Dumbbell Workout Scheme for Men and Women

Workout schemes with dumbbells are different for men and womenWorkout schemes with dumbbells are different for men and women

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Advantages of Equipment

It is possible to use simple dumbbells to work a huge number of muscles. It is difficult to list all the exercises that can be performed with such sports equipment.

Dumbbells are very convenient because you can use them both at the gym and at home. As a result, they are popular among people who work out at home.

Nowadays you may find different items of equipment at a sporting goods store. An important option that significantly affects the price of goods is the possibility of weight adjustment. Adjustable dumbbells cost much more than simple ones.

Everybody, irrespective of gender or age, can exercise with adjustable dumbbells. If you are a beginner, you should set a light weight. If your physical training is good, then add a couple of weight plates and start exercising.

You won't find any difficult and impracticable exercises with dumbbells in this article. However, some of the exercises will require a bench or chair.

For Leg Muscles

Squats

Classic squats are an excellent foundational exercise. There is no doubt about their benefit for bodybuilders and powerlifters. Classic squats are performed as follows:

  1. Put your feet shoulder-width apart or a little wider.
  2. Take the dumbbells in hands and start to squat slowly.
  3. While breathing in, you have to squat down parallel to the floor.
  4. While exhaling, you must go back to the starting position.
  5. If you squat lower than 90 degrees to the floor, you will also train your glutes.

The number of sets is from 3 to 5. The number of reps is from 10 to 15.

Pay attention to the proper position of the backPay attention to the proper position of the back

Lunges

For this exercise you should pick up the dumbbells and straighten them down. Step forward with your left leg. Your right leg should be straight behind, your knee should be raised, and your toe should rest against the floor. Do the lunges forward on the left knee.

Then change your position and repeat the exercise for the right leg. Do not forget to maintain your balance and keep your back straight. Your legs should not be crossed because you may fall and get injured.

Keep the number of reps at the level of 10-15, sets – 3-5.

The movements need to be done slowly and carefully to avoid knee injuriesThe movements need to be done slowly and carefully to avoid knee injuries

Calf Muscles Workout

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Put your hands with the dumbbells down by your sides. Stand up on your toes and stay in this pose for 5-10 seconds. Then, slowly return to the starting position.

The number of sets is from 3 to 5. The number of movements is from 10 to 15.

Building Up Arms

“Hammer”

Stand with your feet at shoulder width. In the starting position, put your arms down. Your palms should be at your sides. While exhaling or holding your breath, bend your arm at the elbow and lift a dumbbell with your right hand to shoulder. When breathing in, you should put the arm down to the starting position. Repeat the exercise with your left arm.

While performing this exercise, you should keep your body and elbows fixed. After only 10-15 repetitions, you will be fully able to experience the work of your biceps. It is necessary to do the hammer at a slow pace.

The number of sets is 3-5. The number of squats is 8-12.

While performing the reps, keep your elbows fixed and do not allow swingingWhile performing the reps, keep your elbows fixed and do not allow swinging

Other Ways of Working Out Biceps

There are two more exercises. The first one is performed standing on the floor or sitting on a chair. In the first case, the feet should be put shoulder-width apart. While holding the dumbbells, your arms must be extended with the palms facing upwards. Start to bend your arms at the elbows, curling the dumbbells to shoulder height.

Try to perform the exercise without swingingTry to perform the exercise without swinging

The next exercise requires a chair or a bench. It must be performed alternately with each hand. Sit down on the chair and spread your legs widely. Bend your back slightly forward.

Lean the elbow of the left arm on the knee of the left leg. Start bending the arm at the elbow, curling the dumbbell to your shoulder. Then repeat this exercise with the right arm. In both exercises, it is necessary to twist the wrist outside up while you raise the dumbbells.

The number of sets is from 3 to 5. The number of reps on each hand is from 10 to 15.

Strengthening the Triceps

To build your triceps, you may do the following exercises. The first is performed standing, feet shoulder-width apart. In the starting position, keep both hands with the dumbbells over your head.

While breathing in, move the dumbbells to the back of your head; while exhaling, lift the dumbbells to the starting position. The elbows must not be moved from side to side, hold them parallel to each other.

The second exercise is done similarly, but for each hand separately. This exercise allows you to put down the dumbbell even lower that will increase the amplitude of movements.

The number of sets is 3-5. The number of reps on each hand is 8-12.

