Full-body dumbbell workouts are quick and easy ways to get your heart pumping and to move all your muscles. When thinking about these workouts, many people believe they must use a lot of equipment or that there's no way to do it at home. Let me tell you a secret: you can get a full-body workout with dumbbells!
Also, another basic equipment that will help you work out like a pro is the bench. They will maximize your workouts, especially for the upper body, allowing you to perform exercises that would otherwise be difficult.
And let's not forget they help reduce the risk of injury! Check out some of the best workout benches for at-home workouts.
Now that we talked about the basic equipment, let's see what the best dumbbell workouts you can do at home.
Best Full Body Dumbbell Workouts At Home
For Your Chest: Dumbbell Bench Press
One of the best exercises you can do for your chest is the dumbbell chest press. As you probably guessed from the name, you're gonna need both a bench and a set of dumbbells.
If you don't have a bench, you could do it on the floor, but I won't lie - it won't be quite as effective.
It is an exercise that works not only your chest but also the triceps and the anterior deltoids of the shoulders.
How to do it
- Posture is the most important. Start by lying on a bench holding a dumbbell in each hand. Your feet can be on the floor or up on the bench.
- You should position the dumbells at the shoulders with the arms bent at about 45 degrees with elbows forward at the shoulder line. The palms should be facing towards your feet.
- Make sure your abs are engaged and the chin is slightly tilted forward.
- Inhale, and on your exhale push the arms up. Keep a slight bend at the elbows, to avoid locking them.
- On the inhale, lower the weights back, and repeat.
For Your Shoulders: Overhead Press
This seemingly simple shoulder exercise is a good foundation for any weight lifting program.
It can be done sitting on the bench, on a chair, but also standing. It can be performed with a barbell, but dumbbells offer an advantage as it offers a lower risk of using one arm more than the other!
Due to our day to day activities, many of us have an imbalance in strength, favoring one arm over the other, involuntarily. So when using a barbell, you might, without realizing, use the stronger arm.
With dumbbells, this problem is eliminated, and you'll be using both arms in the same way.
How to do it
- Sit on the bench with your spine straight, core engaged. If standing, your feet will be shoulder-width distance apart, knees slightly bent.
- Hold one dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level, with elbows bent and palms facing each other.
- Inhale, and on your exhale, push the dumbbells up overhead until your arms are straight. Keep a slight bend in the elbows to avoid locking them.
- After a short pause, lower the dumbbells back to your shoulders and repeat.
- Be mindful not to arch your back too much. Keeping your core engaged at all times will help prevent this.
For Your Back: Dumbbell Row
The back muscles are a large and essential group to work and the dumbbell row is a basic exercise that everyone should do.
It works not only the back but also the biceps and the shoulders.
How to do it
- Stand with feet shoulder-width distance apart, holding one dumbbell in each hand. Bend the knees and bend over at the waist keeping your back straight. Don't forget to engage your core to protect your lower back!
- The dumbbells will be in front of the body and arms fully extended towards the ground.
- Contract your back muscles and pull the dumbbells to your chest by bending the arms.
- Keep your elbows close to your body to engage your back muscles more.
- Hold for a few seconds.
- Lower the arms back to the starting position and repeat.
For Your Core: Russian Twists
You didn't think I'd leave out the core, did you? The Russian twist is the perfect full-body exercise, working the core, the shoulders, and the hips!
And speaking of core - it targets the entire midsection, including those not so lovely love-handles.
How to do it
- Sit on your sit bones. Lift your feet off the ground and lean slightly back, forming a v-shape with your body. Complete beginners may start with their toes touching the ground.
- Keep your core engaged to protect your low back.
- Clasp your fingers together, arms in front of your chest.
- Using your abdominal muscles, twist to the right, come back to center, then twist to the left. Don't forget to breathe with each twist!
For Your Glutes & Hamstrings: Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
A great exercise that targets your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings, the dumbbell Romanian deadlift shouldn't miss from your workout routine.
How to do it
- Stand with your feet at a hip-width distance apart. Hold one dumbbell in each hand, arms in front of your hips, palms facing thighs.
- The spine should be in a neutral position. Squeeze the shoulder blades, and send the hips back.
- Start lowering the dumbbells in front of your thighs, and shins.
- Once you pass the knees, your hips won't sink anymore.
- Always maintain a neutral spine. After reaching the bottom, press through the bottoms of your feet, the heels, to drive the movement back up and straighten your knees.
For Your Legs: Dumbbell Lunges
The final exercise in this dumbbell workout is dumbbell lunges. They are performed just like regular lunges, but you will be holding a dumbbell in each hand.
How to do it
- Stand up straight, a dumbbell in each hand, arms by your side, palms facing inward.
- Take a big step forward with one leg and bend the knee until the front thigh is almost parallel to the ground. Inhale as you lower. And most importantly, don't let the knee go past the toes!
- The other leg is bent, the knee close to the floor.
- Step back to your standing position and repeat with the other leg.
- You can do alternating lunges, or do one set for one leg, take a short break, then do another set for the other leg.
Complete Full Body Dumbbell Workouts
Now that you know what are some of the best exercises to do for a full-body at-home workout, let's see how to combine them for the best results.
Step 1: Warm-Up
You never want to start a workout without warming up first. For example, you can do 10 minutes of cardio, combined with some light full-body stretches. You can also do the first set of those same exercises you'll include in your workout but using a much lighter weight, or no weights at all.
Step 2: Dumbbell Routine
Once you are warmed-up, you're free to start your workout. You can switch the order of the exercises if you wish, just be mindful of proper form and execution.
I would advise you to save the leg exercises for last, as they tend to use more energy. You don't want to end up feeling too tired to properly do your upper-body routine!
Step 3: Stretch
Please, don't forget to stretch your muscles at the end of your workout! it will reduce soreness! Plus, flexible muscles and joints are less likely to be injured!