Dumbbell Exercises and Their Benefits

Dumbbell exercises are training workout that requires equipment called dumbbells. A dumbbell has two equal sizes of weights, which are connected to one handle. The weight of the dumbbell can removable or fixed. The main reason for using dumbbells is tone and build muscles in a certain part of the body. Dumbbells can come in different sizes, and weights as they are made from concrete, metal, and other material.

History of Dumbbells

The dumbbell concept was first time introduced 2,000 years back. The ancient Greeks discovered a piece of a tool called the haltere, which was similar like crescent-shaped stone attached with one handle. This forerunner of the dumbbell was used as weight lifting and long jump events.

There was another type of dumbbell introduced during ancient times called Nal. This tool was more used by the people of India for thousands of years, and it followed a club. It was longer than the dumbbell but shorter than the barbell. It was only used by wrestlers, bodybuilders, and sportsmen to build muscle strength and size.

The word dumbbell was initially introduced in the Tudor era of England. During that time, athletes were utilizing handheld church bells for training upper body and arms. The bells were made more noise while training, so they decided to withdraw the clappers. As such, the bell added as dumb and they called as the fitness equipment dumbbell.

Types of Dumbbells

There are two-three types of dumbbells, such as fixed weight dumbbells

adjustable dumbbells, and selectorized dumbbells.

  • Adjustable dumbbells are formed of metal, and their handles highlight a crosshatch design to give users a more solid grip. The weight disks can be more helpful for slid onto the ends of its handle and adjusted with clips or collars.
  • Fixed weight dumbbells contain weights that may not be removed, and they are prepared of plastic shells or iron with concrete.
  • Selectorized dumbbells also contain flexible weights, and they contribute a more accessible way for a person to adjust weights.
  • Weights can be quickly changed by running turning a dial or selector pins.

Stability Ball Chest Press

The stability ball chest press helps to strengthen your core and chest muscles. While chest press commonly performs on the weight bench, the stability ball will help to engage your butt, hamstrings, and upper body. The chest press using stability ball benefits to balance the exercise. It is the best variation of the classic dumbbell presses.

How to do?

  • Take a pair of dumbbells and lie over a stability ball. Gently pose the ball below your upper back.
  • Place your feet level on the ground using your ankles straight below your knees.
  • Lift your hips and keep core engaged. Hold the dumbbells with chest, keep palm facing front, breath out as you start to press the weights toward the ceiling. Keep this position for one second.
  • Gently lower down the weights to return to the starting point and do again.
  • Use your abs to make your body stay still.
  • Keep your hips lifted all the time.

Perform 3-sets of 12-reps


Take a dumbbell weight that can tire your muscles after doing 12 reps.

Make sure to lift your arm and chest muscles to lift the weight.

Russian twists

The Russian twist is a kind of exercise, which focuses on abdominal muscles by twisting motion on your abdomen. This exercise is helpful to build strength in the upper torso, which helps in sports like swimming, tennis, track and field, hockey, lacrosse, golf, and boxing.

How to do?

  • Sit comfortably on the ground by bending your knees.
  • Keep your knees pressed to the ground.
  • Lean backward and feel the lift and engage in your feet over the floor.
  • Try to hold the dumbbell to the ground by twisting a little to your right and keep doing with your both sides.
  • It is the best dumbbell workout for abs to get effective results.

Side crunches

The side crunches are the best way to work on your abdominal and target oblique muscles. This high-intensity workout helps to engage your muscles of oblique that side abdominal muscles by putting pressure to support while moving from one side to another side. Doing side crunches helps to tone and tighten your torso sides, but still, you will require to follow a diet and perform other exercises for weight loss. Perform it properly to get the right position and repeat it regularly.

How to do?

  • Stand straight on your feet and hands down.
  • Take a dumbbell in your one hand.
  • Try to touch the temple with your fingers tips of your left hand.
  • Bend your right and left elbow to point upward.

Seated shoulder press


The seated shoulder press using dumbbells target the muscles of the upper body. It improves strength and everyday functioning.

How to do?

  • Hold the dumbbells in each hand and sit over a utility bench or military press bench with support to your back.
  • Put the dumbbells straight over the top of your thighs.
  • Lift the dumbbells to your shoulder height each one at one time using your thighs to help propel them upward into position.
  • Ensure to roll your wrists to make your palm face forward. It is your starting point.
  • Breath out and drive the dumbbells up until they reach the top.
  • Then, pause at the top engaged position, gently reduce the weights back down to the beginning point while breathing in.
  • Repeat according to your trainer instructions.


You can do the workout in a standing position or sitting position on a normal flat bench. It is more recommended for people with lower back issues.

You can also do this exercise as Arnold Schwarzenegger, who used to this workout with dumbbells and a supinated grip with the palm facing front.

As you begin to do push-ups, you will level the dumbbells in the beginning position to rotate your wrists and touch the dumbbells at the top.

As you lower down, then you would return to the beginning point by rolling your wrist from reducing portion until your palms face you. This variation is known as Arnold Press. Avoid this workout if you have rotator cuff issues.

