Muscle Home Building Workout

March 05, 2021

The case for using dumbbell exercises as part of your strength training program is well-established. Better balance, greater contribution from support muscles, the ability to train unilaterally and to self-spot – the list goes on. But to this, we add some real-world examples.

Dumbbells are all too often ignored in the acquisition of limit strength, or the amount of force you can exert in one go. By no means is this a slam against barbell training. The bottom line is that to maximize strength and the development of hypertrophy, dumbbell training, in some form, must be part of your repertoire.

“These are compound movements, which means they work more than one muscle group at a time, making your workout more efficient and more effective,” Alexander told POPSUGAR. She added that all of these exercises challenge your core while building strength in your legs and arms.

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Think of it this way — when you do cardio, you burn a certain number of calories during that time, then that’s pretty much it. But, Freeman said, “when you weight train, you not only burn calories during the workout, but then your muscles continue to burn calories throughout the day as they are recovering.”

If you’re new to strength training, Freeman designed this home dumbbell workout that includes eight basic moves to target your upper and lower body, as well as your core. His advice is to start light in regard to the dumbbells to ensure you learn proper form and technique before trying to lift heavier weight. He warned that you will definitely feel sore, but don’t let this deter you! Stretch, rest and recover, then get right back to it.

Home Dumbbell Workout

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Bench Press

  1. Lie back on a bench and hold a dumbbell in each hand
  2. Keep each arm bent to the side of each shoulder, palms facing upward
  3. Extend your elbows as you press the weights above your chest
  4. Keep going until your arms are straight above your chest, but don’t touch the weights to one another
  5. Bring the weights back down just past shoulder level
  6. Repeat

Bicep Curl

  1. Stand upright and hold a dumbbell in each hand
  2. Each arm should be hanging by your sides
  3. Keep your elbows close to the torso and your palms facing outward
  4. Don’t move your upper arms as you curl the weights upward to shoulder level
  5. Contract your biceps and exhale as you go
  6. Return to the starting position
  7. Repeat

Shoulder Press

  1. Stand upright holding a pair of dumbbells at either side
  2. The dumbbells should be more or less even with your shoulders, your arms should be slightly bent, and your palms should be facing toward your body
  3. Press upward and twist your wrists as you go so that your palms are facing forward by the time you reach the top
  4. Lift the weights directly over your shoulders until your arms are straight
  5. Lower and repeat

Bent-Over Row

  1. Stand up with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing the body
  2. Keep your legs and arms about shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent
  3. Bend no further than a 45-degree angle, bracing your core and keeping your back straight
  4. Lift the weights upward in a straight line, exhaling as you go
  5. Keep your wrists stiff and don’t move your legs
  6. Your arms should never pass shoulder level as you raise the hand weights
  7. It should feel like your pinching your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement
  8. Lower the weights into the starting position and repeat
  9. Do not change your posture until you’ve completed each set

One Arm Swing

  1. Hold a dumbbell between your legs, keeping it at arm’s length
  2. Assume the squat position
  3. Swing the dumbbell through your legs as you drive yourself upward
  4. Keeping your arm straight, bring the dumbbell all the way up to forehead level as you straighten your legs
  5. Repeat and then swap arms for a full set

Lunge

  1. Stand upright and hold a dumbbell in each hand
  2. Hang your arms at either side with your palms facing inward and your feet a little less than shoulder-width apart
  3. Take a long step forward with your leg of choice, bending at the knee until your thigh is parallel to the ground
  4. Land on the heel and inhale as you descend
  5. The rear leg should be bent at the knee and balanced on the toes
  6. Return to the starting position as you exhale
  7. Swap legs and repeat for a full rep

Calf Raise

  1. Stand upright and hold a dumbbell in each hand
  2. Keep your feet approximately shoulder-width apart
  3. Hang your arms below your shoulders and keep them straight
  4. Lift both feet until you’re standing on your toes
  5. You should feel the tension in your lower legs
  6. Return and repeat

Triceps Kickback

  1. Stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand
  2. Keep your knees slightly bent and your palms facing inward
  3. Tighten your core and keep your spine straight as you hinge at the waist
  4. Keep going until your torso is almost parallel to the floor
  5. Your upper arms should stay close to your body, your head and spine should form a straight line, and your chin should be slightly tucked in
  6. Exhale as you straighten your elbows, all without moving your upper arms
  7. Hold, inhale, and return to the starting position

Lateral Raise

  1. Assume the standing or seated position
  2. Hold a dumbbell at each side, palms facing inward
  3. Your back should be straight and your core braced
  4. Slowly lift the hand weights out to your sides until your arms are parallel with the floor
  5. All the while, your elbows should be slightly bent
  6. Carefully lower and repeat

Lying Dumbbell Fly

  1. Lie back-down on the bench and keep your feet flat on the floor
  2. Hold the dumbbells directly above your chest, palms facing one another
  3. Lower the free weights out to the sides as far as you can comfortably take them
  4. Engage your pectoral muscles as you return to the starting position
  5. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows and keep your back straight (i.e. un-arched) the entire time
  6. Repeat

Best Dumbbells for a Home Workout

Equipment needed: Depending on what you have available, you’ll want a variety of dumbbells ranging from light to heavier (three to 20 pounds). Freeman said in order to know if you’ve chosen the correct weight, you’ll really be feeling it by the last couple reps. If you do all 10 reps and feel you could do more, increase the weight a bit (here’s a handy guide on how to choose the right weights for you).

Bowflex SelectTech 552 Adjustable Dumbbells

decathlon domyos

Muscle Motion Commercial Prostyle Rubber Dumbbells

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