Dumbbells are an inexpensive and versatile. They allow you to create many workouts that build muscle mass and also define muscle appearance. Weight, reps and pace are the biggest attribute to your goal, from cardio to building mass.
Achieving a new body needn’t be complicated. When used correctly, the benefits of dumbbells are endless in terms of health benefits and physical appearance. Increasing your dumbbell dexterity with extra free weight exercises, will help you achieve your goal faster and you can build muscle by using heavier weights.
Increasing muscle mass helps burn more calories throughout the day, this is because a pound of muscle burns more calories than a pound of fat. Dumbbells don’t just target biceps as thought, when performing a range of movements you can involve most body parts and add mass, strength and definition to these.
Dumbbells can be used to improve muscular endurance, or your ability to use your muscles over time. You use less weight and perform more repetitions of each exercise when doing muscular endurance workouts than when doing bodybuilding exercises. Below, here we have listed some exercises for you to incorporate:
1. Goblet Squat:
- Stand with feet set wider than shoulder-width and hold a dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest.
- Sit back into a squat.
- Then drive back up.
They specifically target glute activation whilst improving both hip and thoracic mobility.
2. Dumbbell Clean:
- Face your wrists forwards and bring the weights to your shoulders, slightly jumping as you do.
- Slowly straighten your legs to stand.
- Then lower the weights down to your thigh before moving into squat position and repeating.
Incorporating these lifts into your training will not only build lean muscle tissue but also build explosive power. This move also rushes blood to your glutes, hamstrings, shoulders and arms to maximise muscle growth.
SEE ALSO: Great Legs Routine Using Dumbbells
3. Farmers Walk:
- Walk forward taking short, quick steps.
- Go for the given distance, as fast as possible.
You’ll increase your grip strength. This move bunches your rotator cuff, protecting your shoulders.
4. Bent Over Row:
- Keep your core tight and your back straight as you row the weights up to your chest.
- Lower and repeat.
Rows will target several muscles in your upper body including:
This is perfect for achieving that ‘V’ shape.
5. Two Arm Dumbbell Stiff Legged Deadlift:
- Lower the dumbbells to the top of your feet, as far as you can go by extending through your waist.
- Slowly return to the starting position.
It builds your legs into powerful parts by targeting your fast-twitch lower-body muscles. It’s one of the best free weight exercises to build up your lower body.
6. One Arm Swing:
- Sink into a squat and swing the dumbbell through your legs before immediately driving yourself forward.
- Bringing the weight up towards your head as you straighten your legs.
- Repeat this movement, then swap sides.
With proper form this swing will not only recruit muscles within your posterior chain but it will also build your grip strength, co-ordination, lower back muscles, quadriceps and shoulders. Most of these traditional kettlebell moves can be replicated.
7. Bench Press:
- Sink into a squat and swing the weight through your legs before immediately driving yourself forward.
- Bringing it up towards your head as you straighten your legs.
- Repeat this movement, then swap sides.
Build quality pecs with a dumbbell press over barbell. Why? A weight in each hands allows for a greater stretch at the bottom of the lift, building a bigger chest. And if you want to take this move further? Squeeze your pecs together at the top of the lift to recruit as many muscle fibres as possible.
8. Cross Body Hammer Curl:
- One at a time, curl each weight up towards your opposing shoulder.
- Return under control to the start position and repeat on the other side.
Focusing on one arm at a time creates a large neural drive, which engages the nervous system to recruit more muscle fibres.
- Place your right foot onto the elevated platform and push up through your heel to lift yourself up and place your left foot on the platform.
- Step back down with your left foot, concentrating on flexing your hip and the knee of your right leg.
- Repeat on the other side.
It’s a great way to maximise your glutes, the major muscle responsible for extending, rotating and adducting and abducting from the hip joint. Single leg exercises will increase stabiliser strength of the smaller muscles around the joint, protecting you against injuries.
10. Dumbbell Scaption:
- Arc the weights up to your sides keeping your arms straight at all times until you feel a strong stretch across your shoulders.
- Return slowly to the start position.
Rotator cuff, shoulder impingement and tears are common issues from overuse exercises, but not if you use the scaption. By targeting your stabilising muscles it protects the shoulder joint and ligaments surrounding it.