Reverse flies

The reverse flies exercise to target the muscles of the shoulder, upper back, rear shoulders, and spine muscles. It helps to strengthen the upper back and shoulder muscles. It also improves your posture and upper body.

In daily life, many people sit on the desk for texting, typing, or slouching, which helps to increase the length of the fiber of rhomboids and delts.

The more you get in this pose, it more likely these muscles grow under-active, and there are more possibilities to experience dysfunctions of movement.

According to research issued in Surgical-Technology-International discovered that this move, forward head position is equal to 60-pounds weights bind to your upper back and neck.

The reverse fly helps to prevent poor posture, injury. As reverse fly moves freely, it won’t heal the damages of slouching, but it will help to strengthen the problems, such as the rhomboids, rear deltoid, and middle fibers of the trapezius. It also helps to tone retraction.

You can go to the gym and perform reverse cable exercise using a fly machine, but you can consider doing a move in your own home and comfort by using dumbbells.

The dumbbell reverse fly exercise works effectively similar to the machine, and it needs less space.

How to do?

  • Stand and keep your feet to your shoulder size separate and hold a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Join at the hips and press the hips backside as you reduce your chest till it gets parallel with the floor. Let the weight to swing straight downward at your arm’s length. Keep your palm facing each other.
  • Let your back level and core supported. Lift your arms outward to your sides until they are aligned with your body.
  • Press your shoulder blades collectively at the top of this movement.
  • Come back to the starting point and do again.


You can make some tweaks to the angle of your body, hit your muscles gently in different ways to get effective results.

Reverse fly on bench

  • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, sit over the bench or stability ball. With your feet level on the ground, connect at the waist to lean ahead somewhat, and make your free weights back of your calves.
  • Let palms confronting one another.
  • With a slight curve at the elbow, raise your arms out and press your shoulder bones, keeping your palms confronting the floor.
  • Free your arms gradually and do again.

Front raises

Front-Raises is a type of weight training. It is an isolation workout, which separates your shoulder flexion. It works on the anterior deltoid, by taking assistant from biceps brachii, clavicular portions, and serratus anterior of the pectoralis major.

The front raise workout is generally carried out in 3-5 sets while doing a shoulder workout. The repetitions of this workout depending on the goals, and lifter’s training.

How to do?

  • Take a set of dumbbells and stand with a straight body. Keep the dumbbells on the front part of your tight at your arm’s length using your palms near thighs. It is your beginning point.
  • While balancing your torso still, raise the left dumbbell to your front managing light flex on the elbow and the palm facing down. Keep going upward until your arm is somewhat above parallel to the ground.
  • Breath-out as you perform this movement and take rest of one second at the top. Breath in after one-second pause.
  • Takedown the dumbbells back gently to the beginning point as you simultaneously raise the right dumbbell.
  • Keep alternating as recommended by the trainer and perform repetitions.


This workout can be done using both arms at once. You can also use a barbell.

Upright rows

The upright row is an exercise of weight training done with holding grips with your overhand and raising straight up to your collarbone. It is a compound workout that works on deltoids, biceps, and trapezius. The short grip of the more trapezius muscles is worked against to the deltoids.

You can use a cable machine, dumbbells, barbells, and kettlebells. This workout is the best supplementary for traps and shoulders.

How to do?

  • Grab a dumbbell or a barbell and let it hang in front side of you at your arm’s length. Let your palm facing toward your body.
  • Stand up straight and manage your grip to make your hand level to your thighs. Shoulder width separated is not required for shoulder and wrist safety.
  • Inhale and support your abdominal. Keep your back straight, chest lifted, and let eyes focus ahead.
  • Raise the barbell straight upward to the chin, reaching to elbows and keep the bar near to the body.
  • Exhale when doing the stretch. Let your arms not go higher than parallel to your shoulders.
  • Pause while lifting
  • Come back to the beginning point and inhale as you lower down.
  • Do again, as instructed by your trainer.

Common Mistakes

Here is a possible error one can do while doing this workout and get injured.

Elbow Position

Put your elbows above the forearms level. Avoid lifting your arms upward parallel to prevent shoulder impingement.

Wrist Position

This workout may cause to strain your wrists. Therefore, use the wide grip as your shoulder width. Put your wrists flexible while lifting and let them bent as required.  Avoid moving down or side of your wrist during the lifting.

Back and Torso

Maintain your torso still and support your abs braced in the entire lift, avoid twisting or turning. Balance your back straight, chest lifted, and eyes focused front. Avoid squatting down and upward after beginning pose. There should be no movements in the legs.

Avoid heavyweight

Avoid lifting heavyweight in this workout unless you have a good experience and strong shoulder joints. Lifting excessive weight causes shoulder impingement. The shoulder joints are crucial and have a complex mechanism. They are more likely to get an injury if performed wrong.


The shrugs exercise using dumbbells is the best exercise to increase your strength and develop the trapezius muscle. The trapezius muscles are triangular looking muscles on your upper back to provide powerful posture to bodybuilders.

