Fitness is all about having fun, getting healthy and feeling great. But it can be hard to know what exercises to do with dumbbells for women. Do you want to tone your arms, chest, and back? Do you need a workout that doesn’t require heavy weights or any equipment?
This blog post will show you some of the best exercises for women that use dumbbells. So whether looking to bulk up or slim down, there is an exercise for everyone.
Table of Contents
- 1 Beginner Dumbbell Workout For Women
- 2 How Do You Workout With Dumbbells at Home for Women?
- 3 Safety tips
- 4 FAQs About Dumbbell Exercises
- 5 Can You Build Muscle With Dumbbells at Home?
- 6 How Often Should You Work Out With Dumbbells?
- 7 How Heavy Should Women’s Dumbbells Be?
- 8 Is it Better to Do More Reps or More Weight?
- 9 What Do Dumbbells Do to Your Body?
Beginner Dumbbell Workout For Women
So you need to know what the best dumbbell exercises are? Well, you’re in the right place. Those forgotten weights sitting in your shed have been dusted off, and you’re ready to get some resistance training done – good on you.
When done with good form, dumbbell exercises are among the simplest and best exercises we can do for our bodies. An easy way to start or develop your strength training, with dumbbell workouts, you can build and sculpt muscle throughout your whole body. You will get stronger by using dumbbell exercises, good technique, and progressively increasing how hard you’re working.
While humble dumbbells are often overlooked, favouring the kettlebell or barbell, experts say they can be just as effective at building strength. So whether you’re getting busy with a gym workout and want a refresher on the best dumbbell exercises to do, or you’re still getting it done with home gym equipment, this roundup is for you.
Bent Over Row
Don’t be fooled by the simplistic appearance of this exercise! Bent over rows are a staple of any athlete’s workout routine. The Bent Over Row effective is its compound movement that allows the lifter to work a number of muscle groups, including your back, biceps and postural muscles. The glutes and lower back also get a workout due to the bent-over position – but make sure you keep your back flat.
- To get into the bent-over position correctly, stand with both feet flat on the floor, hip-width apart and push your bum back until your chest is pointing towards the floor.
- Bend your knees slightly and extend your arms, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Keep your back flat – imagine you have a vase of flowers balanced on your lower back.
- Row your arms towards your chest, with elbows close to your sides. At the top of the movement, squeeze your shoulder blades together. Repeat.
Bicep curls are to workout routines what kale is to salad: Ok on its own, but can achieve its full potential as a tasty accompanying teammate. Mostly an accessory movement, bicep curls only isolate and target the biceps, mostly adding definition as well as providing strength and stabilisation.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides with palms facing inwards and arms straight down.
- Step your feet at shoulder-width apart with your heels driven into the ground. Bend your knees slightly and brace your core.
- Lift one dumbbell toward the shoulder, rotating the arm as it moves up so that the palm is now facing upward.
- Lower your dumbbell to the side and repeat the same movement with the other arm. Remember to exhale when lifting your weight and inhale while lowering. Repeat.
Dumbbell Reverse Lunges
The lunge — love it or hate it — its effectiveness can never be doubted and only gets better when accompanied by weights! Targeting the abs, back, and gluteal muscles, plus the quadriceps and hamstrings, this is an exercise made for sculpting the legs and bolstering the booty.
- Stand with your legs hip-width apart, with your arms by your sides, holding your dumbbells.
- Step one foot back about two feet, lowering your knee slowly to the ground while keeping your chest pointing forwards.
- Step back to the starting position, then repeat the action on the opposite leg.
Considered the best exercise available for working the lateral delts, this is another easy but effective exercise that can be done anywhere – with anything! Repeated regularly, the lateral raise will aid the growth of the lateral deltoid, giving you the appearance of broader, stronger shoulders.
- Stand up straight, keeping a straight spine, with your arms by your sides, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
- Slightly bend your arms, and lift them outwards until they are level with your shoulders and you are standing in a T position. Lower your arms slowly and repeat.
Don’t be put off by the hard-as-nails name, the Romanian deadlift (RDL) is a traditional barbell lift that targets and enhances the posterior chain muscles, including the glutes, hamstrings and adductors. A simple move, the RDL is an effective exercise that helps strengthen both the core and the lower body in one move.
- Stand with both feet flat on the floor and a dumbbell in each hand.
- Keep your legs straight but unlock your knees and push your hips back to lower the dumbbells towards the floor.
- Go to just below knee height and then stand straight again.
- Clench your glute and core muscles as you do so. Repeat.
A popular exercise among professional athletes, the Russian twist targets the oblique muscles, either side of the abs. It’s best taken at a slow pace to get the most out of every repetition.
- Sit on the floor in a ‘V’ position. Engage your abs to hold this position steadily.
- Holding your dumbbell in front of you, slowly twist your waist left to right. Don’t rush this movement or twist too far – it works best when slowed down and controlled.
Another must-have in anybody’s strength-building routine, the shoulder press is a fundamental core lift for the upper body. It provides strength for the anterior/medial deltoids, located at the front and centre part of your shoulder. The overhead press will strengthen the posterior deltoids too.
- Stand with your feet flat on the floor and hold a dumbbell in each hand, just above your shoulders.
