Most people usually own a dumbbell that has a random weight to it. It’ll probably be from a random garage sale or from the 1980’s. Most people will use that dumbbell to do tons of curls (like I did when I first started out lifting weights) or as a doorstopper. This is mainly because most exercises out there are perceived as too demanding/ dangerous or a goal needs to be identified. The most common goals when people start lifting weights is to build muscle or lose body fat. Check out this article to help create better goals.
I can list many exercises (which I will do) that can be done with one dumbbell, but with no direction or goal in mind, the workout can feel strange.
So, what can you do with 1 dumbbell? Of course it depends on the weight but let’s list some key exercises first. Keep in mind that these exercises are not for everyone.
One arm dumbbell rows
Lying 1 arm floor press
Standing against the wall, 1 arm curls
1 arm hammer curls
1 arm reverse curls – 1 arm zottman curls
1 arm concentration curls
1 arm Overhead triceps extensions
1 arm lying skullcrushers
Lying 1 arm reverse press
1 arm kickbacks
1 arm lateral raises
1 arm shoulder presses
1 arm front raises
1 arm rear delt flyes
1 arm front raise to lateral raise
1 leg seated dumbbell leg extensions
1 arm – 1 leg Romanian deadlifts
2 arm 2 leg Romanian deadlifts
1 arm Bulgarian Split Squat
1 Arm split squats
1 arm lunges
1 arm dumbbell cleans/ hang cleans
1 arm dumbbell snatch/ hang snatch
1 arm dumbbell push press
Weighted dumbbell sit up
Weighted Russian twist
And there you have it. Just over 20 exercises you can do with a single dumbbell. Of course, the weight matters here. Some exercises are easier than others but with the above, you can easily program a workout that will take you anywhere from 10-60 minutes depending on your needs and experience level. Here’s a sample workout with a 20lbs dumbbell:
Goblet Squat 3×12-15
1 arm – 1 leg Romanian deadlifts 3×12-15
1 arm lunges 2×20 per leg
1 arm rows 4×5+5+5 (resting 10 seconds between 5 reps)
1 arm skullcrushers 3×8-15 per arm
Push-ups till failure
Weighted Dumbbell Sit up 4×8-15 (most people can’t do these)
And there you have it! The workout above is not for everyone so it is recommended that you receive a proper assessment to determine what is right for you. Having 2 dumbbells is definitely an advantage.
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Book a call at myofiber.ca to start online training and follow a routine that works best for you (including any equipment you have).