1. Goblet Squat
How: Stand with feet set wider than shoulder-width and hold a dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest. Sit back into a squat, then drive back up and repeat.
Why: Are you a nervous newbie or a long-time hard gainer? It doesn’t matter with this move. “Goblet squats are perfect for any level,” says Frost. “They specifically target glute activation whilst improving both hip and thoracic mobility.”
2. Dumbbell Clean
How: Flip your wrists so they face forwards and bring the weights to your shoulders, slightly jumping as you do. Slowly straighten your legs to stand. Then lower the weights down to your thigh before moving into squat position and repeating.
Why: If you want to look like an Olympian then you’ve got to train like one. “Incorporating these powerlifter lifts into your training will not only build lean muscle tissue but also build explosive power,” says Frost. This move also rushes blood to your glutes, hamstrings, shoulders and arms to maximise your muscle-growing power.
3. Farmers’ Walk
How: Walk forward taking short, quick steps. Go for the given distance, as fast as possible.
Why: There’s no technique to worry about, but you’ll still supercharge your grip strength. And don’t worry, this lack of technique won’t get you injured; through a process called irradiation, this move bunches your rotator cuff, protecting your shoulders.
4. Bent-Over Row
How: Keep your core tight and your back straight as you row the weights up to your chest. Lower and repeat.
Why: “Rows will target several muscles in your upper body including the traps, rhomboids, lats and biceps perfect for getting you that ‘V’ shape,” says Frost. And not only that, it’ll hone in on your deltoids to create some T-shirt-filling boulder shoulders, too.
5. Two Arm Dumbbell Stiff Legged Deadlift
How: Lower the dumbbells to the top of your feet, as far as you can go by extending through your waist, then slowly return to the starting position.
Why: It shreds your legs into powerful pins by targeting your fast-twitch lower-body muscles. Plus, stiff legged deadlifts ensure your entire posterior chain is functioning effectively and prevents hip and lower back injuries, says Frost. It’s one of the best free weight exercises to build up your lower body – injury free.
6. One Arm Swing
How: Sink into a squat and swing the dumbbell through your legs before immediately driving yourself forward, bringing the weight up towards your head as you straighten your legs. Repeat this movement, then swap sides.
Why: With proper form this swing will not only recruit muscles within your posterior chain but it will also build your grip strength, co-ordination, lower back muscles, quadriceps and shoulders. In other words, it’ll give you the momentum your body transformation workout needs. Most of these traditional kettlebell moves can be replicated.
7. Dumbbell Bench Press
How: Lie on a flat bench holding two dumbbells over your chest with an overhand grip. Push up until your arms are straight, then lower under control.
Why: If you’re looking to build quality pecs appeal then always opt for a dumbbell press over barbell. Why? A weight in each hands allows for a greater stretch at the bottom of the lift, building a bigger chest. And if you want to take this move further? “Squeeze your pecs together at the top of the lift to recruit as many muscle fibres as possible,” says Frost.
8. Cross Body Hammer Curl
How: One at a time, curl each weight up towards your opposing shoulder. Return under control to the start position and repeat on the other side.
Why: Remember, if you want to win the arms race then don’t ignore the rule of divide and conquer. Focusing on one arm at a time creates a large neural drive, which engages the nervous system to recruit more muscle fibres.
How: Place your right foot onto the elevated platform and push up through your heel to lift yourself up and place your left foot on the platform. Step back down with your left foot, concentrating on flexing your hip and the knee of your right leg. Repeat on the other side.
Why: It’s a sure fire way to maximise your gluteus maximus, the major muscle responsible for extending, rotating and adducting and abducting from the hip joint. Plus, single leg exercises will increase stabiliser strength of the smaller muscles around the joint, protecting you against injuries.
10. Dumbbell Scaption
How: Arc the weights up to your sides keeping your arms straight at all times until you feel a strong stretch across your shoulders. Return slowly to the start position.
Why: Rotator cuff, shoulder impingement and tears are common issues from overuse exercises, but not if you use the scaption. By targeting your stabilising muscles it protects the shoulder joint and ligaments surrounding it.
11. Dumbbell Lunge
How: Stand with dumbbells at your side and palms facing your body. Lunge forward as far as you can with your right leg, bending your trailing knee so it almost brushes the floor. Use the heel of your right foot to push your upper body back to the starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg.
Why: Weighted lunges will strengthen your back, hips, and legs, while also improving your mobility and stability.Loaded: 100.00CK TO UNMUTE
12. Single Dumbbell Shoulder Raise
How: Place one hand on either side of a dumbbell and let it hang between your legs. Lift the dumbbell directly above your head, then lower it back down and repeat.
Why: As the name suggests, the shoulder raise primarily strengthens the shoulders, but also works the upper chest muscles.
13. Dumbbell Calf Raise
How: Stand upright holding two dumbbells by your sides. Place the balls of your feet on an exercise step or weight plate with your heels touching the floor. With your toes pointing forwards, raise your heels off the floor and contract your calves. Slowly return to the starting position.
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