You should work out in front of the mirror to make sure you are using proper technique while exercisingYou should work out in front of the mirror to make sure you are using proper technique while exercising

Basic Development of Chest Muscles

Dumbbell Bench Press

This exercise will require some initial preparations. You should put a bench at a 30-40 degree angle. Also, it is recommended to fix it strongly so that it does not shake. Lay down on the bench and put your legs comfortably on the floor.

In the starting position, your elbows have to be below or at the same level with the bench. Further, raise your arms up while exhaling. While inhaling air, go back to the initial position. This exercise resembles a common barbell bench press. Make sure your hands are always at the same level with each other.

The number of sets is from 3 to 5. The number of reps is from 8 to 12.

Legs must be placed on the floor, creating a reliable support for the bodyLegs must be placed on the floor, creating a reliable support for the body

Upper Chest Workout

The first exercise is performed standing on the floor. Put your feet shoulder-width apart. Take a dumbbell with both hands and extend your arms forward at shoulder level. Start to pull the dumbbell to your chest, bending arms at the elbows. Then return to the starting position.

The second exercise is called “scissors”. It is performed in a standing position with your feet at shoulder width. Straighten your arms with the dumbbells before yourself and alternately move them to create the scissoring action. For example, pass the right arm over the left and vice versa.

The number of sets is 3-5. The number of reps is 8-12.

Performing these actions try not to swing and keep your back straightPerforming these actions try not to swing and keep your back straight

Back-Strengthening Exercises

One-Arm Dumbbell Row

Flex your back as shown on the pictureFlex your back as shown on the picture

Performance of this exercise requires a horizontal bench. The sets should be done with changing arms. First, place your right knee and hand on the bench. Bend the left leg slightly at the knee and put your left foot on the floor. Lower the dumbbell with your left hand.

Start pulling the dumbbell toward your hip as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. After 10-15 reps with the left arm, change to the other side. Adjust your body accordingly.

The number of sets is 3-5. The number of reps is 10-15.

Shrugs

Do not hurry to take the heaviest dumbbells, but begin with small weight and learn proper techniqueDo not hurry to take the heaviest dumbbells, but begin with small weight and learn proper technique

Begin in a standing position; the legs have to be a little narrower than shoulder width. In the starting position, the arms with the dumbbells are hanging upside down.

While exhaling and using your trapezoid muscles of the back, raise your shoulders to your ears. In the highest position, stand still for 2-3 seconds. Meanwhile do not bend the arms.

While breathing in, slowly lower your shoulders to the initial position. Repeat the exercise. When performing the exercise, you shouldn't stay on your toes, swing or bounce, helping yourself by inertia – it will take a part of the load from target muscles.

3-4 sets of 15-20 reps will be enough.

Pumping Up the Delts

"Skier"

This exercise resembles movements of the skier's arms. It is performed standing. Put your feet at shoulder width. One arm with the dumbbell is bent in front of yourself at the right angle up. The other arm is bent at the right angle down behind yourself. Alternately change position of the arms.

Upright Dumbbell Row

The third exercise is performed standing on the floor, feet together, with your knees slightly bent. Keep your arms with dumbbells down by your side. Lift the dumbbells to armpits, bending them at the elbows to an angle of 90 degrees. Meanwhile, the elbows have to be turned outward and forward. Done correctly, only your shoulder muscles will work.

The number of sets is from 3 to 5. The number of reps is from 8 to 12.

Bent-Over Lateral Raise

The following exercise won't make your shoulders strong, but it can be useful to increase their width and make them more sculpted. To avoid injury, you should not use heavy dumbbells until you learn how to do the exercise with absolutely proper technique.

To perform the exercise, bend your torso at a right angle forward and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your arms with dumbbells with the palms facing each other. Start to lift your arms to the side. They must be straight, but you can also bend them slightly at the elbows. The torso should be bent over throughout the performance of all reps.

The number of sets is 3-5. The number of reps is 8-12.

If you want to make the shoulders sculpted, the number of reps should be increased to 15-20If you want to make the shoulders sculpted, the number of reps should be increased to 15-20

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Performing these exercises try to use an athletic belt - it will help to take the weight from lower back and protect the spine from injuriesPerforming these exercises try to use an athletic belt - it will help to take the weight from lower back and protect the spine from injuries

Stand with your feet at shoulder width. In the starting position, the arms with dumbbells are in front of you at your chest level with your palms facing the body. Then, raise the dumbbells as you rotate the palms of hands until they are facing forward. At first make 1 rep with the right hand and then your left hand.

As you return your arm to the starting position, you should rotate the palm back to yourself and press your hand to your chest.

