulders, to heavy dumbbell carry exercises that get your legs involved in a meaningful way, dumbbells are just about the most versatile equipment going.
Although dumbbells often look much the same as they did decades ago, there are now high-quality adjustable sets of dumbbells that can be a compact addition to a home gym or home workout space, like your living room or balcony. This means that you no longer have to go to a gym or invest in a large rack of dumbbells to get the incredible benefits.
Can I truly get a full-body workout with dumbbells?
This is a very common question, because on the surface, it seems like dumbbells might only be able to target the upper body because they are handheld.
But don’t be mistaken; there are an almost infinite number of ways you can use dumbbells to tone, sculpt, and strengthen your entire body.
Exercises like suitcase carry, dumbbell lunges, russian twists, dumbbell squats, etc. are all incredibly effective core and lower body exercises that can utilize dumbbells to tremendous effect.
Is there anything else I can do to make dumbbell workouts more effective?
While this could be said for just about any workout, there is almost nothing more important for ensuring maximum workout and training benefit than proper nutrition.
Allmax Nutrition carries a wide-range of professional grade supplements designed to meet your pre, intra, and post-workout nutrition needs. From protein powders to weight gain and weight loss supplements, essential vitamins and minerals to pre-workout and recovery supplements, Allmax is your one-stop shop for bodybuilding and sports nutrition.
One particularly effective supplement to use in conjunction with your dumbbell workouts is Aminocore, a naturally powerful BCAA supplement.
BCAAs, or Branched-Chain Amino Acids, are the building blocks for protein and muscle in our bodies. When we supply both essential and non-essential amino acids in the quantities present in a product like Aminocore, we give our bodies an incredible protein-synthesizing boost.
As dumbbells are most commonly used for strength and resistance training, BCAAs are the perfect supplement to take that will aid in muscle growth, retention, and recovery, all the while optimizing energy, increasing red blood cells, and reducing inflammation.
These are all incredible functions Aminocore can help promote, and are all the more important when you engage with full-body dumbbell workouts like the ones below.
Full-Body Dumbbell Workouts
We’ve compiled a comprehensive series of dumbbell workouts that will work out your entire body!
Some of these workouts have been previously featured by Allmax, and others are brand new!
The All Dumbbell Home Workout – “Tempo” Upper Body Blast:
- Flat DB Press (4/1/X tempo)…3 sets of 8-10 rep
- Incline DB Flye (2/2/1 tempo)…3 sets of 8-10 reps
- Two Arm DB Bent Row w/ Palms Facing Rear (3/1/1 tempo)…3 sets of 10-12 reps
- One Arm DB Row (2/1/1/1 tempo)…3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Seated DB Press (4/1/X tempo)…2 sets of 8-10 reps
- Two DB Upright Row (2/1/1/1 tempo)…2 sets of 8-10 reps
- Seated DB Bent Rear Lateral (2/1/1 tempo)…1 set of 10-12 reps
- Standing Alternating DB Curl (3/1/1/1 tempo)…2 sets of 6-8 reps
- Seated Hammer Concentration Curl (3/1/1/1 tempo)…2 sets of 8-10 reps
- Incline Two Arms Overhead Single DB Extension (3/2/1 tempo)…2 sets of 8-10 reps
- Lying Two Arm Two DB Extensions (2/1/1 tempo)…1 sets of 8-10 reps
- DB Kickback (2/0/1/1 tempo)…1 set of 10-12 reps
- Lying Crunch Holding DB on Chest (2/0/1/1 tempo)…3 sets of 20-25 reps
Note: Lifting “Tempo” describes how fast you lower, lift, and pause with the weight in each phase of a repetition. It is expressed in seconds and begins with the negative (lowering) portion of an exercise, then the midpoint (stretch) portion, then the positive (lifting) portion, and if there is a fourth number, it represents the peak contraction (squeeze) portion. Although some exercises begin with a negative contraction (such as the DB bench press) and some with a positive contraction (such as the DB curl) the way “tempo” is approached remains fixed.
The All Dumbbell Home Workout – Leg Lashing:
- Walking DB Lunge: 3 x 10-12 per leg
- *Exercise Tip – Make sure to take long strides on every rep to fully engage the quads, hams and glutes.
- DB Squat: 3 x 12-15
- *Exercise Tip – Use wrist wraps to secure your grip so that you can better focus on your thighs throughout the set.
- Superset of Alternating DB Bench Step Ups and Plié DB Squats: 2 x 13-15 per leg/10-12
- *Exercise Tip – When performing Plié Squats take a very wide stance and rotate your ankles so the feet point outward at about a 60-70-degree angle.
- DB Stiff Leg Deadlift: 3 x 10-12
- *Exercise Tip – Try this movement with the DB’s held either out in front of you (as you would a BB) and at your sides to determine which feels more productive for you.
- Single Leg DB Calf Raise: 3 x 16-20 per leg
- *Exercise Tip – On each of the three sets change the angle of the working foot (one set straight; one set turned slightly inward; one set turned slightly outward)
- Superset of DB Stiff Leg Deadlift only Rising to Knee Height and Single Leg DB Calf Raise: 2 x 10-12/16-20 per leg
- *Exercise Tip – Stand on some kind of step or platform during calf raises to increase range of motion. Hold stretch at the bottom of both Stiff Leg Deadlift and Calf Raises for 2 full seconds each rep to make both movements more challenging.
The All Dumbbell Home Workout – Upper/Lower Superset Scorcher
- Superset #1: Incline DB Press/Alternating Reverse DB Lunge…3 x 7-9/13-15 per leg
- Superset #2: Two DB Bent Row (palms facing inward)/DB Squats…3 x 10-12 each
- Superset: #3: Standing DB Side Lateral/DB Stiff Leg Deadlift…2 x 10-12 each
- Superset #4: Seated Alternating DB Curl/Alternating DB Bench Step Ups…2 x 7-9/13-15 per leg
- Superset #5: Lying Two Arm Two DB Extension/Single Leg DB Stiff Leg Deadlift…2 x 10-12/10-12 per leg
- Superset #6: Seated Bench Knee Raises With DB Between Feet/Single Leg DB Calf Raise…2 x max reps/13-15 per leg
Comprehensive Full-Body Dumbbell Workout
- Walking Lunges 3 x 8-12 Reps
- Dumbbell Rows 3 x 8-12
- Chest Press 3 x 8-12
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3 x 8-12
- Dumbbell Bicep Curls Alternating 3 x 8-12
- Dumbbell Tricep Extension 3 x 8-12
Note: Rest for 60 Seconds Between Sets
Three-Day Full Body Dumbbell Workout Plan
- Floor Dumbbell Chest Press or Weighted Dips (3×6-10)
- Weighted Pull Ups or Dumbbell Bent Over Rows (3×6-10)
- Lateral and Rear Delt Raises (3×10-15)
- Bicep Curls (3×10-15)
- “Diamond” Push Ups (3×15-30)
- Bulgarian Split Squat (3×6-10)
- Romanian Deadlifts or Single Leg RDL (3×6-10)
- Dumbbell Squats (3×10-15)
- Dumbbell Shrugs and/or Farmer Walks (3×15-30)
- Weighted Calf Raises (3×15-30)
- Military Press (3×6-10)
- Weighted Pull Ups or Bent Over Rows (3×6-10)
- Feet Elevated Push Ups (3×10-15)
- Bicep Curls (3×10-15)
- Tricep Extensions (3×15-30)