Home Dumbbell Workout

Home Dumbbell Workout

Do you find it difficult to train at a gym? Maybe there’s no convenient gym you can visit, the membership cost is too high, or you simply don’t enjoy the environment.

Whatever your reasons are, there is a great alternative: home training.

Today’s post will outline the basics of home training and present you with simple suggestions for a fantastic home dumbbell workout.

Home Dumbbell Workout Basics

It’s best to have two sets of dumbbells based on your current ability. One set should be lighter for isolation exercises, and the other should be heavier for compound movements.

Having a few dumbbells at home would allow you to effectively train:

You can do many fantastic exercises and variations, adjust the angles, and more. If you’re interested in having simple and effective home workouts, dumbbells will be more than enough.

For example, you can grab a pair of dumbbells and do traditional bicep curls. Alternatively, keep your wrists neutral (palms facing your body) and do hammer curls to train your forearms more effectively.

You can invest in additional equipment, such as an adjustable gym bench, but these are generally not necessary.

Dumbbells Setup for a Home Workout

To achieve a very effective home dumbbell workout, you really only need two sets of dumbbells (4 dumbbells total):

  • One light set of dumbbells for smaller muscles (biceps, triceps, shoulders)
  • One heavy set of dumbbells for larger muscles (back, chest, legs) 

That way, with only two sets of dumbbells, you don’t have a full room packed with a rack of 20 dumbbells (unless of course you want that). And more importantly, it’s not necessary to achieve a really great workout.

The dumbbells you purchase are based on your experience and fitness level, as well as your general strength. Here are some basic guidelines:

  • Beginner
    Light: 5 or 8# Dumbbells
    Heavy: 15 or 20# Dumbbells
  • Intermediate
    Light: 10 or 15# Dumbbells
    Heavy: 20 or 25# Dumbbells
  • Advanced
    Light: 15 or 20# Dumbbells
    Heavy: 30 or 40# Dumbbells

If you’re not sure about the weights, take a visit to your local Walmart, Sports Authority, Dick’s Sporting Goods, or similar store and test them out.

A good test to check your light and heavy dumbbell, is to do some dumbbell side raises to gauge your light dumbbell, and bicep curls to gauge your heavy dumbbells. You want to have mild resistance for each one, but not overloaded.

Home Workout With Dumbbell

Effective Exercises For Home Dumbbell Workouts

1. Biceps

  • Alternating dumbbell curls
  • Dumbbell hammer curls

2. Triceps

  • Standing overhead tricep extensions
  • Dumbbell kickbacks

3. Shoulders

  • Standing front and side raises
  • Bent-over reverse fly
  • Overhead press

4. Back

  • Single-arm rows
  • Bent-over dumbbell rows
  • Dumbbell pullover

5. Chest

  • Flyes
  • Dumbbell flat press

Both of these exercises work better with a gym bench or workout step that allows you to elevate your torso and keep your elbows in the air.

Alternatively, you can perform the floor dumbbell press.

6. Quadriceps

  • Dumbbell squat
  • Goblet squat
  • Dumbbell lunge
  • Bulgarian split squat
  • Lateral lunges

7. Hamstrings

  • Romanian deadlift

8. Glutes

  • Dumbbell hip thrust

Home Dumbbell Workout Routine

Alternating Dumbbell Curls2-36-12
Dumbbell Hammer Curls2-36-12
Standing Dumbbell Extensions2-36-12
Dumbbell Kickbacks2-36-12
Overhead Press2-36-12
Standing Front and Side Raises2-36-12
Bent-over Reverse Flyes2-36-12
Single-arm Rows2-36-12
Bent-over 2-arm Rows2-36-12
Dumbbell Flat Press2-36-12
Dumbbell Squat26-12
Dumbbell Lunges26-12
Romanian Deadlift26-12
Dumbbell Hip Thrust26-12

Safety Considerations And Tips

The first step to safe and effective home dumbbell workouts is to warm up nicely. Start with simple cardio-based activities like jumping jacks and high knees to raise your core body temperature. Maintain a steady tempo and go for a few minutes. (1)

Proceed to some dynamic stretching to mobilize your wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles. For example, leg swings are fantastic for warming up your hips before squats and hip thrusts. (2)

Begin with some light sets to prepare your body. For example, if you plan on doing goblet squats first, use the lighter dumbbell first. (3)

The second tip for safe home training is to be careful with the dumbbells. Purchase weights you can handle comfortably, and ensure the weight plates are secure before starting a new set.

The final safety tip is to do each repetition slowly and prioritize proper technique. Allow yourself to use more weight on compound exercises like the hip thrust and squat, but use lighter dumbbells on bicep curls, lateral raises, and such.

Feeling the correct muscles activating is necessary for providing a good training stimulus for muscle and strength gain. In contrast, solely focusing on the weight you’re lifting is a good way to increase the injury risk.

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Dumbbells for Home Workouts
David Williams

David Williams

A diet and fitness enthusiast, David is an ex-Army Airborne Ranger and Infantry soldier with decades of fitness and wellness experience. A West Point graduate with a degree in engineering, he focuses on technical research related to fitness, nutrition, and wellness. He loves the beach, and spending time with his wife and daughters.


  1. Contributors, W. M. D. E. (n.d.). Warm-up exercises: Do they improve performance and reduce injuries? WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/benefits-of-warmup-exercises
  2. Beverly, J. (2017, December 22). Warm up for your next walk or run with 3 simple swings. Fitbit Blog. https://blog.fitbit.com/warm-up-for-your-next-walk-or-run-with-3-simple-swings/
  3. Davis, N. (2022, June 28). How to do a goblet squat – and why you should. Healthline.

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