Full Body Dumbbell Workout

full body dumbbell workout

When it comes to weight lifting exercises, dumbbells are some of the most popular pieces of equipment that people choose to add to their workout routines. There are two main reasons for this:

  1. Dumbbells can be used to perform so many different exercises which target almost every muscle group in your body.
  2. You only need a couple of dumbbells (sometimes just one) and a bench to workout. 


For those wishing to get a full body workout, we’ve put together a routine that incorporates six dumbbell exercises that target all the muscles in your body below. To get the most out of this workout, use the following criteria to choose the weight of the dumbbells you’ll be lifting for each exercise:

  • For Muscle Size & Strength: Go for dumbbells that you can curl, lift or press for between 4-8 reps.
  • For Muscle Endurance & Tone: Go for dumbbells that you can curl, lift or press for between 12-16 reps.
  • For A Combination Of The Above: Go for dumbbells that you can curl, lift or press for between 8-12 reps.

Exercise 1 – Dumbbell Chest Press

Equipment Required:

  • 2 dumbbells
  • 1 flat bench

Instructions:


The dumbbell chest press is a great exercise to build upper body strength. This movement primarily targets the pectoral or chest muscles. It also exercises other secondary muscles such as the rotator cuffs and posterior deltoids of the shoulder as well as your triceps. There are many variations of this exercise but the following instructions are for the dumbbell flat bench chest press:

  1. Start the exercise sitting at the foot of the bench with two dumbbells placed on your knees.
  • Lie down on your back and as you lower your back towards the bench, curl the dumbbells towards your chest and lower them down to just below your chest by bending your elbows to a 90 degree angle.
  • Straighten your arms and press the dumbbells up above your chest.
  • Bend your arms and lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.
  • Repeat steps 3-4 for your chosen number of reps, then slowly lower the dumbbells onto your knees, sit up and place them on the ground.
  • Rest for between 30 seconds and one minute.
  • Repeat steps 1-6 two more times and then move onto the next exercise.

Exercise 2 – Dumbbell Bent Over Raise

Equipment Required:

  • 2 dumbbells

Instructions:

The dumbbell bent over raise is a super easy exercise that targets the shoulder muscles while at the same time engaging the arms, core and upper back. To perform the dumbbell bent over raise, follow the instructions below:

  1. Stand up straight with your feet about shoulder width apart while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knees and elbows slightly, keep your shoulder blades pinched together and arch your back. The spine should be straight in this bent position while your arms will be hanging in front of you, perpendicular to your torso. The torso should be almost parallel to the floor and the palms of your hands will be facing each other.
  • While keeping your core tight, torso stationary and elbows slightly bent, lift your arms out to the sides until they are parallel to the floor.
  • Lower the dumbbells slowly down to the starting position.
  • Repeat steps 2-3 for your chosen number of reps, then slowly place the dumbbells on the ground.
  • Rest for between 30 seconds and one minute.
  • Repeat steps 1-5 two more times and then move onto the next exercise.

Exercise 3 – Dumbbell Skull Crusher

Equipment Required:

  • 2 dumbbells
  • 1 flat bench

Instructions:

If you want to give your triceps a good workout, the dumbbell skull crusher is a great exercise to add to your routine. The motion involved in this dumbbell exercise also works your chest and shoulder muscles to a small degree. Here are the steps for this exercise:

  1. Begin the exercise while lying down on a flat bench with your arms extended just above your chest while holding two dumbbells. If your flat bench has foot pegs, make sure to hook your feet under them for better leg support. Your arms should be fully extended at a right angle to your torso while the palms of your hands should be facing forward and your elbows should be tucked in.
  • Slowly bend your arms and lower the weights down towards your skull until they are close to your ear. Be sure to keep your upper arms straight and your elbows tucked in.
  • Slowly straighten your arms and press with your triceps to bring the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  • Repeat steps 2-3 for your chosen number of reps, then slowly place the dumbbells on the ground and sit up.
  • Rest for between 30 seconds and one minute.
  • Repeat steps 1-5 two more times and then move onto the next exercise.

Exercise 4 – Dumbbell Concentration Curl

Equipment Required:

  • 1 dumbbell

Instructions:

The dumbbell concentration curl is a fantastic exercise for stronger arms. This movement hits the peak of your biceps and works out your forearms as well. It’s a very simply exercise only requiring a bench and one dumbbell. The following is a quick outline of how to perform this exercise:

  1. Sit on a flat bench and place one dumbbell in front of you between your legs. Keep your legs spread and bent with the feet flat on the floor. Then rest your right elbow on the inside of your right thigh, rotate the palm of your right hand until it’s facing forward and grab the dumbbell.
  • Hold your upper right arm in a stationary position, then curl the dumbbell towards your body by bending your right elbow and lifting your right forearm.
  • Lower the dumbbell back down to the starting position by straightening your right elbow.
  • Repeat steps 2-3 for your chosen number of reps, then transfer the dumbbell to your left hand.
  • Repeat the exercise with your left arm for your chosen number of reps, then place the dumbbell on the ground.
  • Rest for between 30 seconds and one minute.
  • Repeat steps 1-6 two more times and then move onto the next exercise.

Exercise 5 – Dumbbell Military Press

Equipment Required:

  • 2 dumbbells

Instructions:

The dumbbell military press is a movement that involves raising a pair of dumbbells above your head using the shoulder deltoids and trapezius muscles. You can perform this exercise by following these steps:

  1. With your feet shoulder width apart, take a dumbbell in each hand and raise them to shoulder level. Your elbows should be bent and your palms should be facing forward.
  • Keep your back and legs straight, then straighten your elbows to press the dumbbells directly above your head.
  • Hold this position for one second, then bend your elbows and lower the dumbbells back down to shoulder level.
  • Repeat steps 2-3 for your chosen number of reps, then slowly place the dumbbells on the ground.
  • Rest for between 30 seconds and one minute.
  • Repeat steps 1-5 two more times and then move onto the next exercise.

Exercise 6 – Dumbbell Squat

Equipment Required:

  • 2 dumbbells

Instructions:


Touted as being one of the best full body dumbbell exercises, the dumbbell squat utilizes several muscle groups at the same time. This exercise will give your calves, glutes, hamstrings, quads, core and lower back a good workout. It’s a simple exercise that can be done by following these steps:

  1. Grab two dumbbells and curl them towards your shoulders with your palms facing your neck. Stand upright and position your legs in a shoulder wide stance.
  • Bend your knees and lower your torso down towards the ground, stopping when your butt is parallel to your knees. Make sure you keep your head up, your abs braced and your back straight at all times as you complete this part of the exercise.
  • Straighten your knees and raise your torso back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat steps 2-3 for your chosen number of reps, then slowly place the dumbbells on the ground.
  • Rest for between 30 seconds and one minute.
  • Repeat steps 1-5 two more times to complete the workout.

Summary

I hope you enjoy this full body dumbbell workout. In total, it should take around 30 minutes to complete, so you can use it to get a quick, efficient, muscle building workout whenever you have the time to spare. To avoid injuries, make sure you always lift the dumbbells slowly when performing the exercises and also maintain the correct posture. If you find it difficult to maintain the correct posture throughout an exercise, try lowering the weight of the dumbbells you’re lifting until your posture improves.

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