The Dumbbell Workout

by Jackie on February 1, 2013

Most people have a set of dumbbells lying around their house.  Why not brush them off and try this full-body at home workout?  All you need is a pair of 5-8 pound dumbbells!  These compound exercises work multiple muscle groups with each move so you get more bang for your workout buck!  Plus you get a cardio workout while increasing strength, all this in only 15-20 minutes!


The Workout

To complete this 15-20 minute circuit workout, go from one exercise to the next without resting in between.  When you’ve completed all seven moves, rest for one to two minutes, then repeat the circuit three more times.


Step and Curl

Works quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, abs, and biceps

Stand with your left foot on a sturdy chair, bench, or step, with a 5-8 pound weight in each hand.  With your weight on your left foot, lift to stand on the step, raise right thigh so it is parallel to floor; as you step curl weights up toward shoulders.   Return to starting position.   Do 15 reps, then switch sides and repeat.


Lateral Raise with Squat

Works shoulders, delts, upper back, outer thighs, glutes, and quads

Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.  Brace your core and lower your body into a squat.  As you return to a standing position, lift your right leg out to the side while raising your both arms out parallel to the floor.  Repeat with the left leg and continue alternating for a total of 20 reps.


Dolphin Plank

Works back, abs, and shoulders

Lie face down with toes tucked.  Keeping forearms on floor, pull bellybutton in toward spine, and raise hips to come into low plank position.  Inhale while lifting hips so your body forms an inverted V; pause and then slowly return to starting position.  Do 15-20 reps.


Deadlift to High Pull

Works shoulders, upper back, hamstrings, and glutes

Hold dumbbells in front of you, with palms facing your thighs, and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees slightly bent.  Keeping your back slightly arched and your core engaged, bend forward at the hips and slowly lower until your back is almost parallel to the floor.  Return to standing pulling the dumbbells up to your chest by bending your elbows out to the sides and raising your forearms.  Return to the starting position.  Repeat 15 times.


Single-Leg Dumbbell Row

Works back, shoulders, biceps, abs, quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes

Stand holding a 5-8 pound weight in just your left hand with your elbow bent at 90 degree angle.  Bend forward so your back is flat and almost parallel to floor; rest right hand on a chair or bench for balance and support.  Extend left arm toward floor, palm facing in; lift your left leg straight behind you, so your body forms a T.

Keeping your left leg straight behind you slowly bend left elbow and draw weight up until elbow is even with torso; hold for a moment, then lower weight. Do 15 reps, then switch sides and repeat.


V-Sit Shoulder Press

Works biceps, triceps, shoulders, upper back, core, and quads

Sit with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor.  Hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your shoulders, with arms bent (the same position your arms would be in when you are lowered into a pushup). Lean back so your torso is at a 45-degree angle; lift your calves until they’re parallel to the floor, keeping your knees bent.  Engage your core and press the dumbbells up and away from your body until your arms are straight.  Return to starting position.  Do 15 to 20 reps.


Side Plank with Rear Fly

Targets shoulders, upper back, obliques, and core

Hold a dumbbell in your right hand and lie on your left side, prop yourself up on your left forearm and raise your hips so your body forms a straight line.  Extend the weight in front of you at shoulder level.  Slowly raise the weight toward the ceiling, keeping your arm straight and pulling your shoulder blades together. Return to starting position, do 15 reps, then switch sides.


Repeat the entire circuit three times.  Good luck and have fun!



Health Contributor at Creative Bioscience
I'm a fitness nut. I know what you're thinking, one of these people who has never been fat a day in her life, and can eat whatever she wants. The truth is I struggled with my weight growing up and lived in a household where everything seemed to be fried. Once I got away from home I realized I had the choice to eat and exercise how I wanted. I've gained a lot of insight into working as a personal trainer, and feel I can relate to others that were in my situation. I think if I can do it then you can to, and if you want to start kicking butt then hop on board and lets get started.

Latest posts by Jackie (see all)

Shares 0

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: