All you need is a set of dumbbells!

If you don’t have access to a full gym or standard equipment, fear not my friends...You can still get great results in the confines of your own backyard or garage, with nothing but your bodyweight and a set of dumbbells.

Below I have listed 6 of my favourite dumbbell exercises for strength and size. I tried to keep myself honest by only including exercises that are better with dumbbells than they are with kettlebells. 

So that’s why there are no swings, Turkish get ups, farmer's walks (because dumbbells tend to roll out of your hands and kettlebells are way better for those), overhead walks or front squats.

Here we go…

1. Dumbbell Clean and Press

This is an old school classic. Try this well-known challenge: do 12 reps of this movement with a pair of 30kg dumbbells. If you can do that, you’re probably a pretty strong dude. For the ladies 15kg+ is pretty impressive. It’s definitely one of the best shoulder exercises you can do - plenty of bang for your buck.

2. Incline Dumbbell Press

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I prefer these to be done somewhere between ten and thirty degrees. Dorian Yates (a pro bodybuilder) always said this was the best angle to hit the upper chest, while placing the least amount of stress on the shoulders. Who am I to argue?

The traditional way to do these is with your elbows way out to the sides and palms facing forward. That’s more stressful to the shoulders but does seem to hit the pecs more effectively.

A good compromise is to have your elbows and hands at a 45-degree angle. Be sure not to bounce at the bottom.

3. Dumbbell Prone Row

This is a great 'functional exercise' that you will feel as much in your obliques as you will in your back. Keep your shoulders and hips square, with your entire body in a straight line, braced in a press up position with the dumbbells under your palms, directly under your shoulders. With each rep contract the muscles of your upper back and lats by rowing the dumbbells in an alternate fashion, while resisting rotation. This will really force the lower body to work throughout the set as well.

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4. Single Arm Dumbbell Row

Possibly my favourite pulling exercise - grab a heavy dumbbell and do some work. Same principle here as above: resist rotation and brace the core. Work both sides evenly 

5. Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

I’ve always found that regularly incorporating these deadlifts in someone’s programme does a lot more for their flexibility than doing a tonne of hamstring stretches. It’s also one of the best ways to strengthen and build the hammies.

Keep a neutral spine and push your hips back as far as you can while you descend.

6. Dumbbell Walking Lunges

How can you not like walking lunges? They create a massive amount of recruitment in the major muscle groups in the lower body, predominately working the quadricep and gluteal groups but also getting a synergistic helping hand from the hamstrings in stabilising the movement. Full range of motion will aid co-ordination and balance for athletic activity, especially on your 3rd or 4th set, once fatigue kicks in. Not to mention, you will definitely know you have worked out days after if you are new to this movement pattern. 

I recommend some black coffee and 'Chase and Status' to go along with these.

Go on, get involved and try these in your next round of programming. Throw in some burpees and hill sprints for the perfect strength and conditioning combination. 

As an added bonus, here's a workout

  • DB Clean and Press 12 x3-4 (1min Rest) 
  • DB Incline Press 15 
  • Superset 
  • DB Prone Row 10 each arm x3-4 (1min Rest) 
  • Burpees (chest to floor) 10 
  • Superset 
  • DB Single Arm Row 10 each side x3-4 (1min Rest) 
  • DB RDLs 15 
  • Superset 
  • DB Walking Lunges 10 (each leg) x3-4 (1min Rest) 
  • Finisher: Treadmill - 10 incline - 8-10KM/speed = 5mins 

If you want to learn how to specifically programme training sessions for your goals don't be scared to contact us and ask questions.  

- Reece  #noexcuses #minimumequipmentmaximumresults