The 10 Best Dumbbell Exercises
Post at 14:15 - 10/04/2018

These dumbbell exercises are all you need to harness the power of hand-held free weights

Getting a new body doesn’t have to be complicated. Whether you’re aiming for rapid fat loss, bulging muscles or cardiovascular fitness, a pair of dumbbells will tick the box – providing you use them correctly. Yes, curls might get the girls, but increasing your dumbbell dexterity with a few extra free weight exercises will get you to your goals faster.

That's why teamed up with PT Ollie Frost to find the best exercises to transform your body. You’re welcome.

 

free weight exercises

Goblet Squat

How?

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 and repeat.

Why?

Are you a nervous newbie or a long-time hard gainer? It doesn’t matter with this move. “Goblet squats are perfect for any level,” says Frost. “They specifically target glute activation whilst improving both hip and thoracic mobility.”

 

free weight exercises

Dumbbell Clean

How?

Flip your wrists so they face 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. 

 

Why?

If you want to look like an Olympian then you’ve got to train like one. “Incorporating these powerlifter lifts into your training will not only build lean muscle tissue but also build explosive power,” says Frost. This move also rushes blood to your glutes, hamstrings, shoulders and arms to maximize your muscle-growing power.

 

dumbbell exercises

 

Farmers’ Walk

How?

Walk forward taking short, quick steps. Go for the given distance, as fast as possible.

Why?

There’s no technique to worry about, but you’ll still supercharge your grip strength. And don’t worry, this lack of technique won’t get you injured; through a process called irradiation, this move bunches your rotator cuff, protecting your shoulders.

 

dumbbell exercises

Bent Over Row

How?

Keep your core tight and your back straight as you row the weights up to your chest. Lower and repeat.

Why?

“Rows will target several muscles in your upper body including the traps, rhomboids, lats and biceps perfect for getting you that ‘V’ shape,” says Frost. And not only that, it'll hone in on your deltoids to create some T-shirt-filling boulder shoulders, too.

free weight exercises

Two Arm Dumbbell Stiff Legged Deadlift

How?

Lower the dumbbells to the top of your feet, as far as you can go by extending through your waist, then slowly return to the starting position.

 

Why?

It shreds your legs into powerful pins by targeting your fast-twitch lower-body muscles. Plus, stiff legged deadlifts ensure your entire posterior chain is functioning effectively and prevents hip and lower back injuries, says Frost. It’s one of the best free weight exercises to build up your lower body – injury free.

 

dumbell exercises

 

One Arm Swing

How?

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.

Why?

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. In other words, it’ll give you the momentum your body transformation workout needs. Most of these traditional kettlebell moves can be replicated. 

 

dumbbell exercises

 

Bench Press

How?

 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.

Why?

If you’re looking to build quality pecs appeal then always opt for 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,” says Frost.

 

dumbbell exercises

 

Cross Body Hammer Curl

How?

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.

 

Why?

Remember, if you want to win the arms race then don’t ignore the rule of divide and conquer. Focusing on one arm at a time creates a large neural drive, which engages the nervous system to recruit more muscle fibres.\

 

free weight exercises

 

Step-Ups

How?

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.

Why?

It’s a sure fire way to maximize your gluteus maximus, the major muscle responsible for extending, rotating and adducting and abducting from the hip joint. Plus, single leg exercises will increase stabiliser strength of the smaller muscles around the joint, protecting you against injuries.

 

 

Dumbbell Scaption

How?

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.

Why?

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.

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