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3 Dumbbell Exercises

Dumbbells are a great way to build muscle and keep variety in your routine. As a beginner, it is always better to start light and add weight in small increments as starting too heavy may cause strain or injury. Here are a few dumbbell exercises to incorporate into your workouts to strengthen your arm, core, and leg muscles.  

Note that the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) highly recommends consulting a certified Personal Trainer to help you assess your current level of fitness and movement capabilities. To get custom training program specifically focused on helping you reach your health and wellness goals, email

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and sit on the bench with the dumbbells placed in the crease of your hips. Lie back on the bench with the dumbbells still on your hips.
  • Once in position, engage your core and press the dumbbells toward the ceiling. Your palms should be facing forward. Rotate your shoulders outward to engage your lats. Your upper back should remain tight and stable.
  • While maintaining a neutral wrist, slowly lower the dumbbells until your upper arms are level with your back. Your elbows should be 45 degrees away from your body and your upper and lower arms should form a 90-degree angle. Pause at the bottom of the movement.
  • To begin the upward movement, squeeze your chest and begin to push the dumbbells back to the starting position. Continue to press until your arms are straight with a slight bend in your elbows.
  • Finish the movement at the top by squeezing your chest muscles together. Lower slowly and repeat.
  • Stand with both feet on the floor, knees slightly bent, and hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms and fingers facing in.
  • Hinge at the hips tilting the chest toward the ground at a 45-degree angle. Keep back and head straight.
  • Keep your chest open, looking forward, and roll your shoulders back. Pull both arms back toward spine while squeezing shoulder blades together.
  • Grab a set of dumbbells, bring your torso forward and bend your knees slightly. Bend from the hip, making sure to keep the back and head straight.
  • Bring your elbows up by the side of your trunk so that your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Keep your elbows fixated and pivot on them. Do not move the elbow or swing the shoulder as you are doing the movement.
  • Tighten backs of arms with each repetition making sure to keep the wrists straight at all times. Slowly lower the weights to the starting position and repeat.