Quick Dumbbell Workouts For Your Daily Routine
You’re busy, we get it, but you can still create time for that full-body workout. Daily workouts, when done correctly, can improve your overall health — from how your brain functions to strengthening muscles and trimming body fat.
The good news is you don’t need a ton of time to get results. With a consistent approach, and 30 minutes or so to work out at home each day, you can complete the exercises outlined below to get an intense total body workout.
To get started, you’ll need a set of dumbbells. Great for strength training and building muscular endurance, dumbbells are the perfect tool to help provide a quick, full-body workout without having to invest thousands of dollars in equipment.
Selecting the Right Dumbbells
Often stacked on racks, and available in five-pound increments, standard dumbbells take up a lot of space and can become unwieldy in smaller workout areas like a home gym. If investing in those isn’t appealing, there’s a much more convenient alternative. Adjustable dumbbells take up less space, are easy to work out with and offer a better value since they can replace up to 30 pairs of dumbbells in one investment. But you don’t want just any adjustable dumbbells.
Used by professional and collegiate athletes across the country, PowerBlock adjustable dumbbells are durable and can be adjusted up to 100 pounds. The Pro 50 is a popular option, adjustable from five to 50 pounds, and our other adjustable dumbbells scale up or down in weight to ensure everyone’s fitness needs are met. Each of the workouts below can easily be done with any of our adjustable dumbbells — change the weight as you go by using a weight selector pin and get started!
Warmup, Stretching and Cooling Down
Like any workout, you should warm up by doing dynamic stretches to decrease the risk of pulling a muscle. Taking a few minutes to work on flexibility will help prevent injuries and set you up for a successful workout. Hip swings, lunge twists, and skips are a few good movements to incorporate before getting started. If you want to add a little resistance, use bands or lighter dumbbells.
After you’re done with your workout, stretch again as part of your cool down. The rest of your cool down should consist of relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing or if time allows, meditation or even yoga. These relaxation techniques can help put you in tune with your body so you know when you are stressed or tense.
The Ultimate Quick, Full-Body Dumbbell Workout
For the exercises outlined below, do two to three sets of eight to 12 reps each. Since you’re trying to get a great workout in the shortest amount of time possible, keep your rest interval between sets between 30 to 90 seconds — roughly 30 seconds (when using lighter weights) if you want more endurance and that fast, intense burn, or closer to 90 seconds (when using heavier weights) if your primary goal is muscle growth.
To get comfortable with each exercise, start with a lighter dumbbell load so you can master form and technique before really pushing your body. This will help prevent injury and lead to better results. If you have one, a body mirror is a great way to check in on your form and posture while learning a new exercise.
Squats may not be the most fun exercise, but when done correctly, the results are undeniable. Squats target quadriceps and glutes, and they also put core and hip muscles to work. There are so many types of squats to pick from, but to work both legs at once and maximize your time, we recommend front rack squats for this workout. Note that you don’t actually need a squat rack for this — you’re replicating the effect of having a rack with your posture and movement.
To perform front rack squats, follow these steps:
- With clean form, raise your dumbbells to the front of your shoulders.
- Lower yourself into a front squat position.
- Bend your hips below your knees, pause briefly, then raise yourself to the position you started in.
- Complete 12 reps for your first set, followed by 10 for your second. Try for eight reps if you do a third set.
Never skip leg day by completing this exercise. Lunges work out glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps and even calves. For lunges, follow these steps:
- Stand with your hips above your feet, shoulder-width apart, core engaged, and your arms at your sides. Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
- Lift your right foot off the floor, step forward and line it up with your hips.
- Sink your back knee, almost to the point of making contact with the floor.
- Push to the front heel, then back to standing position.
- Repeat the necessary amount of times, then switch to your left leg.
- Do 12 reps (both sides) to complete your first set, then 10 for your second. Aim for eight reps if you wish to complete a third set.
Push-Ups with Dumbbell Rows
Targeting your shoulders, chest, trapezius and lats, push-ups paired with dumbbell rows are a great combo to get stronger and burn loads of fat. Complete these steps to finish this exercise:
- Get in your push-up position, with a hand on each dumbbell, which should be a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Lower yourself to the floor, pausing as you complete your first push-up.
- Return to the starting position, then pull one of your dumbbells upward to your chest to complete a row.
- Repeat the same movement with your other arm to complete your second row.
- After you have done a dumbbell row with each hand, you’ve finished a rep.
- Do 12 reps for your first set, and 10 for your second. If you want to push yourself with a third set, aim for eight reps.
For your comfort and to protect flooring, use a workout mat that has some cushion and a non-skid surface. This will provide superior traction and grip, ensuring you can exercise hard while avoiding any wear and tear on your flooring.
Sticking with floor exercises, plank rows target the shoulders, upper and middle back and arms. This exercise will really have you feeling your core by the time you’re done. Follow these steps to complete your plank rows:
- With a dumbbell in each hand, set yourself in the plank position. Hands should be directly under your shoulders and your back must be straight.
- While holding your plank, row one arm with a dumbbell up toward your ribs, then hold the position for a beat and lower the dumbbell to the floor.
- Without breaking your plank form, repeat the row with your other arm.
- Once both arms have done a row, you’ve finished one rep.
- Aim for 12 reps for your first set, then 10 for your second. Do eight reps, if you want to complete a third set.
Deadlifts are great for the hip area, working out hamstrings, glutes, the trapezius and back muscles, and they will help strengthen your core. Here’s how to do deadlifts with adjustable dumbbells:
- Stand in position with your feet spread a bit wider than shoulder-width apart, holding your dumbbells over your feet.
- Hinge forward, with your hips back and knees bent. Pay careful attention to form, ensuring your chest is pushed up with your spine straight.
- Begin lowering yourself, gripping your dumbbells so your hands are shoulder-width apart.
- Pull your dumbbells up, in front of your shins, and return to your initial standing position.
- Try for 12 reps for your first set, then 10 for your second. If you want to try a third set, do eight reps.
If you want to target specific body parts, you can add additional exercises — such as bicep and triceps curls or shoulder presses. They’ll add a little time to your workout, but with 2-3 sets of eight to 12 reps, the extra time will pay dividends and get you closer to your goals.
Get a stand from PowerBlock to store your adjustable dumbbells to keep your weights off the floor for a tidy and inspiring workout space.
Incorporating Dumbbells Into Your Daily Workout
With the right dumbbells and workout routine, you’re on a sustainable path to improved wellness. To ensure you optimize results and stay motivated, find a consistent timeframe in your day for exercise, and try to stick to a weekly workout schedule. Track your progress, writing down the number of sets you complete and with how much weight, then add and make the necessary tweaks as you go so that you maximize results. For more workouts and fitness tips, check out the PowerBlock Fitness Blog.