ACs top 5 dumbbell exercises for building muscle
With gyms being closed for the foreseeable we thought we would give you our 5 best exercises using just dumbbells for building muscle. These movements focus on the biggest muscles in the body and together will give you a basic yet effective full body workout.
1. Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Muscles worked: Delts, traps, triceps, pecs, core.
How: Position your feet shoulder-width apart and stand holding two dumbbells at shoulder height with an overhand grip. Press the weights up above your head until your arms are fully extended. Return slowly to the start position with control.
Why: You want big shoulders right? This compound movement is essential for building strength, size and power. By performing it standing, you’ll activate your core, which in turn will help improve your posture and stability. Be sure tense your stomach and brace your core throughout the full range of motion – protruding ribcages and arched backs are a no-go.
2. Goblet Squat
Muscles worked: Quads, calves, glutes & abs.
How: Stand with feet set outside shoulder width and hold a dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest. Sit back into a squat, then drive back up and repeat.
Why: Regardless is you are new to weight training or a seasoned bodybuilder these are effective for everyone. They specifically target glute activation whilst improving both hip and thoracic mobility
3. Bent-Over Row
Muscles worked: Lats, shoulders, forearms, biceps, spinal erectors, hamstrings, glutes.
How: Keep your core tight and your back straight as you row the weights up to your chest. Lower and repeat with control.
Why: Rows will target several muscles in your upper body including the traps, rhomboids, lats and biceps perfect for building a wider and thicker back.
4. Dumbbell Bench Press
Muscles worked: Pecs, shoulders, triceps, forearms, lats, traps, rhomboids.
How: Lie on a flat bench holding two dumbbells over your chest with an overhand grip. Push up until your arms are straight, then lower under control.
Why: If you’re looking to build quality pecs appeal then always opt for a dumbbell press over barbell. This is because a weight in each hand allows for a greater stretch at the bottom of the lift, building a bigger chest. And if you want to take this move further, squeeze your pecs together at the top of the lift to recruit as many muscle fibres as possible.
5. Dumbbell Lunge
Muscles worked: Calves, abs, lower back.
How: Stand with dumbbells at your side and palms facing your body. Lunge forward as far as you can with your right leg, bending your trailing knee so it almost brushes the floor. Use the heel of your right foot to push your upper body back to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg.
Why: Don’t sleep on this classic. Often the original moves are the most effective. Weighted lunges will strengthen your back, hips, and legs, while also improving your mobility and stability. Win-win.