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12 Dumbbell Exercises to Tone Your Body

22 November 2023

Dumbbells are one of the staples when it comes to workout equipment, primarily due to their approachability and versatility. Whether you are a beginner, are crunched for time, or have lofty strength objectives, you cannot go wrong with a dumbbell. Regardless of where you are, how fit you are, or how much time you can dedicate to physical fitness, you can always lift a pair of dumbbells, like the Adjustable Dumbbell LCL, and get down to work.

Dumbbells demand extra muscle activation, which means that your body has to put in extra efforts to achieve your desired workout goals.

In this blog, we will discuss a number of compound dumbbell exercises that will target multiple areas of your body and help you get yourself in top shape. If you do not have dumbbells for the time being, you can perform many of these exercises using a water bottle or any other heavy objects that you have handy.

Dumbbell Exercises to Tone Your Body:



1. Squat plus Punches:

Hold a dumbbell in either hand, and keep each hand in front of its corresponding shoulder. Go down into a squatting position, and squeeze your abs and glutes. While returning to a standing position, extend the right arm in front of you as if you were punching someone. Bring the right arm back to its original position, and squat again. This time, as you return to the standing position, repeat the same movement with your left hand.

Start with three sets, each one comprising ten repetitions with either arm.

2. B-Stance Deadlift:

Hold a dumbbell in both hands, and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Put your right foot half-a-step behind the left heel. Bend your right knee, and make sure that your right heel is slightly elevated. The left leg, meanwhile, will remain straight throughout this sequence. Hinge forward at your hips as you lower the dumbbells down towards the floor. Keep hinging forward until you feel a pull in the left hamstring. At this point, squeeze the glutes and stand up tall.

Start with three sets, each one comprising ten repetitions on either side.

3. Russian Twists:

Russian twists should be an integral part of any core workout routine. The twisting motions work the oblique, allowing you to activate multiple core muscles simultaneously – and adding a dumbbell takes the intensity up a notch or two. Start by sitting on the ground with the knees bent and the feet either resting on the ground or hovering above it. Tilt the upper-body up until you reach a 45-degree angle (think the top position in a sit-up). Hold a single dumbbell using both hands, squeeze the shoulder blades together, and pull the shoulders away from the ears. If you want an added challenge, you can take your feet off the ground. Keep the dumbbell in front of the chest and twist the torso towards the right, bringing the dumbbell as close to the floor as you can. Then, return to the sit-up position and twist towards the left, bringing the dumbbell close to the floor.

Start with three sets, each set comprising ten repetitions on either side.



4. Shoulder Press:

Beginners should start by sitting on a back-supportive seat. Take a dumbbell in each hand and bend the hands 90-degrees towards the sides so that each hand is aligned with its corresponding shoulder. Next, push the hands upwards by joining them above the head, and bring them down back to the 90-degree position. The exercise, when done right, will create pressure on the upper-arm and wrist. It will help you shed any excess weight on your arms.

Start with three sets, each set comprising ten repetitions.

5. Overhead Press:

This requires you to hold the dumbbells in a kind of goal-post position such that the weights are aligned with the ears. The upper arms should be parallel to the floor while the forearms should be perpendicular to it. Press the dumbbells up overhead, keeping them slightly in front of your forehead such that you can see the weights without having to tilt the head. After that, return to the starting position and repeat.

Start with three sets, each set comprising ten repetitions.

6. Thrusters:

Start by standing with the feet at slightly more than hip-distance. Take a dumbbell in either hand, and place the hands by your sides. Curl the dumbbells up to shoulder height (remember to keep the palms facing each other). Next, go down into a squatting position and, as you stand back up, press the weights over your head. Your elbows should end up next to the ears. While returning to the squatting position, lower the weights back to shoulder height.

Start with three sets, each set comprising 8-10 repetitions.



7. Triceps Kickback:

Stand with the feet at hip-distance to each other, and the knees slightly bent. Take a weight in either hand, and put the hands by your sides. Make sure to hinge forward at the waist such that the chest is tilted at a 45-degree angle towards the floor. Pull the elbows up towards the sky, hugging them into the sides (this is also called a rowing motion). Next, while keeping the elbows static, bring your dumbbells up and back towards the back of the room, working the back and upper back of your arms. Return to the rowing position, and repeat.

Start with three sets, each set comprising ten repetitions.

8. Lunges:

Lunges are another excellent exercise for core strengthening. Even though lunges are quite effective even without dumbbells, holding weights can make the workout more challenging and rewarding. Start by standing straight, holding a dumbbell in either hand and placing the hands by your sides. Place the right foot in front of the left one and bend it – this will cause both legs to fold at the knees. Next, take the right leg back and bring the left one out in front. Lunges are a simple but highly effective compound exercise, targeting the core, hips, and thighs.

Start with three sets, each set comprising ten repetitions on either side.

9. Walking Lunges:

A variation of the lunges exercise discussed above, walking lunges also begin by keeping your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in either hand, and placing the hands by your sides. Lunge forward with the right foot, making sure that the right knee does not track beyond the big toe. Pushing through the right heel, stand up and bring your left leg into the lunging position. Keep walking this way until you complete a set.

Start with three sets, each set comprising five repetitions on either side.



10. Overhead Triceps Extension:

Stand with your feet hips-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Extend the arms straight up over your head, and bring the hands together such that the two dumbbells are touching each other. Keeping the biceps glued to the ears and elbows facing forward, lower the dumbbells directly behind the head. Bring the arms back up over the head, and repeat this sequence.

Start with three sets, each set comprising ten repetitions.

11. Goblet Squats:

Goblet squats can be performed either with two small dumbbells or a single large one, depending upon how much weight you can hold. Start by standing straight, holding the dumbbell close to the chest. Next, go down into a squatting position, still holding the weight close to the chest. Keep the back straight and bend your knees to sit down completely. Stand back up while putting pressure on the heels. This exercise targets the upper-arms and thighs, and, consequently, helps tone both.

Start with three sets, each set comprising 8-10 repetitions.

12. Dumbbell Deadbugs (Legs Only):

Lie down flat on the ground, keeping the knees up and bent at a 90-degree angle, directly over the hips. Take a dumbbell and, holding one end of the weight in either hand, press the weight straight over the chest. Keeping your arms in this position, extend the right leg until it is straight and a few inches above the ground. While doing this, make sure that your lower back remains glued to the floor. Next, extend the left leg in the same manner, pulling it back up to a 90-degree angle. Keep alternating between the legs until you complete one full set.

Start with three sets, each set comprising 6-10 repetitions on either side.

Final Word:

To sum up, the above 12 exercises are awesome staples that, when strung together, can lead to a comprehensive full-body workout. The exercises will target the entire arm (triceps, biceps, and shoulders), as well as the legs and core. If you are a beginner, I recommend starting with lighter weights (say, less than five pounds) and no more than ten repetitions. Gradually work your way up to 15 repetitions before going for heavier weights.