- Drive your arms up to the ceiling as far as you can, then return the dumbbells to above your shoulders at a steady pace. Repeat.
Squat with Overhead Press
Fitness’ favourite child, squats, build the leg muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves whilst creating an anabolic environment which promotes body-wide muscle building, improves muscle mass and of course, sculpts those glutes.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand, just above each shoulder. Squat down by sending your bodyweight back through your heels and lower as though you are about to set into a chair.
- Lower for 5 seconds until your bum is slightly lower than your knees.
- Thrust back to your starting position, squeezing your glutes at the top. Lift the dumbbell towards the ceiling into an overhead press.
- Lower the dumbbells back to the start position, and repeat.
How Do You Workout With Dumbbells at Home for Women?
The only thing you’ll need for this workout is a set of medium-weight dumbbells. Not exactly sure how much you should be lifting? Use this simple guide to choose the right weight. After you’ve got your weights, be sure to go through a dynamic warmup to get your muscles warm and prevent injury.
This workout should be performed in trisets, meaning every set will have three exercises in it. Complete the designated sets and reps as listed ahead. Try to take no more than 45 to 60 seconds of rest in between exercises and sets. Once you’ve completed the workout, be sure to cool down.
- Triset 1, Exercise 1: single-leg deadlift with dumbbells: three sets of 10 reps on each leg
- Triset 1, Exercise 2: bent-over row: three sets of 12 reps
- Triset 1, Exercise 3: seated knee tuck: three sets of 12 reps
- Triset 2, Exercise 1: goblet squat: three sets of 15 reps
- Triset 2, Exercise 2: bicep curl: three sets of 12 reps
- Triset 2, Exercise 3: elbow side plank: hold for 20 seconds on each side
- Triset 3, Exercise 1: weighted glute bridge: three sets of 12 reps
- Triset 3, Exercise 2: dumbbell triceps extension: three sets 12 reps
- Triset 3, Exercise 3: seated Russian twist: three sets 10 reps
- Warm up and cool down. Warming up before doing any resistance workout not only gets your body ready for exercise it also reduces your risk of injury. Spend at least 5 to 8 minutes engaging in some form of cardio or dynamic stretches. When you’ve finished your workout, take some time to cool down and stretch.
- Focus on your form. When you first start a particular workout routine, Miller says your focus should be on your form or technique. Then, as you build confidence, endurance, and strength, you can begin to increase the weight or do more sets.
- Engage your core. Each exercise listed above requires core strength to support your lower back. To stay safe, make sure you engage your abdominal muscles before executing any move and keep them engaged throughout the exercise.
- Stop if you feel pain. Upper body exercises will challenge your muscles and leave you slightly sore, but you shouldn’t feel pain. If you do, stop and assess the problem. If the discomfort is caused by improper form, consider working with a personal trainer. If your pain persists even after correcting your form, follow up with your doctor or physical therapist.
There are a number of exercises you can do with dumbbells for women. Whether looking to bulk up or slim down, there is an exercise for everyone. To know more dumbbell exercises for women, check them out here.
This will tone your arms, chest, back, abs and butt all at once! For more information on how to use weights without equipment visit our blog post here . We hope this helped answer any questions you might have had about fitness routines that don’t require heavy lifting!
FAQs About Dumbbell Exercises
So many of us won’t be blessed with the same space to train at home as our gym provides. But if you can’t make it out of the house for a gym workout, dumbbells will be your saving grace.
As you probably won’t have a large variety of weights at home, one of the best ways to train is to combine exercises in what’s called “supersets”. If you perform dumbbell exercises back to back, it challenges your body more.
Do you know how often you should work out with dumbbells? Working out is a great way to stay healthy and maintain weight. There are a lot of factors that go into this, but it is important to make sure that you’re doing enough.
Every other day – so three to four times per week – is more than enough to build muscle and reshape your body if you’re using a full-body approach.
For women, it is recommended weights of 0.5 to 5kg. The 0.5kg weights are suitable for women who have no experience with strength training or haven’t exercised for a long time. The 5kg weights are suitable for women who have experience with strength training or already exercise occasionally.
Two of the most important workout variables are the number of repetitions, or “reps,” per set and the amount of weight or tension used. Depending on your goals, you may want to do more reps with less weight or the opposite. Precor equipment is designed to help you take either path or a combination of both.
Generally, exercises with higher reps improve muscular endurance, while higher weights with fewer reps are used to increase muscle size and strength. We’ve included a few guidelines here as a place to start. You may want to work with a personal trainer or other professional to create a program that will help you meet your goals.
Let’s start by defining what a dumbbell is. A dumbbell is a weight that you hold in each hand to exercise your upper body muscles. Dumbbells are often used for chest presses, shoulder raises, bicep curls, and triceps extensions, which help shape the upper body.
There are many benefits of using weights regularly, including increased muscle mass, toned physique, improved bone density, and increased metabolism (or resting metabolic rate). Increased muscle mass can lead to more calories burned at rest, while toned physiques will look good in clothing. Improved bone density can prevent future injuries such as fractures or osteoporosis later on down the road.
According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), the benefits of dumbbells include the following: They activate a number of different muscles and stimulate muscle growth. They can help improve both muscle force and flexibility. They can promote coordination and stability for muscles and joints.