The Most Effective Dumbbell Exercises You Should be Doing

Dumbell Exercises

When it comes to doing strength training, dumbbells are some of the easiest ways to train your muscles.  The great thing about dumbbells is that they can be moved and used anywhere in a very small space.  

There are even adjustable dumbbells that allow you to change the weight depending on your strength level, the exercise, and your goals.

There are all kinds of exercises that you can perform in order to help build your muscles. 

However, it is important to make sure that you don’t overdo it and attempt to lift too much weight at any one time as you may end up seriously hurting yourself and putting yourself out of commission for the foreseeable future.

In order to help you to do some great dumbbell exercises properly, we have come up with some of our top dumbbell exercises for you to check out and try out next time you are in a weight-lifting mood.


One of the world’s most popular weight-lifting exercises is the beloved BICEP CURL

Dumbbell Bicep Curls

One of the easiest and most common exercises that you can do with a set of dumbbells is dumbbell curls. If you have never done these before it is a good idea to get something lightweight while you get the technique down.

In order to do a curl properly, you have to let your arm go down past 90 degrees but not quite until your arm is facing straight downwards. It is important to make sure that you are only doing from 6-10 reps no matter the weight that you are using.

If you find that 8 reps is relatively easy to do then you should probably increase the weight on your next set.

In order to properly work out your muscles, you can either do curls one arm at a time or you can alternate as to which arm is doing the curling and hold the dumbbell in your other arm while lifting with your opposite arm.

Many people like to hold both dumbbells at one time as it helps to even out the weight across your body better. Generally speaking, you should only do about three sets of dumbbell curls during your workout period so that you don’t wear out your muscles too much.

Tricep Extensions

For this next exercise, you will only need one dumbbell. First of all, you should make sure that you use something that is fairly lightweight as this is an isolation exercise and makes your triceps burn quite a bit.

Grab your dumbbell and find yourself a bench or somewhere where you can sit securely so that you don’t fall off and hurt yourself in the middle of exercising.

The next thing you are going to want to do is to grab the dumbbell how you normally would with the arm that you want to work out first.

At this point in time grab your wrist with your other hand. Grab the wrist in a way that your fingers are visible on the top portion of the wrist and so that you support the wrist so that it cannot break/ snap.

At this point lift up the dumbbell and hold it just behind your head. Raise the dumbbell and lower it back down six to eight times in order to complete a set. You should do about three sets of this activity before moving onto something new.


Lunges are a popular and effective exercise for your legs, but be careful not to injure your knees!


Lunges can be a dangerous exercise when they are done improperly which is why I recommend that everyone start out doing lunges using extremely light weights so that they don’t end up hurting themselves.

To do a lunge properly make sure that you keep your body nice and straight and start with your shoulders backward and face forwards with your chin facing upwards.

Take one step forwards and slowly lower your hips down until your knees are bent at approximately a 90-degree angle. Always make sure that your front knee does not go past 90 degrees and it should not go past your ankle.

It doesn’t matter as much where your back knee is, but just keep it up and off the ground wherever it feels the most comfortable for you.

If you don’t feel comfortable doing a lunge with weights because you have a bad knee, the nice thing about lunges is that this is still a challenging exercise without weights as well.

Bent-Over Dumbbell Row

This is a fairly easy exercise to perform until you start to push the weight of this exercise which can make it extremely difficult.

To do this exercise get yourself two dumbbells that you are comfortable lifting repetitively and hold one dumbbell in each hand. Bend your back over into a hunched position over top of the dumbbells so that your torso is parallel to the floor.

Lower the weights down towards the floor while keeping your palms down. Extend your arms until they are fully extended then lift the weights back up to the top and squeeze your shoulder blades together.

If you are using a really lightweight then this can be an endurance workout for you.

If you want to get strength gains as a result of this exercise it is important to use weights that you are comfortable performing 6-8 reps with per set and to do at least three sets of this exercise before moving onto the next one.


Another way of doing a chest press (AKA “bench press”) is with a machine.

Chest Press

To do this next activity make sure that you find yourself a bench that you can lay down on top of. Don’t have the bench too high up so that your feet can’t sit flat on the ground.

It may be a good idea to set a bench on either side of your body and to get a spotter for you if you want to try and lift a heavyweight. It is important to use a lightweight for this exercise if you have never done it before so that you can get the proper technique down.

What you are going to want to do is lie down on the bench and hold your arms out at about a 90-degree angle; or wherever feels comfortable, with the dumbbells in front of your body.

When you lift the dumbbells up, bring them back down so that they are very close if not touching your chest before you go to lift the dumbbells back up again.

Try not to hold the dumbbells at the top position for a long period of time especially if you choose to have your arms straight out as this can be hard on your elbows.

In order to do this exercise properly, you should be able to do from 6-8 reps if you want maximum gains.

Some people do like to try one rep max’s with this exercise just make sure that you have a spotter and that you are warmed up first so that you don’t end up hurting yourself.

Try not to push yourself too hard at any one time; with persistence, your one-rep max will surely increase so it is not necessary to test yourself each and every time that you go and lift weights.

After reading through this article hopefully, you now have a better idea as to the many exercises that you can do with dumbbells.

Hopefully, some of these exercises have appealed to the muscle groups that you want to train and you are interested in trying them out.

It is extremely important to make sure that you use proper form when performing these exercises so that you don’t hurt yourself and it is also important not to push yourself too hard;

it is a good idea to get yourself a spotter if you want to try and lift something heavier than you are used to so that you don’t run into a scary situation. Best of luck with your dumbbell strength training!



My name's Pete Stec and I'm one of the owners here at and Sport Consumer Family (YouTube). My family and I invite you to travel our journey of wellness for your kids and family through nutrition and exercise while we continue to provide the very best reviews on the sports gear you need for serious competition or for your leisure activity!

Recent Posts