The Best Dumbbell Exercises For Building Muscle

If you’re fond of working out but not making the best dumbbell exercises a part of your routine, then maybe you can start today. Despite their basic design, dumbbells remain to be essential to upper body strength training. Even professional bodybuilders who have various training equipment at their property still include dumbbell workouts in their daily routine.

Dumbbells are highly portable, inexpensive, and an excellent addition to your home. This will help you work out at home, especially if you’re planning to skip the gym. By purchasing a few dumbbells, you can ensure you have to work out even at home. If you don’t have any ideas on using dumbbells, here are some of the best dumbbell exercises you might be interested in.

Arnold Press

You may already have an idea why it’s called Arnold press because it was invented by none other than Mr. Schwarzenegger himself. This effective upper-body routine is unique as it hits three sections of your deltoid. The deltoid is the round-looking muscle around your shoulders. When working out using the Arnold press, you’re adding width, thickness and reinforcing the join in your deltoid.

Additionally, you’ll be able to improve your traps and triceps as well. So, how do you perform the Arnold press?

  • With palms facing your shoulders, sit on a bench holding dumbbells in front of you, just like doing a bicep curl.
  • Next is to push the dumbbells upward over your head and, at the same time rotate your arms until your palms are away from you.
  • While the dumbbells are over your head, straighten your arm, pause for a while, then reverse the routine.

If you’re unsure of how to perform the routine, you may want to search online for a bodybuilding trainer near me, or you may find a trainer at the nearest fitness center in your area. This way, you can ensure a safe and effective training routine.

Renegade Row

Develop anti-rotational core strength, improve your abs, and build a strong back in one routine. It may be somewhat tempting to just focus on the rowing aspect of the movement. But, the secret and most effective way to perform renegade rows is to double down your plank positioning.

Performing the renegade row will improve your triceps, traps, forearms, rhomboids, obliques, lats, biceps, delts, and of course, abs. Here’s how to perform this type of workout.

  • Hold dumbbells and get into a press-up position.
  • Next is to row the left/right dumbbell up to your abs while keeping your core tensed.
  • Completing the left and right movements will be equivalent to one rep.

Biceps Curl

Never forget the basics, right? It’s considered a classic biceps workout because it’s the fastest way to add size and improve muscles. The best way to make this an effective workout is to control your repetitions to avoid the dumbbells swinging up and down. Performing biceps curls will improve your brachioradialis, brachialis, and biceps brachii.

To properly perform a biceps curl, you need to stand while holding dumbbells in both arms. Next, face your palms and curl the dumbbells up while keeping your elbows tucked into your sides. Finally, lower them back to complete one repetition.

Triceps Kick-back

Making this an effective triceps workout is to make sure you fully contract the working muscle while you straighten your arm. While doing that, you need to lower down the dumbbells back to their starting position under control. This will ensure you’re performing the exercise correctly while avoiding injuries.

Here’s how to correctly perform triceps kick-back:

  • Lean your body forward from your hips.
  • Keep a straight back while bending your arm holding a dumbbell.
  • Raise your left/right arm behind until you straighten your arm.
  • Lower your arm controllably back and perform it again on the other side to complete one repetition.

Doing the triceps kick-back improves the long, medial, and lateral head of your triceps. But, it emphasizes the lateral head while building functional strength.

Lateral Raise

Lateral raise is also one of the basic dumbbell workouts you can perform at your home. To achieve this exercise, you need to stand holding dumbbells in both arms next to your thighs. You can raise each arm sideways (left and right) separately to complete one rep, or you can raise both arms simultaneously. Again, make sure to control your movement to make it more effective.

This type of workout improves lateral deltoids, synergist muscles, and middle and lower trapezius.


These are just five of the many dumbbell exercises for building muscle. There is more to learn, especially if you’re looking to build muscles professionally. If you’re a beginner, the best way to start working out is to go to the gym and look for a trainer. Well, you could also learn by experience from other people going to the gym. So, if you’re looking to improve your muscles, be sure to try the exercises listed above.

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