Dumbbells have been a gym equipment staple since the dawn of fitness. Many people assume that dumbbells are solely for upper body exercises, but that’s just not true! Dumbbells are dynamic and versatile pieces of gym equipment that can be used to train the entire body. One great thing about dumbbells is that they allow the user to isolate specific muscles in the body when training.
In this blog article, we take you through ten effective dumbbell exercises that work your entire body including your arms, shoulders, core, legs and glutes. These moves are quite basic, which just goes to show what amazing tools dumbbells can be! Use these suggested exercises as a starting point if you’re new to dumbbells and take it from there.
Arms & Shoulders
Dumbbells are perfect for getting lean and toned arms and shoulders, and also for building bulk, depending on the weights you choose. These first four exercises are great for targeting your triceps, biceps, upper back and shoulders. You’ve probably seen your fellow gym goers practicing these exercises in the gym – in this section of the blog we’ll break it down so you can have a solid foundation to work from.
1. Bicep curl overhead press
A truly classic dumbbell exercise – you’ve definitely seen this one in the gym. This move offers double the benefit, working to tone and strengthen both the biceps and shoulders.
Start in a standing position with your feet directly under your hips, holding one dumbbell in each hand with your arms extending towards the ground and your palms facing out. Bend your elbows, bringing the dumbbells to meet your shoulders – completing bicep curl. Engage your abdomen and bring your arms overhead, straightening them above you with your palms facing out – completing the overhead press. Bend your elbows coming back to the end of your bicep curl, then straighten your arms bringing them back to the starting position.
Complete two to three sets of 10 to 12 reps for a solid arm and shoulder dumbbell workout.
2. Overhead triceps extensions
Another classic dumbbell move that you probably already know and love. This one targets the backs of the arms. Start in a standing position with your feet directly under your hips and hip distance apart. Hold one dumbbell (preferably your heavier weight) with both hands, with your elbows behind your head. Begin to straighten your arms to lift the dumbbell into the air, then slowly bend the arms to lower. This counts as one rep – complete two to three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
3. Upright row
The dumbbell upright row move will work to tone and strengthen your upper arms and shoulders. Start standing with your shoulders directly over your pelvis and your feet directly under your hips. With your feet hip distance apart with a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing your body. With your knees slightly bent and keeping the dumbbells close to your body, raise the dumbbells to your shoulders, bending your elbows out to the sides. Slowly lower them to the starting position. Complete two to three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
4. Bent-over row
Now that you know how to do the dumbbell upright row, let’s take it up a notch with the bent-over row. Get ready to feel your triceps and upper back on this one! Start standing, leaning forward at an angle with both knees bent. Keeping a flat back, hold the dumbbells in each hand and extend your arms so they are straight. Lift the dumbbells straight up to chest level, bringing your shoulder blades together as you do. Be sure to keep your elbows in and pointed upward and keep your back flat without any arch. Mindfully lower the weights back to your original starting position to complete one rep. Complete two to three sets of 10 to 12 reps.
Dumbbells are also fantastic pieces of exercise equipment for ab workouts. These next three exercises are great for building strong and stable core muscles.
5. Russian twist
The Russian twist is an absolute fat-torcher and a great dumbbell exercise for toning your abdominal muscles. Start in a crunch position, holding a dumbbell with both hands and with your feet elevated off of the ground. Elevating your feet in this exercise increases the challenge and strain on both the upper and lower abs, which are typically difficult areas to stimulate. Twist your body to the right, keeping your abs braced, and either pause or gently touch the bottom of the dumbbell to the floor. Twist to the left side to complete your first rep. Repeat for 10 to 12 reps.
6. Dumbbell swing
The dumbbell swing is another great dumbbell exercise that effectively works the core muscles. The dumbbell swing is a take on the classic kettlebell swing, offering the same array of physical benefits. Start in a standing position, holding a dumbbell in both hands. Bend from your hips to lower the dumbbell between your legs, then push your hips forward to raise it up to shoulder height in a swift swinging motion. Reverse back down to the start. Repeat 10 to 12 times.
7. Dumbbell bear crawl
Dumbbell bear crawls are as simple and effective workouts. The regular bear crawl is a great movement which improves cross-body movement coordination and core strength. When you add dumbbells into the mix, the intensity and cardio get cranked up, further speeding up your ab strength results. Start on all fours holding your dumbbells with your hands directly under your shoulders and with your knees under your hips. Keeping your knees about an inch above the ground, start to crawl forward by moving your right arm and left leg simultaneously, then alternate. Keep your hips low and your head up. Complete 10 – 12 reps.
Legs & Glutes
Working our way down the body, these next three exercises are fantastic for targeting the quads, hamstrings, calves and glutes.
8. Weighted squat
For the weighted squat with a dumbbell, start standing tall with your feet hip-width apart and rest the weights on your shoulders. Hinge at hips and lower yourself into a deep squat keeping weight in heels and torso lift. Complete 10 to 12 reps.
9. Weighted donkey kick
Start on all fours with your hands directly under shoulders and your knees below your hips. Bend your right leg to a 90-degree angle and place a dumbbell in the crease of your bent knee. Squeeze your right leg towards your buttocks to hold weight in place and mindfully kick your leg up into the air. Return your knee under hips. Complete 12 reps on each side.
10. Dumbbell deadlift
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding the dumbbells in front of your thighs with your palms facing your body. With slightly bent knees, push your hips back and slowly bring your dumbbell weights down towards the floor. Remember to keep your back straight and core engaged and push through your heels to return to standing. Complete 10 to 12 reps.
Now that you have a solid foundation of knowledge about some accessible and effective dumbbell workouts, let’s take a look at some of the high-performance dumbbells that we offer at Atomic Mass…
Atomic Mass Dumbbells
Atomic Mass has a large range of Australia dumbbells – from our popular rubber hex to our round TPU handle with straight grip handle – to help you increase strength and achieve your fitness goals. Ranging from sizes from 1kg to 70kg, we have a wide range of dumbbell sets with packages and storage options available.
Rubber Hex Dumbbells
Atomic Mass hex dumbbells are designed for increased comfort and improved durability. The rubber hex coating reduces noise and greatly improves lifecycle of product, preventing chipping and general wear and tear.
- Rubber Hex Head
- Ergonomic handles for increased grip
- Large range of sizes and packages available
- Available in size 1kg to 70kg
- Packages and storage options available
Our TPU dumbbells are an alternative to the standard rubber hex dumbbells. This design features solid steel ends coated in a durable, shock absorbent urethane coating fully moulded over the cast ends. These dumbbells are less bulky and shorter than standard Pro PU dumbbells and have convenient and easy to read weight markings.
- 5kg to 50kg available
- 30mm diameter straight handle provides ultimate grip and comfort
- Storage and package options available
Pro Style Rubber Dumbbells
The Atomic Mass Pro Style Dumbbells are commercial grade dumbbell to compliment any gym. With PU style rubber, these dumbbells have a great look and solid durability.
- 30 mm straight handle for superior grip and comfort
- Available from 2.5kg to 50kg
- Packages and racking available
Thanks for reading! We hope you have a better understanding of dumbbells, the many exercises that they can be used for, and our range of top-quality dumbbells we have at Atomic Mass in Brisbane and online. If we can answer any further questions about our products or how to use them, simply reach out! We’d love to hear from you.
To shop Atomic Mass’ entire collection of heavy duty dumbbells, click the button below: