Now that you read all that stuff above you probably want to know some exercises to put in a workout. Well here they are with all the different body part heads they hit. Remember there are probably some I miss so don’t be afraid to use them.
- I’m assuming you can do it if you have two benches or two chairs or something.
- Dips are your best friend for your triceps when it comes to development. They hit all three heads of the tricep and it is a compound movement. You should try to do the tricep concentration variation of the dip.This is almost the exact same as the dip but your body is parallel instead of slightly leaning forwards which concentrates on your triceps a lot. Put a weight between your feet for added resistance if you want.
- This is where you sit down, take a dumbbell with two hands and lower behind your head then extend. It can also be done lying down on a bench.
- This is another great exercise since it works all three heads of the tricep. Your elbows shouldn’t move in this exercise
- Can also be done on an incline and decline but it won’t do much to affect your triceps.
- This is a great exercise for hitting two of the heads of the tricep. It also helps with your stabilizer muscles, which is good. It is also a compound exercise which is another positive of the dumbbell bench press.
- Basically the same thing as seated dumbbell tricep press but using two dumbbells.
- This is another exercise that hits all heads of the triceps. Your elbows shouldn’t move in this exercise
- This is a good exercise for isolating the triceps. It doesn’t hit all the heads of the tricep so make sure that you implement it with all your exercises.
- This is a popular exercise that isolates the tricep well. However I don’t like it and don’t use it because it is painful if I get a full extension.This might also be a problem with other people too. For some it might be using too much weight, but for others it’s probably that it just puts too much stress on the elbow.
Because there are no machines or barbells, we are limited because tricep pushdowns and extension variations with barbells is huge. Dips
Seated Dumbbell Tricep Press
Dumbbell Bench Press
Skull Crushers With Two Dumbbells
One Arm Tricep Extensions (Your Other Hand Should Be Stabilizing Your Arm)
Tricep Kickbacks (Using Both Arms Or Just Concentrating One)
- I’m assuming you know how to do this if not, then you need to read a lot. This can also be done curling both at the same time and sitting down on a bench which takes a lot of stress off the back, this is good for me since I have back problems.
- Hits the middle bicep and good for overall and middle bicep development.
- Hits the wrists more, but it basically works the overall and middle bicep more.
- Can be done with one knee on floor while you put your elbow on your opposite leg on the inner thigh or on a bench resting your elbow on your inner thigh.
- Great for isolating the biceps well, especially if you tend to cheat and use your back.
- A lot probably haven’t heard of this one but you start with dumbbells at your side. Then you curl up and out so that at the finish position your arms are diagonal of the front of your body. At the end of the curl your arms should be in line with your lateral deltoid and can also be done on a bench.
- Works the inner bicep and is a good exercise to concentrate on it.
- Put the bench on incline and lie on it. Start with dumbbells at arms length then curl the dumbbells up and out keeping your wrists in line with your lateral deltoids. Then lower using same path.
- This is my favorite exercise for isolating the inner biceps.
- This is the only way with dumbbells to isolate the lower biceps. Use one arm at a time.
Biceps are easy to do with free weights since the only way to really work the bicep good is by doing curling motions. You also don’t need machines for working the biceps well. One hard thing to do is work the outer biceps since you don’t have a barbell and it’s easiest to do with a barbell.
Standard Alternating Curl
Hammer Curl (Can Be Done Sitting On A Bench As Well)
Inner Bicep Curl
Incline Inner Bicep Curl
Standing One-Arm Dumbbell Curl Over Incline Bench
- Almost same thing as lateral raise, except when you raise your arms, your palms face down.
- This hits the lateral deltoids more directly.
- Can be done on the floor or a bench.
- This is another exercise that isolates the rear deltoids.
- Sit on a bench holding dumbbells at arms length and lean forward a little bit. Row the dumbbells back by bending your elbows so that the dumbbells are near your legs.
- Compound movement that works your rear deltoid.
- Many variations, sitting, standing, using one arm only.
- The best way to isolate the lateral deltoids.
- Can also be done sitting down, standing up or with one arm.
- Great compound movement that hits the front and lateral deltoids. One of the best movements for working the shoulders.
- Another compound movement that hits the front deltoids but isn’t as concentrated on them.
- Many variations, sitting standing, on an incline bench, lying chest down on a bench and using one dumbbell. The basic movement is starting with dumbbells at your side. Then you raise them straight in front of you until they form a 90 degree angle with your body.
- You can also do raises so that you go all the way so your arm is straight up instead of in front of you.
- Best exercises for isolating the front deltoids.
This is also easy since you basically only use free weights to work your shoulders. Palms Back Lateral Dumbbell Raise
Seated Rear Deltoid Row
Shoulder Dumbbell Press
- This is a compound movement which is awesome.
- Probably the best movement for your pectorals, at almost every gym you can see guys building their chest muscles this way. It also helps build up stabilizer muscles which is another plus.
- A bench on an incline will hit the upper pectorals while on a decline will hit the lower pectorals. KNOW THIS… IT IS IMPORTANT!
- A very good isolation for the pectorals.
- It hits the inner and outer pectorals on a flat bench.
- On an incline it works more the upper pectorals.
- On a decline it hits the lower pectorals.
- An amazing compound exercise for the pectorals. If you want amazingly shaped pectorals this is the exercise
- For the pectoral variation you have to lean forward a bit throughout the whole motion
- Works the lower pectorals and will give the lower pecs a great shape. You can hold a dumbbell between your feet for added resistance.
- A good compound movement that also works the rib cage. It works the general area of the pectoral
This is another easy body part to do with dumbbells only. There are a variety of movements that hits all parts of the chest. Dumbbell Bench Press (Incline, Decline, & Flat)
Pec Flyes (Can Be Done On Incline, Decline, & Flat Bench)
Dips – Pectoral Variation
Straight Arm Dumbbell Pull Over (Done On A Bench, Can Also Be Done With Bent Arms & Two Dumbbells)
- Ultimate dumbbell back builder. It is a compound movement that hits a lot of the major back muscles including the rhomboids and lats.
- Try not to use your arms, pull with your back. This is important since it is hard to do back exercises with just dumbbells. The important thing is the back muscle not the bicep.
- Can be done with palms facing towards you, palms facing away from you and palms facing the sides which is like a hammer curl grip.
- Another amazing compound back builder.
- If it hurts your back or stresses it too much, then don’t bend over so much.
- You’ve probably never heard this but you lie on an incline bench with your chest on the bench. The incline shouldn’t be too steep, just a little bit. Hold two dumbbells at arms length; have them facing you, away from you or sideways and row them upwards.
- Another good compound back builder which can also be done on a flat bench but the dumbbells may touch the ground so elevate the bench.
- Takes a lot of stress off your lower back.
- The best and only way to isolate the rhomboids and other middle back muscles.
- Rated as one of the best muscle building compound movements.
- It hits the lower back and hamstrings with just a little bit of the calves.
- Some say it’s essential for a good lower back.
- Do not do them if you have back problems, other than that they aren’t bad for your back.
- This involves the legs bending and it’s kind of like a squat motion.
- Is also one of the best compound movements out there.
- The only thing is that it doesn’t concentrate on the lower back as much.
- Great way to isolate your lower back; hold a dumbbell to make it harder. This is great since you can’t really do good mornings since you need a barbell and using dumbbells to do good mornings would just be like deadlifts.
- This is an underestimated exercise. Just hold a dumbbell in your arms to make it harder.
This is a hard one to do, because a lot of machines isolate groups of back muscles. However it is still possible to build a good back with just dumbbells. One Arm Dumbbell Row
Bent Over Dumbbell Rows
Incline Bench Rows
Stiff-Legged Dumbbell Deadlifts
- Isolates the traps and is a good movement for the upper traps.
- Holding the dumbbells in different positions will hit the trap muscle differently. It is good to have variation.
- Works the upper traps.
- Great compound movement that hits the upper traps.
- Doesn’t concentrate on them as much but is still a good exercise.
Straight forward, isn’t easy to do or hard to do. Dumbbell Shrugs With Dumbbells At Sides
Dumbbell Shrugs With Dumbbells In Front
Standing Dumbbell Upright Row
Abs & Obliques
- I’m assuming the bench can go on decline and it has things for your feet.
- One of the best exercise for working the upper abs. Most people have to use weight to make it harder.
- Wedge your feet under something heavy, then hold a dumbbell behind your head and it will be very hard. Don’t overload on the weight or you can injure abs easier on this one.
- The sit up concentrates on the upper abs.
- Don’t let your back touch the floor at any time and don’t wait at the top very long.
- Exercise for the upper abs. Hold a heavier dumbbell while doing these. Hold it behind your head or use your arms to hold it straight up because if you just hold it against your chest it won’t do much.
- Put legs up on a bench for a different variation.
- It’s hard to explain this one so here’s a website that does explain it
- Great exercise that works both upper and lower abs.
- Awesome movement for the lower abs. Hold a light dumbbell between your legs and you will be surprised how hard it is.
