Stuck indoors and running out of home workout ideas? Well, there’s absolutely no need to worry. A pair of dumbbells might be exactly what you need for your home workouts during this current lockdown and any other time you find yourself stuck indoors and unable to go outside.
Being unable to access our favourite gyms does not mean we can’t give the body an effective workout right in the comfort of our homes. We can still build muscle and burn fat while locked up indoors. The range and variety of fitness equipments available for use in the comfort of our homes is staggering.
Yes there are a lot of fancy home gym equipments out there, but there’s absolutely no need to stress about not having them. Just grab yourself a pair of dumbbells and stress no more!
The dumbbell is easy to use, isn’t anything new, less fancy, but it does get you results. With a pair of dumbbells, you can safely and effectively workout any part of your body at any time of the day. The effectiveness of home workouts with dumbbells should never be under-estimated.
Being stuck indoors during lockdowns is no excuse for not working out. It is very vital to stick as closely to your daily workout routine as possible. Doing this does not only ensure you stay physically healthy and fit, it has a positive effect on your mental health too.
Before You Get Going….
Safety first! This sounds very simple and straightforward, but is very important you stay safe. Have any health and or fitness concerns? If yes, then please ensure you consult your doctor first before starting any new workout routine.
It is also very important you warm-up before your workout session. A good workout session should start with a proper warm-up. A warm-up prepares your body for the workout session by gradually increasing blood circulation and your heart rate. This helps to loosen the joints, increase the flow of blood to the muscles and reduce the risk of injuries.
Warmed up and ready? Here are 15 home workouts with dumbbells you should give a go!
1. Dumbbell Chest Press
This exercise, usually performed on an exercise gym, is one of the best exercises for the chest. It can also be performed on the floor or a mat if a bench is not accessible. It targets your pectoral muscles (chest), shoulders and triceps.
- While lying flat on a bench, mat or floor, place your feet flat on the floor.
- With each hand holding a dumbbell, slightly extend each arm towards the ceiling.
- Slowly lower the dumbbells back down to your shoulders. That’s one rep complete!
2. Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
This exercise gives your hamstrings, glutes and lower back an effective workout.
- With a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet hip-width apart and slowly sit back into a hamstring stretch whiles maintaining a straight back.
- Push your hips back and slowly lower your weights down your legs to just below your knees.
- Thrust your hips forward to stand up straight with the dumbbells. One rep complete!
3. Goblet Squats
This exercise works out your hamstrings, quads and glutes. It also gives your abs some good workout if done properly.
- Stand shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest.
- Look straight ahead, tighten your core, bend your knees and squat down in between your legs until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Complete the move by pushing from your heels to get back up to the standing position.
4. Bent Over Row
This exercise works out your glutes, biceps and back.
- With a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet hip-width apart, squeeze your abs and hinge forward at your waist.
- With the weights dangling by your sides, squeeze your elbows to your sides and pull the weights up towards your chest until your elbows pass your torso.
- Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. One rep complete!
5. Shoulder Press
This exercise is one of the best for the shoulder muscles. It works out your upper chest, shoulders, traps and triceps.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Raise each dumbbell and ensure it aligns with your ear. Your upper arm should be parallel to the floor and forearms perpendicular to the floor.
- Extend your arms as far as you can over your head and slowly return them to the starting position. One rep complete!
6. Bicep Curls
The bicep curls, despite having a lot of variations, remains one of the best exercises for strengthening your biceps and to some degree your forearms.
- While holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent.
- Rest your arms down to your sides and tuck your elbows into your sides.
- Stick out your chest and curl the dumbbells up towards your shoulders. Slowly lower the weights back to the start. One rep complete!
7. Bulgarian Split Squats
This exercise is a total leg workout. It especially gives your glutes and upper legs a great workout and helps improve overall balance and hip mobility.
- While holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with a knee-high gym bench or chair behind you.
- Bend one leg and place the foot on the bench or chair behind you. Your standing leg should be forward enough to allow you to drop into a squat.
- Bend your standing leg and lower your rear leg until the thigh of the standing leg is parallel to the floor. While performing this move, ensure you tighten your core, keep hips square to your body and lean slightly lean forward without rounding your lower back.
- Drive through your front heel and push up to the standing position. Swap legs and repeat the exercise.
