The Ultimate Dumbbell Workout

Are you looking for the ultimate dumbbell workout? You’re probably looking for a routine you can use anywhere, whether at home or the gym. Surprisingly, a lot of people tend to skip over the dumbbell workouts and defer to the machines, or even skip that whole part and jump straight to the treadmill.

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Incorporating any form of strength training is going to be beneficial for the overall appearance of your physique. The question is, what makes dumbbell workouts superior to a machine or even a barbell routine?

I am going to outline the benefits of using dumbbells for your workouts, and of course, include an awesome dumbbell workout routine you can utilize anywhere.

First, let’s go over the benefits of using dumbbells:

1. A Dumbbell Workout Can Allow For More Natural Movement-

With a dumbbell, you can move the weight from side to side, individually up and down, and of course, you can do one at a time. For instance, if you wanted to do a shoulder press exercise, you have the option of how far in or out you want the weight to be towards your side.

You have stabilizer muscles that are being activated that normally wouldn’t be if you were using a machine or a barbell. Not to mention, when I personally use the barbell for a shoulder press exercise, it actually bothers my shoulders and my traps. That little extra movement I get from the dumbbells mitigates that shoulder pain.

2. Easier to Use Compared to a Barbell-

I remember the first time I did bench press with a barbell. It felt awkward, painful, and it was actually more difficult than I thought it would be. This is because of the way your wrists are positioned on a barbell. This is not true for every exercise, but when comparing a barbell press vs, a dumbbell press, it is much easier (given that you’re using the correct weight) to perform the movement because your hands are not locked to only one position.

Let’s not forget that if you were by yourself doing a barbell bench-press, you better have a spotter. The last thing you want to happen is to have that barbell pinned to your chest. At least with dumbbells, you can just drop the weights off to the side.

3. Prevents and Improves Muscular Imbalances-

If you are using a machine or a barbell, there’s a good chance you are compensating on one side more than the other. For example, if you are using a bench press machine, you can easily use your left side more than your right to push up the weight.

What ends up happening?

The left side is now stronger than your right side.

This cannot happen with dumbbells. If you press 25 pounds up on your left side, you have to push up 25 pounds on your right side (assuming the dumbbells weigh the same). If you know you do have a muscular imbalance, all you have to do is train whichever side is weaker with the same weight you would on the stronger side.

This is not to say that dumbbells are superior to the barbell or machines, but are definitely better for specific applications.

Now that we’ve covered some of the basic benefits, let’s dive into the perfect dumbbell workout routine to leave your body rocked.

1. Dumbbell Walking Lunge 

You want to start with the dumbbells at your side and feet shoulder-width apart. Next, begin by stepping one foot forward while maintaining a straight back. Now start to lower yourself until the knee of your back leg is just above the ground. Last, bring yourself up by pushing from the heel of the leg in front you. Repeat on the other leg.

2. Push-up and Dumbbell Row Combo

For this exercise, you want to start out in the push position with your hands wrapped around the dumbbells. Next, lower yourself down into a push-up. Now you want to push yourself back up to starting position, but this time lift up one dumbbell up to your side that it is parallel to your chest. Last, lower yourself back down into push-up position again. Repeat this on the other arm.

3. Squat and Shoulder Press Combo

First, start with the dumbbells at your sides just above shoulder height. Next, make sure your feet are shoulder-width apart and begin going into squatting position. Make sure your back is slightly curved in towards your butt and that you are looking up. Last, squat back up to starting position and lift the dumbbells above your head, and lower them back down to starting position. 

4. Burpee’s With Dumbbells

 

5. Dumbbell Swing

Begin in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart, and both hands gripping one dumbbell. Next, slightly bend your knees while bending over slightly. Now you want to swing the dumbbell between your legs until the weight is slightly behind you. Next, send the dumbbell flying back through your legs unitil it’s above your head. 

6. Plank Pull-Through 

You want to start in a full plank position with a dumbbell on the floor a few inches away from the outside of either hand. Tighten your abs to make sure your core is steady, and reach your arm across the floor to the opposite side of your body. Next, grab the dumbbell and pull it across the floor to the opposite side, release it, and then go back to plank position.

7. Dumbbell V-Up

To do this exercise, start by laying on your back and dumbbell(s) in your hand(s). Next, reach forward with the dumbbells at the same time you lift your legs into the air. Last, slowly lower yourself back to starting position.

That wraps up the ultimate dumbbell workout. This can be done virtually anywhere as long as you have some dumbbells readily available. 

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