The number of sets is from 3 to 5. The number of reps is from 8 to 12.

Workout Schemes

Pick one of the training routines below. For continuous progress, replace the chosen training scheme with another in 2-3 months.

For Men

Variant 1 Variant 2 Variant 3
Monday. Back and shoulders:
  1. One-Arm Dumbbell Row
  2. Shrugs
  3. Standing Side Lateral Raise
  4. Bent-over Lateral Raise

Tuesday. Chest and triceps:

  1. Dumbbell Bench Press
  2. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
  3. Weighted Close Push-Ups
  4. One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension
Monday. Back and shoulders:
  1. One-Arm Dumbbell Row
  2. Shrugs
  3. Standing Side Lateral Raise
  4. Bent-over Lateral Raise
Wednesday. Chest and triceps:
  1. Dumbbell Bench Press
  2. Scissors
  3. One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension
  4. Two-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension
Thursday. Back and biceps:
  1. Seated Alternate Dumbbell Curl
  2. Hammer
  3. One-Arm Dumbbell Row
  4. Shrugs
  5. One-Arm Dumbbell Raise
Wednesday. Chest and triceps:
  1. Clapping Push-Ups
  2. Close Push-Ups
  3. One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension
  4. Dumbbell Bench Press
Friday. Legs and biceps:
  1. Squats
  2. Standing Calf Raises
  3. Hammer
  4. Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curl
Saturday. Legs and shoulders:
  1. Squats
  2. Standing Calf Raises
  3. Lunges
  4. Standing Side Lateral Raise
Friday. Legs and biceps:
  1. Dumbbell Squats
  2. Standing Calf Raises
  3. Dumbbell Lunges
  4. Hammer
  5. Standing Alternate Dumbbell Curl

For Women

Variant 1 Variant 2 Variant 3

Monday. Back and shoulders:

  1. Standing Side Lateral Raise
  2. Bent-over Lateral Raise
  3. Shrugs
  4. One-Arm Dumbbell Row

Tuesday. Chest and triceps:

  1. Wide Push-Ups
  2. Close Push-Ups
  3. Two-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension

Monday. Back and shoulders:

  1. Shrugs
  2. One-Arm Dumbbell Raise
  3. Bent-over Lateral Raise
  4. Standing Side Lateral Raise

Wednesday. Chest and triceps:

  1. Dumbbell Bench Press
  2. Wide Push-Ups (not weighted)
  3. One-Arm Overhead Dumbbell Extension
  4. Close Push-Ups (not weighted)

Thursday. Back and biceps:

  1. Hammer
  2. Shrugs
  3. Standing Dumbbell Curl
  4. One-Arm Dumbbell Row

Wednesday. Chest and triceps:

  1. Dumbbell Flyes
  2. Dumbbell Bench Press
  3. Close Push-Ups
  4. Wide Push-Ups

Friday. Legs and biceps:

  1. Lunges
  2. Squats
  3. Seated Alternate Dumbbell Curl
  4. Standing Calf Raises

Saturday. Legs and shoulders:

  1. Bent-over Lateral Raise
  2. Dumbbell Squats
  3. Lunges
  4. Standing Calf Raises
  5. Single-Leg Pistol Squats
 

Friday. Legs and biceps:

  1. Single-Leg Pistol Squats
  2. Dumbbell Lunges
  3. Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises
  4. Standing Dumbbell Curl

Injury Prevention

Follow these rules to avoid injuries:

  1. Warm up properly before training. Pay attention to all muscles and joints during warm-up.
  2. Each exercise must be performed with proper technique. Otherwise, there can be sad consequences.

As a rule, the recommended amount of sets for each exercise is from three to five, the quantity of reps is 6-10.

You should plan your own workouts at home or at the gym according to your training level: an optimal variant for beginners is training with intervals (1-2 days) because beginner athletes’ muscles rebuild slowly. More advanced athletes can afford to train 5 or more times a week.

It is possible to work out each group of muscles by means of certain exercise sets. You should perform them properly, following all recommendations. In this case, you can train the target muscles without involving other parts of the body.

This is not entire list of possible exercises which can be performed with dumbbells at home. But they are quite enough for creation of strong body.

While exercising, you should increase the weight of dumbbells gradually. The specified number of sets and reps depends on the person. Everyone should set their muscle loading individually, depending on their level of physical training.

The over-time loading progression will help you to develop and improve your results. You can see the example on the following picture:

Shesternenko Alexander
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