8 Most Powerful Dumbbell Exercises for You

Jeff Baldelli
Written by
Last update:

The Farmer’s Walk

This is particularly beneficial for building strength in your grip and the forearms, and it’s also great for strengthening and conditioning your obliques. The benefits are quite high for this simple exercise.

How To Do It:

Set up two dumbbells on the floor or some other raised surface.

Take a step away from the weights and pick the dumbbells up.

Walk with them for a while; however, you should make sure that you keep your chest up and your shoulders back so as to prevent stooping or other poor biomechanics.

Keep walking until you can’t any more.

Take a break and repeat the process several times.

The important thing to keep in mind is to not allow the dumbbells to bang against each other. If you do that, you’ll wear out the metal very quickly.

If you really need to bang the dumbbells together to make sure that they’re in sync with each other, just make sure that you do that carefully and gently, so that you can get away without wearing out the metal or damaging the handles.

This is a great exercise for building explosive power along with grip strength.

Single Armed Dumbbell Rows

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and feet pointed straight ahead or slightly turned out.

Hold a dumbbell in your right hand with an overhand grip and place the base of the dumbbell against your inner thigh.

With your left hand, grab the top of a bench or chair for support.

Keep your back flat, bend your knees slightly, and lean forward at the hips.

At the same time, lift the dumbbell up until your arm is straight, stopping when it is in line with your torso.

Lower the weight slowly and repeat.

Once you reach the bottom of the lift, switch sides.

Alternating Dumbbell Curves with an Incline

This is one of the dumbbell exercises for triceps. For this exercise, you need to stand with your feet wider than shoulder width apart. Hold the dumbbells with an underhand grip at the top of your chest. Use a straight back so that your torso is parallel with the floor. When you feel balanced, begin curving one of the dumbbells to the side. Keep curving it until your upper arm is parallel to the floor. Your elbow should not be straight, but you should not be bending your arm at an angle.

Repeat with the other arm. Complete the recommended number of repetitions.

Dumbbell Torso Pushups

One of the biggest mistakes you can make with dumbbell workouts is to only do the exercises for your arms, chest, and shoulders. Your core is the foundation of your body and must be strengthened by working it every time you train.

This is a great exercise to start with because it target your chest as well as your abdominal muscles.

Lie on the ground with your palms resting on the floor laterally out from your shoulders.

Get into the same starting position you would use for normal push-ups.

Now you’re ready to begin.

  1. Push yourself off the floor with your arms,
  2. Lower yourself to the floor,
  3. Repeat for the required number of repetitions.

This exercise can be performed with sets of up to ten repetitions or for a high number of repetitions, depending on your goals. If you want to get bigger, increase the weight you’re pushing and decrease the number of repetitions. If you want to get stronger, perform more repetitions with a light weight.

Torso pushups will help in many aspects. It strengthens the upper and lower chest muscles as well as your abs and arms.

Shoulder Presses

Shoulder presses a very common exercise in most weight lifting programs.

In addition to being a very effective movement to target the deltoid muscles, it also serves as a great movement to work other muscles such as the triceps, serratus and pectoral muscles.

Here’s how to perform it properly:

Hold the dumbbells in front of your chest or in front of your abdomen. With your feet comfortably apart, bend you knees slightly and keep your back straight. Keep the dumbbells close to your body. Inhale, and as you exhale, press the weights upward. Don’t lock your elbows and keep your palms facing in. Bring the weights back to your chest. The weights should be almost touching your chest. Inhale, and as you exhale, lower the dumbbells to your side. Repeat until you’ve reached your desired repetitions for that set.

The Lying Fly

If you’re looking for a challenge to strengthen your chest, shoulders, triceps, and arms, this exercise is great for you.

You need to lie on the ground on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your arms to the ceiling with your hands in a neutral grip (palms facing each other).

Extend your arms in opposite directions to start the fly movement. As you inhale, your elbows should be slightly bent so the resistance goes outwards and away from your chest. Exhale as you bring your arms back towards your chest, so your hands meet at the torso.

You can perform the dumbbell fly with a lighter or heavier weight to increase or decrease the resistance, respectively.

Toe Raises

Motion: Sit on the edge of a chair with your feet on the floor in front of you. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your thighs.

Action: Curl the weights toward you while keeping your arms straight. Slightly tilt the weights forward so that your palms face forward and your thumbs are slightly tucked underneath. Raise your arms until the weights are by your shoulders. Lower the weights and repeat.

Precautions: Do this movement very slowly. Make sure that you are feeling a good contraction in your calves and not just in your knees.

Important: You can make this exercise harder by moving the chair further away from you, raising the foot height off the floor or byes using ankle weights.

Bicep Curls

To do: Stand while holding dumbbells. Bend your knees and place the top of your feet on the floor. Keep both knees creased in the bend throughout the exercise.

Raise your arms to the sides until they’re bent at a 90 degree angle and parallel to the floor. The dumbbells should be touching your thighs. Stop when your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. Do not lock your arm or extend your elbows past 90 degrees.

Keep your upper arms relaxed. Also, do not swing the dumbbells. Bring your arms back down to the starting position. This is one rep.

The bicep muscles act as prime movers in this exercise, which means that they initiate the force against the resistance.

Perform 8-10 repetitions to fatigue.