There are many different dumbbell exercises to use for building muscle. Each person’s individual fitness goals will help to determine the amount of weight to use for each dumbbell exercise. The exact number of sets and repetitions to perform for a particular exercise will depend on whether the person is lifting for mass or for definition. Heavy dumbbells are good for mass while light dumbbells are good for definition.
- Standing two arm dumbbell curls. This dumbbell exercise works both biceps muscles at the same time. Choose a pair of dumbbells, then stand in front of a mirror with a dumbbell in each hand. Let your arms hang by your sides. Curl both dumbbells up at the same time until your knuckles point toward the ceiling. Lower both arms down to finish the first repetition. Repeat the movement for the desired number of repetitions.
- Single arm dumbbell curls. This exercise isolates the biceps one arm at a time. Choose the weight of the dumbbell based on your fitness goals and sit down on the edge of a weight bench. Place the dumbbell on the floor, then lean over and rest the back of your right arm against the inner part of your right leg. Grasp the dumbbell with your right arm and slowly curl it up toward your chin. Lower the weight back down, then repeat the exercise for the number of repetitions you want to perform. Switch arms to finish the exercise.
- Dumbbell overhead presses. This dumbbell exercise works both shoulder muscles at the same time. Select a pair of dumbbells and stand in front of a mirror with your arms by your side. To begin the exercise, raise both dumbbells up until your knuckles point toward the ceiling and the dumbbells are by your ears. Press both dumbbells up over your head, then lower your arms back down by your ears. Repeat the movement for the number of repetitions and sets you choose.
- Dumbbell bench presses. For a chest workout, grab a pair of dumbbells and lie down on a weight bench with the dumbbells resting on your chest. Slowly press both dumbbells up off of your chest until your arms are almost fully extended. Lower the weights back down to finish the first repetition. Repeat the exercise based on your goals.
- Single arm dumbbell rows. To work your back muscles, choose a dumbbell and place it on the floor in front of you. Bend over and pickup the dumbbell with your right hand, resting your left hand on your left knee. Slowly raise the dumbbell up by your right side until the back of your upper arm is parallel to the floor. Lower the dumbbell back down to just above the floor to finish the first repetition. Repeat the movement with both arms for the desired number of sets and repetitions.