If your entire training revolves around dumbbells or if your holiday activity has made you decide to create a small home gym, one of the first pieces of equipment you buy will probably be a set of dumbbells. And rightly so. With dumbbells, you can easily do quite a good workout.

Advantages of exercising with dumbbells:

Adding dumbbells to any exercise, will strengthen its effect. For example, instead of jogging or jumping on the spot during the warm-up, do a minute of boxing running with dumbbells (1-2 kg in each hand). Similarly, you can do jumping jacks, jump squats, and traditional crunches.

Exercises with dumbbells allow you to perform the movement in its full range and gradually increase it. The best example is the lats. By exercising with a properly selected weight (i.e., not too heavy), you can perfectly feel the limits of movement and gradually stretch your pectoral muscles.

How to organize a training based on exercises with dumbbells?

Plan a dynamic, several-minute warm-up. It must include warm-up exercises (jogging, jumping), but also dynamic stretching - during the warm-up, you perform the exercises that you will do in the main part of the training, of course with minimal load and in short sets.

Start your training with multi-joint exercises that involve the largest muscle groups - lunges or squats with weights, deadlifts.

If you want to conduct a dynamic, short training that also improves endurance, you can alternate multi-joint exercises with isolated exercises, such as bending the forearms in a standing position (biceps), extending the forearms in a downward position (triceps) or raising the arms sideways (shoulders).

The entire training should not last longer than 45 minutes - during this time you will certainly be able to do at least one exercise for each main muscle group.

Think about how you will change the weight - if you have a set of dumbbells based on one bar and variable weights, it will take you a while to adapt the dumbbell to the next exercise. A more convenient form is a standing pole with dumbbells, but of course it takes up a bit more space than a neat unit with folding elements.

Sample exercises with dumbbells for each muscle group

Legs and buttocks

Lunges with a weight in your hands

Squats with a weight held in your hands at hip level or in front of you at chest level, or the most difficult version - squats with a load held above your head, arms straight (as in Olympic weightlifting)


Dumbbell rowing - standing version without support (as with a barbell) or one-handed with the support of a bench (at home, another stable piece of furniture)


Pressing in a lying position on a horizontal or incline bench


Carrying by the head in a lying position


Overhead press in a standing or sitting position.

Side raises in a standing position (side of shoulders)

Bent-over rows (back of shoulders)

Alternate lifting to forehead height in a standing or sitting position.


Here we have a huge selection of exercises (as in the case of the shoulder muscles), because biceps and triceps are designed for exercises with dumbbells (or rather the other way round - dumbbells are designed to work on these muscles). Bending and straightening in various positions, tempo, with or without rotation. It is also worth remembering that each exercise performed with dumbbells also strengthens the forearm muscles, because we are constantly working on the grip of our hands.


If you make the simplest crunches more difficult by taking small dumbbells in your hands, the effect will be much stronger.

Try doing a Russian twist while holding dumbbells in your hands - after a few sets of this exercise, your belly won't need anything else

What weight should you train with?

The principle is simple. The weight needs to be such that you can perform the entire set of the exercise correctly, but the last two or three repetitions in the sets are clearly difficult.

Is it worth buying light dumbbells?

Creating an entire collection of lightweight dumbbells, i.e., shapely weights of low weight (from 0.5 kg to 3 kg), are probably not useful. But it's worth having at least one such pair (2 kg dumbbells are the most universal) at home. Comfortable, easy to use quickly, without the need to install clamps. They are useful during warm-up, but also during many exercises when a delicate load is needed (e.g., in sets with reduced load).