How to Do an Effective Full Body Dumbbell Workout

It’s a fact that all you fitness nuts always want to get the most out of your workout sessions, utilizing the best equipment to improve your physique. However, did you ever think that you could still get fantastic results out of a full body dumbbell workout?
Yes, you read that right. It is possible to get a full body workout from using only dumbbells. None of the fancy machines, or the long-handled barbells to help you get the desired fitness results.
How do you achieve the desired results with dumbbells? Which particular dumbbell workout exercises target muscles and cover the whole body?
In case you’re not aware, dumbbells can be used to work on all your body’s muscle groups, including the body and the extremities—yes, even the legs—and the midsection. Let’s start with the torso area, and then proceed to the limb exercises. There are three major muscle groups that need to be worked on to gain an ideal physique: the chest, the shoulders and the back muscles.
But before you get started on these, a few tips should be noted: (1) make sure to do proper warm ups to get the blood flowing and prepare the muscles for the inevitable heavy lifting; (2) perform compound exercises, where you target multiple muscle groups for optimum results.
The Chest
The chest area or the pectorals is probably the easiest muscle group to target using dumbbells. The main exercise involved here is the bench press. There are three bench press variation moves that specifically targets the three different areas of the chest:
  • Inclined bench press to target the upper chest area
  • Flat bench press for the middle chest region
  • Reclined bench press for the lower part of the chest.
There is also the flat bench fly that can help expand the pectoral muscles. The same movement is done with regards to the bench presses, with one held in each hand and pushed up at the same time.
The Shoulders
The deltoids are the round contoured muscles on your shoulders. You can get a good dumbbell workout by starting with a sitting shoulder overhead press. You can also do a front dumbbell raise exercise to target the anterior area of the deltoids. A host of other shoulder exercises can also be done using the dumbbells to focus more on this area like the lateral raise, dumbbell upright row and shoulder shrug.
The Back
The back area covers more groups of muscles than the chest and shoulders. We have the latissimus dorsi or the lats, the trapezius and the rhomboids. For a good back dumbbell workout, here are the most effective that you can do to target this region:
  • Dumbbell bent over row – Knees are slightly bent with the body bent over at the waist with the back straight. With the arms hanging towards the floor, grip the dumbbells and pull them straight up to the chest. This targets the three groups of back muscles for an optimum workout.
  • Kneeling one arm row – Place one knee on a bench with one arm supporting the rest of the body. Position opposite leg to the side and grasp dumbbell from floor. Lift up to the side of the chest while keeping the back straight. Repeat on the opposite arm. This compound exercise also targets all three back muscle groups.
The Limbs
For the arms, we could divide the muscle groups to biceps, triceps and forearms. Let’s go through the best dumbbell exercises for these muscle groups:
  • Biceps – bicep curl, alternating bicep curl, hammer curl, inclined seated bicep curl, concentration curl.
  • Triceps – two-arm triceps extension, one-arm triceps extension, triceps kickback, lying triceps extension.
  • Forearms – palms up wrist curl, palms down wrist curl
And for the legs, we can do a whole lot of things, too:
  • Squats – This is done by holding one dumbbell with both hands in between your thighs.
  • Lunges – With both dumbbells held by each hand at your sides, take a step and lower yourself to the floor, forming a 90-degree angle with your legs.
  • Toe raise – Hold one dumbbell on each hand while in a standing position. Lift your heels by pushing your body up on your toes and flexing your leg muscles. Lower your body down after a short pause.
The Abdominals
Dumbbells can also be used as a weight to target the upper and lower region of your abdominals, as well as your obliques.
  • Weighted crunch – This is done by lying back on a flat surface while holding a dumbbell on top of your chest. Lift your upper body to do a crunch, and then lower it down after a short pause.
  • Weighted leg raise – Grip a dumbbell between your feet while lying down on a flat bench. Raise your legs until they are perpendicular to the floor. Hold for a short pause then lower back down.
  • Side bend – Hold a dumbbell with one hand at the side of your body. Tilt your body to the side, bending it at the waist. Tilt back after a short pause. Repeat on the opposite side.
These are all easy-to-do full dumbbell body workout exercises that will effectively give you results. The good thing about all this is you can do them in the comforts of your home simply by owning a great set of dumbbells. You can find them at to get you started immediately with these fantastic workout exercises.


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