Types Of Dumbbells
Dumbbells are either fixed-weight dumbbells or adjustable dumbbells. Fixed-weight dumbbells are the traditional style dumbbells that you would see in a commercial gym. They are available in numerous weight resistances ranging from 1 pound to over 100 pounds (sold individually or as a pair), and they are typically stored on a rack or simply on the floor depending on what you have. One major drawback of fixed-weight dumbbells, however, is that they can take up a lot of space depending on how many pairs you decide to purchase. Also, if you are planning on buying a lot of different weight resistances, the cost advantage may start to shift in favor of adjustable dumbbells.
Adjustable dumbbells allow you to add/remove weight plates from just one pair of dumbbells. So, if you don’t have a lot of space, adjustable dumbbells are the perfect way to get all the benefits of a dumbbell set without the clutter. Their compact size also makes them easy to transport if, for example, you sometimes like to take your dumbbells to the office. Traditional mid-weight sets can be between 5 – 20 or even 5 – 55 pounds (per dumbbell), but they can usually only be adjusted in 2.5- or 5-pound increments. For heavier lifting, you can find sets that offer weight resistances between 5 – 125 pounds (per dumbbell). Make sure you look at our best dumbbell sets below.
10 Best Dumbbell Exercises For A Full Body Workout
1. Dumbbell Bench Press
Bench press dumbbell exercises for chest. The Dumbbell Bench Press is one of the best dumbbell exercises for your chest. Although it does need you to have access to a flat bench, it is one of the greatest ways to target your pectoral muscles on your chest, your triceps, as well as your front deltoids on your shoulders.
If you have access to an incline or decline bench, you’ll be able to perform the Incline Bench Press and the Decline Bench Press. The incline, i.e. putting the bench in a 45-degree angle adjustment will help you target the upper area of your chest, while the decline, which is setting the bench at an angle downward, will help you target the lower levels of your chest muscles.
2. Alternating Biceps Curl
Alternating dumbbell biceps curl is another classic dumbbell exercise that belongs in this list of the best dumbbell exercises. Although there are a couple of variations of this basic exercise, the main benefit will remain to strengthen your biceps and your forearms.
You can perform this exercise by raising each dumbbell one at a time, or by facing your palms in toward each other throughout the movement for a Hammer curl variation; by limiting your movement to half-way up for a concentrated variety; or finally by using a preacher curl pad if you have access to one.
3. Shoulder Press
The Dumbbell shoulder press is one of my favorite exercises for working out the shoulders. I prefer the dumbbell shoulder press while seated with good back support, such as a vertical bench so I can focus on my shoulders. This exercise is performed by pushing the dumbbells two hands at the same time straight up in the air, or by alternating presses.
Your deltoid muscles (shoulders) will get the bulk of the work, but your triceps are certainly recruited to help with the push exercise, making this an excellent upper body exercise.
4. Triceps Kickback
The Triceps Kickback exercise is an all time classic triceps training exercise. You can either put your knee on a flat bench, or I like to bend over and lean on a bench with my back flat and parallel with the floor. Be sure to keep your upper arm in alignment with your torso and completely still with your elbow up. Squeeze your triceps as you kick it back up and behind you.
5. One Arm Dumbbell Row
This is a very effective dumbbell exercise for working your back muscles. You can put your knee and hand on a flat bench to isolate your middle back and lat muscles. While your lats will do most of the work, the rear deltoids also will be recruited to raise and squeeze the dumbbell up and back.
6. Lateral Raise
Dumbbell Lateral Raises are the most effective way to target those side (middle) deltoids. You can perform this exercise while standing or sitting. Sitting will keep you very strict, and the weight should be adjusted downward to allow for strict form. Bend your elbows slightly and keep them parallel with your forearms, and keep the range of motion to as high as your ear.
7. Dumbbell Fly
The Lying dumbbell fly exercise is a great way to target your chest and will require the use of a flat bench for proper execution.
To perform, the dumbbell fly, lie on a flat bench holding the dumbbells straight up over your chest. Then allow the dumbbells to spread out wide in a semi circle motion until you feel a slight stretch at the bottom, then return to the top. The dumbbell fly can also be performed as an incline or decline fly as well by adjusting the angle of the bench.
8. Upright Row
The Upright Row exercise is the last of the shoulder exercises to be included on my list and will work the trapezius and the uppper back as well.
To perform this exercise, you must stand and hold 2 dumbbells in front of you, and let them hang freely. Now in one fluid motion, raise them both simultaneously to your chin. Be sure to keep the dumbbells close to your body line and squeeze your traps on the way up and feel the negative on the way down.
9. Stationary Dumbbell Lunges
Stationary dumbbell lunges are an excellent strengthening exercise for the quads. To perform this exercise, hold a dumbbell in each hand and take a big step back until the knee comes close to touching the floor. Squeeze through the quadriceps of the front leg and glute to push yourself straight back to your starting position.
10. Toe Raise
The last task on the list is one that targets your calf muscles
The Toe Raise is one of the best ways to strengthen your calves which are muscles that are recruited during normal daily activities and while playing a variety of sports where running or jumping is involved. To perform, stand holding a pair of dumbbells by your side and elevate your heels to get as high on your toes as you can, hold for a second or two, then return to the start position.