If you are looking to get fit and strong, but can’t afford a gym membership and don’t have space for benches and other equipment in your house, then don’t give up! There are plenty of other ways that you can get fit – you can do a lot with dumbbells for example. A good dumbbell workout at home plan will offer a full body workout, and will strengthen your stabilizing muscles in a way that other workouts don’t.
What should you include in your dumbbell workout? Well, to an extent that depends on how much space you have and what your goals are. It can be tempting to just focus on biceps, curls, and similar exercises, but that’s not going to do much other than give you big biceps. Don’t you want strong shoulders, legs, and triceps too? Working your whole body will help you to get stronger overall, improve your well being, help you to perform better in other sports, and help to prevent injuries as well.
Simple Exercise Ideas
There are many exercises that you can do with dumbbells, including:
- Triceps extensions
- Lunges (while holding dumbbells)
- Dumbbell flyes
- Overhead press
- Dumbbell rows
- Goblet squats
- Skull crushers
These exercises will, collectively, work the whole body. Triceps extensions and the overhead ‘skull crusher’ work the triceps. Lunges and goblet squats work the legs. Rows and flyes work the shoulders, chest and arms, and the overhead press is a good overall arm/stabilizing muscle workout as well.
By retaining good posture through all of these movements you should find that you work the core well. You won’t get quite the same workout that you would from dead lifts, but you will still improve your overall strength and stability.
With dumbbell workouts, you can use decently heavy weights. Make sure that you use both sides of your body equally. It’s normal to have one side that is stronger than the other at first, but your goal should be to build up your weak side to be as strong as your stronger side.
With barbell exercises, it’s easy to end up with an imbalance where one side is doing most of the work. Dumbbells make it easier to correct that because you are forced to take a certain amount of weight on each side.
Try to start with a small amount of weight to warm up, and then work up to something that is challenging to perform 8-10 reps. With some exercises, it is safe to go to failure, but with others you may just want to go until “you are struggling to use good form” – this is especially true for things like skull crushers where you are using weaker muscles, and you could drop a dumbbell on your head!
Dumbbell exercises are typically performed in a slightly greater rep range to barbell exercises, but you can do them with incredibly heavy weights as well. Make sure to store your dumbbells using the best dumbbell rack. It is entirely up to you how much weight you choose to work with, and how many reps.