- Another exercise that concentrates on the lower abs. Holding a dumbbell between your legs will make it harder.
- An exercise for the lower abs which is similar to the exercise above but harder. Place a lighter dumbbell on this exercise.
- Since we have no elevated chin up bar its hard. I’m assuming you can do it between two chairs or two elevated objects.
- This is the hardest of the leg raises since your lower abs have to stable themselves at the same time. Holding a light dumbbell will make it very hard for the average person.
- You can just raise your knees if it’s too hard.
- This is another movement good movement for the lower abs. Putting a dumbbell here will make it harder.
- This is a great movement that concentrates on the oblique. It will take some time to get the hang of it and become more stable.
- Probably the most popular exercise for the obliques. Using a heavier dumbbell is necessary since the movement is so short.
- A movement where you twist at your waist from left to right.
- For this one which is usually done with a barbell, take a dumbbell and hold it close to your chest. Twist only at your waist.
- Exercise that concentrates on the obliques more than the upper abs. Use a weight for more resistance.
This is easy since most ab and oblique exercises don’t require machines. Decline Crunches
Decline Reverse Crunch
Flat Leg Bench Pull In
Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise
Leg Raises Between Two Objects
Seated Flat Bench Leg Pull-In
Dumbbell Side Bend
Seated Barbell/Dumbbell Twist
Oblique Sit Ups & Crunches
- Best exercise with dumbbells for upper wrists.
- Can be done one arm at a time or on your knee.
- Best exercise for your lower wrists. Can also be done one arm at a time or on your knee.
- It isn’t as effective with dumbbells but it is still a good movement for the lower wrists.
- Movement for the upper wrists but doesn’t concentrate on them as much. Can be done alternating, at the same time or sitting down.
- Can be done.
- Great exercise that works both top and bottom forearms.
Simple and straight forward. It isn’t the hardest to do but it also isn’t the easiest. Palms-Down Dumbbell Wrist Curl Over A Bench
Palms-up Dumbbell Wrist Curl Over A Bench
Behind The Back Dumbbell Wrist Curls
Standing Dumbbell Reverse Curl
Quads & Hamstrings
- Holding dumbbells behind your body, at the sides or in front of your body.
- The squat is essential for good legs. That’s why you should have any form of squatting in an all dumbbell workout.
- Holding the dumbbells behind the back is like hack squatting without a barbell. It will be awkward using dumbbells at first but you have to get used to it.
- Squats work mostly the quads, glutes, hamstrings and a bit of the calves.
- You have to go all the way down making sure your knees don’t pass your feet or else you will have knee problems. Going all the way down will ensure your upper quads will get hit and your hamstrings will get some work. If you don’t go all the way down then your upper quads will lack something that will make your legs look like a joke over time.
- Doing it with a close foot stance with feet facing forward will work the outer quads more but it will be harder to hold the dumbbells.
- Doing it with a wider stance with feet pointing diagonally will work more of the inner quads. This is good since it’s easier to hold the dumbbells.
- Hold dumbbells at your sides and step up on a bench alternating legs.
- Works the quads, hamstrings well.
- Work the stabilizer muscles which is a good addition.
- These are a good exercise for working the hamstring. It also works the quads.
- Performing it so that you lunge in a diagonal line to the side will work more of the inner parts of the leg.
- Make sure you knee doesn’t pass your toe or else you will have knee problems.
- Amazing compound movement that hits the hamstrings as well as the lower back.
- Another great compound movement that hits the quads and hamstrings.
- These are compound movements that work the hamstrings and quads as well as a bunch of different muscle groups.
- The only problem is that using dumbbells is harder than using a barbell.
- Also these aren’t really mass builders for the legs.
Very hard to do. There are no machines or barbells or power racks which are so useful when training the legs. It is even harder than doing back. Squats
Olympic Lifts & Cleans
- Hold a dumbbell and perform with one leg.
- Great movement to concentrate on the calves.
- Harder to do, but it still works the calf well.
- This is another exercise that isolates the calves.
- You have to balance yourself and it might take some time to get used to it.
- Can be done with dumbbells although it’s harder without a barbell.
- You have to be balanced and it might take time to get used to.
These are also hard to do since you lose the standing machine calve raises and the seated calve raises. All calve raises should be performed so that the foot is elevated on something while the heel dips down. For example doing calve raises on a piece of wood. One-Legged Calve Raises
Dumbbell Seated One-Leg Calf Raise
Standing Dumbbell Calf Raise
Standing Rocking Calve Raise