8. Dumbbell Flyes
This exercise requires a gym bench and gives you an excellent way to target your chest muscles. It isolates your chest muscles as it involves minimal triceps involvement. This helps to put greater emphasis on strengthening and building your chest muscles. To get the best out of this exercise, using light to moderate weight with a controlled slow tempo is highly recommended.
- Lie back flat on a gym bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
- Fully extend your arms straight up with your palms facing each other.
- Slowly lower your arms down to your sides until your elbows pass your torso or as far down as you possibly can.
- Gently raise the dumbbells up and together over your chest. Arms should be fully extended. One rep complete!
9. Renegade Rows
A tricky exercise to start with but very rewarding once the move is mastered. The renegade row works out multiple muscle groups concurrently. It works out your biceps, triceps, back, shoulders as well as your core.
- With a dumbbell in each hand, adopt the press-up position. Ensure your back is straight, engage your core and keep arms and feet shoulder-width apart.
- Keep one arm straight and row one dumbbell into your sides.
- Gently lower the dumbbell back to the floor and repeat the exercise with the opposite arm. One rep complete!
10. Lateral Raises
The dumbbell lateral raise targets your shoulder muscles, traps and widens your upper body. This exercise can be performed while standing, sitting down or with your back supported.
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Hold the dumbbells against your outer thighs, slightly bend your arms and raise the dumbbells up and out to the side until your arms are level with your shoulders.
- Lower the dumbbells back to your sides. One rep complete!
11. Dumbbell Lunge
The lunge is an often overlooked exercise but is very effective in targeting the muscles located in your lower body. These muscles include the glutes, quads and calves.
- With a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet hip-width apart.
- Step your right foot forward and bend your right knee to a 90 degree angle. Bend your left knee downward as low as possible without touching the ground.
- Push down through your right heel and return to the standing position. Swap legs and repeat the exercise.
12. Dumbbell Russian Twist
This exercise gives your abs and obliques a great workout. It can be performed with either one or two dumbbells held in each hand.
- Sit on a gym mat with a dumbbell held in each hand and out in front of you.
- Keep your feet together and raise them off the floor to form a ‘V’ position. Tighten your abs to steadily hold this position.
- While in the ‘V’ position, maintain a rigid spine and twist your waist from left to right. A twist on each side is one rep.
13. Dumbbell Skull Crushers
The skull crusher, usually performed with a barbell, is an exercise that increases triceps strength. It also increases the elbow joint’s resistance to injuries. This exercise is called a skull crusher for a reason, so ensure it is performed properly and safely.
- With a dumbbell in each hand, lie back flat on an exercise bench and ensure your feet are planted on the floor.
- With palms facing each other, raise your arms straight up. Keep your upper arms vertical and ensure the dumbbells are above your shoulders.
- Bend your elbows and lower the dumbbells down to ear-level. Extend your arms up straight to return to start position.
14. Dumbbell Box Step-Ups
This exercise is an excellent workout for hamstrings, quads and glutes.
- With a dumbbell in each hand, stand in front of a box (ideally knee-high).
- Step up onto the box with your right foot. Push yourself up the box by pressing down on your right heel while bringing your left knee up to meet your right knee.
- Step back down to the floor with your left foot followed by your right foot. You can either do a few reps on one leg and swap legs or keep alternating legs after each rep.
15. Weighted Single-Leg Calf Raises
This exercise is an effective way of targeting and strengthening both your lower and upper calf muscles.
- Place your right foot on a stable step so the ball of your foot is on the edge of the step. The heel of your foot should be free enough to move up and down.
- While using your left hand for support and balance, hold a dumbbell in your right hand and push up onto your right toes. Raise up your right foot as high as you can.
- Hold for a couple of seconds and lower your right heel down toward the floor as far as you possibly can. Perform a number of reps on the right foot and repeat the exercise with the left foot.
Always stay safe. This means consulting a qualified health professional if you have health concerns, staying hydrated throughout workout sessions, not lifting heavier than you physically can and adopt the right technique and form.
Having the right form not only prevents injuries, it also ensures you achieve the best possible result out of your workout session.
Be never discouraged by only having a pair of dumbbells at your disposal. The above mentioned home workouts with dumbbells allow you to train all your muscle groups right in the safety and comfort of your home.
Feel free to leave comments, questions, suggestions and contributions in the comments section below.