What are the Different Types of Dumbbell Workouts?

N. Madison
N. Madison

There are many types of dumbbell workouts a person may use to stay fit, increase strength, and tone his body. Dumbbells can be used to work muscles all over the body. The type of dumbbell workouts an individual chooses depends on the muscle groups he wants to work.

Lunges can be done with dumbbells.
Lunges can be done with dumbbells.

One type of dumbbell workout involves doing lateral raises, which work a person’s shoulder muscles. This exercise is performed by standing up straight, positioning the legs shoulder-width apart, and bending just a little at the knee. In the starting position for this exercise, the dumbbells are held at the lifter's side. Then, he slowly raises them up and out to the sides of his body, so that his arms are parallel to the floor and his arms and body form a t-shape. Finally, the arms are lowered back to the starting position.

Dumbbell curls, seated or standing, are an effective way to build stronger biceps.
Dumbbell curls, seated or standing, are an effective way to build stronger biceps.

Bicep curls are used in dumbbell workouts as well. They exercise the biceps, which are the muscles in a person's upper forearm. To perform this exercise, a person may sit with a dumbbell in one of his hands. Starting with his arms hanging down and fully extended, he curls the arm holding the weight upward, keeping his elbow close to his body while doing so. He then lowers the weight to starting position, repeating the movement several times on the same arm or alternating arms.

The dumbbell lateral raise is a weightlifting move that works the shoulder muscles.
The dumbbell lateral raise is a weightlifting move that works the shoulder muscles.

To work the muscles of the chest, a person may choose a seated shoulder press as a dumbbell workout. This involves sitting on a weight bench with a dumbbell in each hand. In the starting position, the dumbbells are held above the exerciser’s head. He then bends his elbows, gradually lowering the dumbbells to shoulder level. He finally lifts them back up to starting position before repeating the movement several times.

To work the back, a person may use a dumbbell workout called a lying single arm row. To perform this exercise, a person lies face down on a weight bench that is positioned at a 45-degree angle. He holds a dumbbell in each hand and allows them to hang down toward the floor, keeping his palms toward the back of the bench. He then pulls the dumbbells up toward his chest, moving them to the sides of the bench at the same time. Finally, he lowers the dumbbells back to starting position.

Sometimes dumbbell workouts are used for the legs. For example, an individual may perform lunges while holding a dumbbell in each hand. To begin this exercise, a person stands up straight with his feet spaced a shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. He then steps forward with one foot, about two or three feet, bending the back leg so the knee touches the floor just slightly. He then returns to the starting position and repeats the exercise again, alternating legs.

Dumbbell curls help strengthen the biceps and other muscles of the arms.
Dumbbell curls help strengthen the biceps and other muscles of the arms.
N. Madison
N. Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

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Discussion Comments

Rundocuri

@raynbow- You can also use these lightweight dumbbells to do lunges and lifts. I like to take a walk on the fitness trail in my area, and stop every 30 minutes to do several repetitions of lunges. This helps to vary my workout, as well as tone muscles in my ares, legs, and torso.

Raynbow

I think that the best way to start working out with dumbbells is the choose lightweight ones and take a brisk walk. Selecting dumbbells that weight 1 or 2 pounds each is a great starting point.

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