Dumbbell Exercises That Are Perfect for the Gym or at Home

If you’re keen to change up your workout routine with a few new dumbbell movements that can be used during a session at the gym or at home, Brodie Hicks, General Manager of Training at the Australian Institute of Fitness, is here to share a list of options that are going to be super effective and simple to follow.

Below, Hicks has given 4 dumbbell workouts that are designed to work your whole body from your legs to your arms. Check them about below, along with the reasons Hicks finds them so effective.

Ready to sweat?

Dumbbell exercises to add to your home or gym workout

Full Body Burner:

First on the list is what Hicks refers to as the full-body burner. He shared that “full-body sessions are a great way to get a bang for your buck in a short period. Combining a series of upper and lower body exercises with minimal rest is a great way to increase your heart rate and get a good burn in the muscles with little to no equipment”.

Do three sets of the following dumbbell exercises (12 reps each):

  • Dumbbell front squat
  • Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
  • Dumbbell Lateral Lung
  • Dumbbell Renegade Row
  • Alternating dumbbell bicep curls
  • Overhead dumbbell tricep extension

Alternatively, if you’re also short on time, and really want to feel a burn, Hicks said these dumbbell exercises “can be performed sequentially with no rest. Complete each exercise’s allotted reps one after the other without dropping the dumbbells. Once one full round is complete, have 1-2 minutes rest before completing the circuit again”.

The Upper Body Pump Sesh:

If you’re after an upper body workout that you can smash through using dumbbells, Hicks has pulled together this workout made up of flys, kickbacks, bent-over rows and similar.

“…this program can be performed in a standard format by completing each exercise’s allotted sets and reps before moving on to the next, or it can be performed circuit-style to maximize the pump and minimize the time frame,” he said.

Do three sets of the following exercises (12 reps each):

  • Dumbbell Floor Press
  • Dumbbell Bent Over Row
  • Dumbbell Arnold Press
  • Dumbbell rear delt fly
  • Alternating dumbbell hammer curls
  • Alternating dumbbell tricep kickbacks

The Leg Workout:

Hicks stressed that it’s a common misconception that leg workouts need super heavy weights for them to be worthwhile.

“…while heavy weights are clearly beneficial to training, we can still get a great leg burner session by using the simple dumbbell as our weapon of choice,” he said.

Do three sets of the following exercises (12 reps each):

  • 1a. 1 ¼ dumbbell front squat
  • 1b. Dumbbell Goblet Cyclist Squat
  • 1c. Dumbbell Bulgarian split squat
  • 2a. 1 ¼ Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
  • 2 B. Toes Elevated Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift
  • 2c. Dual dumbbell swing

On this dumbbell workout, Hicks said:

“A key difference within the program above includes the use of the ‘a, b, c’ series. This indicates that you are to complete each exercise within the series in a row with no rest. Often this is referred to as a “Tri-Set”. In addition, the first exercise within each tri-set has a ‘1 ¼’ at the front indicating that for one repetition to be counted the person must perform a full rep followed by a ¼ rep. This is a great way to increase the amount of time under tension, making the exercise feel far more difficult than usual!”

The Gun Slinger

Probably the most common use of dumbbells is for arm exercises. Hicks is fully aware of that, and so has designed a session that “is a surefire way to get your guns popping”.

Do three sets of the following exercises (12 reps each):

  • 1a. Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  • 1b. Dumbbell Upright Row
  • 1c. Alternating Dumbbell Hammer Curl
  • 2a. Dumbbell rear delt fly
  • 2 B. Dumbbell Skull Crusher
  • 2c. Overhead dumbbell tricep extension

And there you have it. A whole list of fully-fleshed out home or gym workouts using dumbbells. Let us know what you think of them in the comments section below!


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