Dumbbells are pretty popular nowadays, especially for at-home workouts. And there’s a good reason for that too.
At Fit Body Boot Camp we use dumbbells in a lot of our workouts, and there’s some good science behind it. You may hear the argument that barbells are better, but that’s not always true. See, dumbbells don’t allow you to favor one arm over the other while completing reps. When you use something like a barbell you can favor your dominant arm. With dumbbells you’re giving both of your arms the same workout, ensuring all of your muscles are getting the right exposure.
On top of that, dumbbells are small, so they’re easy to keep around, and you can do more exercises with them without getting tripped up by their size. You won’t feel constricted in your movements with dumbbells, either. Plus, they’re safer if you tend to workout alone (which, as you know, we don’t encourage, but that’s not the point.) If you’re in your living room and something goes wrong dumbbells are easy to drop without risking further injury.
So, we’ve put together a list of some great dumbbell exercises for beginners to try out.
ONE-LEGGED DUMBBELL LUNGE
Place your right foot on a bench or ledge behind you. Balance on your left leg and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Lower yourself into a lunge position, making sure the front knee doesn’t go in front of the toes. Your back foot should be at about hip height when you lower yourself down. Stand back up and repeat. Alternate sides after each set of reps.
DUMBBELL SHOULDER PRESS
You can do this exercise sitting on a bench or standing up. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and make sure you’re sitting/standing up straight. Bend your elbows and hold the dumbbells at about shoulder height. Straighten your arms above your head, making sure to keep your core tight and back straight throughout the movement. Lower your arms back to starting position and repeat.
DUMBBELL STANDING ROWS
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and bend your body slightly forward. Hold your hands at hip height, arms straight, in front of you. Bend your elbows and bring the dumbbells up to your chest. Be sure to keep your back straight and not to utilize it during the exercise otherwise you risk injury.
DUMBBELL CHEST PRESS
Lay on the floor on your back with your feet resting on the ground and knees bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Place your elbows on the ground on either side of your head with the dumbbells up off the ground. Raise your arms up straight so that the dumbbells are now above your head and your arms are straight. Lower your arms back down and repeat.
DUMBBELL BENT OVER RAISE
Stand up with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knees slightly and bend over so that your upper body is at an angle. Make sure to keep your core tight and back straight to avoid injury. Hold the dumbbells under your body with your arms straight. Raise the dumbbells out to either side of you so that they’re at shoulder height; make sure to keep your arms straight. Lower back to the starting position and repeat.