6 Dumbbell Exercises to Build Muscle

A lot of fitness enthusiasts show barbells all the attention, and dumbbells are often looked down on. Ironically though, while barbells are OK for good results on strength training on the short term, dumbbells offer way more benefits if you’re after the sweet blend of strength, athleticism, and size.

Dumbbells also offer better balance, unilateral training, self-spotting, or a more significant contribution from support muscles, the list is endless.

While lifting with barbells offer an intense, satisfying workout experience. There’s honestly nothing like stacking up rings of steel and conquering personal bests and creating new records in deadlifts. But when push comes to lift, there’s a whole full world of possibilities with dumbbells. They are also pretty portable, flexible and don’t take up much space. You can also find them everywhere. From the dinkiest fitness centers to your grandfather’s old garage.

Perhaps the reason dumbbells are so useful is that they allow you to concentrate on easily and train particular sides of your body one at a time, which is vital in curing any strength imbalances accrued overtime. Also, because different limbs move independently of each other, your core has to brace more intensely to disallow you from tipping to one side.

The workouts in this article will guide you on your journey to a jaw-dropping body. Do them three to four times every week, preferably resting one day between each session.

1. Farmer’s Walk

This workout may not seem like much as it is plain and simple, but the farmer’s walk regime will get you yoked. The farmer’s walk works you by creating lots of tension on your forearms and traps and spreading it through the entire body, thereby stimulating muscular as well as metabolic fatigue, the two significant components of hypertrophy.

Farmer’s walks ensure stability in your core muscles and make you resilient. This resilience will prove useful when you are under load in other workout regimes like squats, jumps, and when taking off just before sprinting. Farmer’s walks enhance power while guaranteeing safety. If you add this to dieting for muscle growth, farmer’s walks make for a substantial boost for athleticism.

Exercises to Build Muscle

2. Keystone Deadlifts

The reason for this name is simple: the position in which you do this workout resembles that of the old “Keystone Cops,” except your buttocks and belly protrudes while your lower back is arched. This position stretches your hamstring muscles beforehand. With your back still arched, lower the dumbbells beside your legs until they touch your knees, then get back up slowly.

The ideal way to perform the Keystone deadlift is with an explosive extension at the hips. This technique leverages from the fact that the hamstring (back of the legs) contain lots of muscles that can switch quickly so that this weighty, powerful contraction is a great way to make for new growth, strength, and power.

3. Dumbbell Snatch

Snatches are perfect for the following: explosive power training, rhomboids developments, growing thick traps, and forearms. Stand with your legs apart, with the dumbbell on the ground between your feet. Then pick up the dumbbell swiftly in the most powerful way that you can afford to, and drive through your heels. While doing this, extend your hip fully and then push your elbow as high as possible and catch the dumbbell in an overhead position. Lower the dumbbell to the ground and back to start position. Then repeat the process nine more times.  Rest 30 seconds, then repeat the process.

One-arm Bowflex dumbbells are great in executing this movement because they combine exceptional single arm stability along with an explosive full body work out. This motion helps your body generate a lot of force with your legs, transfer it overhead, and stabilizes the pressure at your shoulders. The end product is stronger and more stable shoulders, and some severe muscular volume to hone your traps.

4. Dumbbell Bench Press

In the pursuit of greater size and more strength, you will have to do this variant of barbell stretching. But the trick here is that because dumbbells allow you to work each part of your body independently of the others, you will develop better symmetry with time. This move also presents you the opportunity to earn a deeper stretch than you would with a barbell.

As a warning though, the extra stretch is not exactly advisable for beginners. So do this only if you have a high level of shoulder flexibility to benefit from even the slightest increase in the range of motion.

5. Dumbbell Jump Squat

Assume an athletic position: stand with feet a little apart (at shoulder width) and arms up at chest height. This workout consists of two phases: the loading phase and the exploding phase. The former involves a simultaneous downward swing of the arms along with hip and knee flexing to load the legs.

The exploding phase involves the opposite: rapidly swinging your arms up while simultaneously driving your feet into the ground and extending your hips and knees, then taking off from the balls of your feet to free the legs.

6. Dumbbell Deadlifts

Many powerlifters make use of this technique to help them build power from the bottom up, and others have also used it to stimulate hypertrophy by increasing muscle overload as a result of an increased motion range. The difference between dumbbell deadlifts and barbell deadlifts is that no matter the weight of the dumbbells, they’ll always be way closer to the floor than barbell plates. Also, the dumbbell movement typically begins with huge leverage deficit, and this makes this routine even more difficult.

Do not be shy to use straps for this workout procedure for starters. Prioritize on building maximum strength by using max weights. Grip strength will come soon because with dumbbells you don’t have the luxury of benefiting from additional reps within your reach as you would if you used a mixed grip on a barbell. However, you can decide to go strapless if your goal is to get your grip strength to stay on pace with your deadlift.

Keep in mind that the goal of this article is not to negate barbells, instead prescribe more balanced muscle training as dumbbells are all too often ignored. If you’d like to max out strength and endurance training, you have to include dumbbells in your inventory.