It is a simple workout, which involves taking dumbbells and shrug (raise) your shoulder upward and down. However, this workout still has to be performed right to get effective results.

You can use dumbbells or barbells or universal machine. It is a moderately versatile exercise. It is the best exercise for building muscles and power.

How to do?

  • Stand straight using your feet keeping, firmly with your shoulder-width position. Keep your knees somewhat flexed.
  • Grab two dumbbells in both hands by maintaining your shoulder.


Triceps kickbacks

The triceps muscles are the bigger muscles on the upper back arms. These muscles are responsible for shoulder, elbow, and forearm movements.

Doing a triceps workout helps to develop strength in the upper body. It is an essential workout to add in your workout routine. Having strong triceps helps to balance your shoulder joints and assist in everyday activities and sports such as volleyball, tennis, and basketball.

How to do?

  • Begin with using a dumbbell in every hand and let your palm face your body.
  • Adjust your back straight with a small flex in your knees and twist front at the waist. Your body should be parallel to the ground.
  • Keep your head up and upper arm near to your torso and parallel to the ground. Let your forearms pointed towards the ground as you take the weights. Maintain 90-degree angle between your upper arm and forearm. It is your beginning point.
  • While putting your arms still, breath out, and use your triceps to raise the weights till the arm is stretched. Focus on turning the forearm.
  • Pause at the top contraction, breathing and gently reduce the dumbbells back down to the beginning point.
  • Do the movement again as per your goal.


This workout can be done using one arm at once the one-arm row is done.

If you wish to use one arm variation, you can reduce pulley handle rather than dumbbell for a great peak contraction.


Wide arm row

Wide arm row is a dumbbell exercise. It targets upper back muscles.

This workout training helps to improve muscles symmetry of the upper body. It also helps to stand tall and balance posture.

How to do?

  • Take a squatting position.
  • Take dumbbells in both hands and raise both hands without altering your knee position.
  • Repeat the workout as required for your fitness goal.

Benefits of Dumbbell Exercises

The dumbbell may not get much credit in comparison to the barbell, but dumbbell training has many benefits over the barbell. Right strength and mass can get by proper dumbbells training. You will require hypertrophy, more strength, and dumbbell training in your workout regime. Here are important benefits of dumbbell exercise.

Activate muscles and increase stabilization

According to the EMG chest activity, biceps, and triceps while doing a barbell bench press helps to open a new window.

The dumbbell-bench-press and barbell bench press is the same as chest and triceps exercise. Biceps exercise was notably higher with the dumbbells.

Dumbbells need more stabilization. Using more stabilization with dumbbells helps to activate muscle fibers. Dumbbells provide functional training without a new window of modern days.

Prevent Strength Imbalance

Dumbbells help to put more pressure on limbs to act unilaterally. If you have a significant weak part than the other part, you cannot run and cannot do over-compensation using dumbbells. Weak body parts reduce the effectiveness of the exercise. Therefore, using dumbbells helps to balance and gain strength in weaker parts.

Better Safety

Dumbbell exercise helps to provide better safety. Missing a bench press or squat opens a new window. Dumbbells provide the best training and also safety to grow muscles.

Intensify Your Workouts

Rest-pause, mechanical benefit drop sets and old drop sets are very easy sets for a solo trainer. The run and rack method is restricted to dumbbell training.

Increase Motion Range

Dumbbell workout also helps to increase your range of motions effectively. It builds muscles and strength by which you will notice a boost in your motion rage. Dumbbell exercise helps to add a new dimension of extra go-to mass movements by stretching your range of motion.

Move Freely

When you perform a bench press with a barbell, your shoulders and arms are set in a fixed position and move from the specific set of motion range. In opposition, dumbbell presses help one to change the movement pattern somewhat and make your shoulder move easily and freely.

Barbell press provides a set of motion range because of this fixed pose you are in a tight spot if this falls into a region where you experience pain. Dumbbell pressing makes you internally or externally twist your shoulders or lower down the dumbbells to lift your body to particular target muscles freely.

Injury Prevention

Dumbbell rack is more likely to cause injuries at the gym. It happens when you don’t focus properly on your workout. Dumbbells don’t allow accidents. For more time, large degrees of freedom in a more normal range of motion that will lead to fewer injuries. Further, by finding and removing imbalance, the chance of injury will reduce.

Benefit Muscle Tissue

Dumbbell helps to benefit the elastic and contractile elements of your muscles tissues. The contractile element is a particular actin-myosin of your muscle proteins, which is responsible for driving across one another to produce concentric lessening actions or manage eccentric lengthening.

The elastic element is the connective tissue and fascia that are connected to each muscle fiber and fiber groups. The elastic element reserves mechanic energy as it is grown, which is discharged while doing rapid muscle shortening movements.

Old exercises using heavy dumbbell can raise the production capacity force of the contractile element, whereas multiplanar move patterns with moderate dumbbells can improve the resiliency and power of the elastic component.

Join Our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest articles, recipes, special discounts etc.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *