dumbbell exercises

5 Dumbbell Exercises To Do At Home

Think you can’t work out because you don’t have fancy gym equipment? Think again! Here’s five simple dumbbell exercises that you can do at home

Changing your body and getting fitter doesn’t always have to include expensive gym membership and equipment, all it requires is knowledge. Which is where these five dumbbell exercises from James McDowell come in.

These five exercises show that you don’t need a top of the range gym to get a great workout going. A few adjustable DBs can work wonders and help you train.

Dumbbell floor press

Many of you won’t have a bench for doing dumbbell bench presses on, so the floor press offers a nice alternative. Although the range of motion isn’t as big, you can still hit the chest nicely.

The floor press has the further advantage of being suitable for anyone with shoulders that feel a little banged up. Due to how much we sit and slouch these days, our shoulders can feel a little creaky. The floor press reduces the range of motion which makes it a little more user-friendly.

How to do the dumbbell floor press

  • Lay on the ground with your knees bent.
  • Hoist the DBs up so they are straight above your head with your elbows extended fully.
  • Bring the DBs down until your elbows come into contact with the floor.
  • You can have your elbows slightly tucked.
  • Return to start position. 

Start with 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Dumbbell bent-over row

The bent-over row is one of my favourite back exercises, mainly for its simple set up. No bench needed, no awkward position, and it can be done with a barbell or dumbbell.

Simple grab your equipment, hinge at the hip and you have a great back exercise.

How to do the dumbbell bent-over row

  • Grab a dumbbell in either hand.
  • With a slight bend in the knees, hinge at the hip. Imagine there is a wall a foot behind you and you want to touch your bum off it.
  • The DBs should stay close to the body.
  • Now raise the DBs up towards your belly button, whilst squeezing your upper back muscles together.
  • Lower back down to the start position.

Start with 3 sets of 8-10 reps

Dumbbell frontal raise

The frontal raise is one of the simplest exercises you can do. It’s also one of my go to shoulder exercises. Both men and women LOVE to have strong, defined arms.

But what if I told you that the shoulders have a big bearing on how your arms look? The size of the anterior delts (front of shoulder) influence the appearance of your arms. Defined shoulders will equal defined arms.

How to do the dumbbell frontal raise

  • Holding a DB in each hand, let them hang at arm’s length in front of your thighs.
  • Raise the DBs up until your arms are parallel with the floor. Make sure to keep your torso straight with no swinging.
  • Return to the start position and repeat.

Start with 3 sets of 10-12 reps

Dumbbell seated shoulder press

Another amazing shoulder exercise to try is the seated shoulder press. Not only will this one target the front of the shoulder but also the mid and rear deltoids.

All that is required is a stable surface to sit on and DBs. A stool could be used for this.

It should be noted that not everyone will have the shoulder mobility to perform this exercise. If you find it difficult to push the DBs directly over your head, stick with the frontal raise.

Start with 3 sets of 8-10 reps

How to do the dumbbell seated shoulder press

  • Whilst seated on a stable surface, hold a DB in each hand which can rest on the thighs.
  • Now hoist the DBs up to shoulder height using your thighs as leverage.
  • Your palms should be facing away from your face, elbow should be directly below your wrist and you should have a 90-degree angle at the elbow.
  • Now push the DBs overhead whilst bringing them closer together.
  • Lower them back down to ear level and repeat.

Dumbbell reverse fly

Finally, I’ve gone for another back exercise. In my experience, females love working their back muscles. The reverse fly is great for targeting the upper back muscles and is relatively easy to perform. Again, all that is required is two dumbbells.

How to do dumbbell reverse flys

  • Grab a dumbbell in either hand.
  • With a slight bend in the knees, hinge at the hip as with the bent over row.
  • With a slight bend at the elbow and the palms facing each other, hold the dumbbells so that they touch the front of the leg.
  • Maintaining the slight bend at the elbows, move the DBs out and away from each other. The arms should end up parallel with the floor.
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.
  • Slowly lower back down to the start position and repeat.

Start with 3 sets of 10-12 reps

James Mc Dowell is a personal trainer that helps women to look and feel better so they become strong and confident. He does this through his in person and online programs. You can find out more at jamesmcdowell.ie

Read more: 5 exercises for your legs and bum