total body dumbbell workout

Get Fit With Total Body Dumbbell Workouts

It’s the perfect time to focus on dumbbell training.

You can get a great total body workout with a few dumbbells and dumbbell training is perfect for a busy gym because it limits your exposure to multiple machines.

This article tells you what you need to know about dumbbell training and leaves you with a total body dumbbell workout to get started.

Pros of Dumbbell Training

Consistency is important when training to transform your body. The paradox is that the body adapts very quickly which means that variety within your routine is also important. As a general rule, you should adjust your workout parameters every 6 to 8 workouts. Dumbbells are one of the most versatile tools and allow for a wide range of exercises to ensure you keep getting better.

Other benefits of dumbbell training include the following:

1. More Natural Motion

Compared to machines that limit your body position, dumbbells allow you to train through a full range of motion. Full-range training has many payoffs: It trains a greater proportion of the muscle, maximizes strength and power, and strengthens connective tissue that protects your joints.

2. Lower Injury Risk

Dumbbells allow you to train a more natural motion using neutral grip (palms facing each other). Neutral grip reduces the strain on easily injured joints like the shoulder. Dumbbells can also be used for pre-hab exercises, targeting weak links that put you at risk of injury.

3. Maximize Muscle

Because dumbbells allow you to train a full range of motion they maximally recruit muscle fibers. When trying to pack on muscle, the basic goal is to stretch and contract the muscle—the greater the stretch, the greater potential for hypertrophy.

4. Train The Muscles At Different Angles/Grips

Simply modifying grip position changes muscle recruitment and allows you to hit the harder to reach muscle fibers. For example, using a chin-up grip with palms facing you trains the biceps brachii more than pull-ups (palms facing away). You should use both in your training for best results.

5. Overcome Imbalances

Dumbbell training increases structural balance throughout the body. Even when training both limbs at once, dumbbells allow for greater stimulus to the weaker limb that you don’t get with bilateral barbell training. Single-side training also increases drive to the working limb, allowing you to get stronger faster.

Cons of Dumbbells

When you are only as strong as your weakest link, it’s critical that you account for the drawbacks of dumbbell training:

1. It’s Hard To Maximally Train Legs

The downside of dumbbell training is that it is difficult to overload the legs because you are limited by the amount of weight you can hold. If you can back squat 250 pounds, you would probably have difficulty performing this exercise by holding 125 pounds in each hand. Heavy deadlifts are also a challenge. Step-ups, lunges, single-leg and Romanian deadlifts, and split squats are all lower body exercises that can generally accommodate dumbbells.

2. Dumbbells Compromise Stability

Another issue with dumbbells is that they are less stable than machine exercises and can increase risk of an accident for novices. It’s important to learn technique, train smart, and progress slowly while being aware of your surroundings when lifting.

Total Body Novice Dumbbell Workout

If you’re getting back in shape, or are picking up dumbbells for the first time, here is a total body dumbbell workout. It should be performed three times per week. It contains only dumbbell exercises and can be trained at home or in your own little corner of the gym.

Series Exercise Sets X Reps Tempo Rest
A. Dumbbell Split Squat- Front Foot Elevated 3 X 10-12 4010 75 seconds
B1. Flat Dumbbell Press 3 X 10-12 4010 75 seconds
B2. One-Arm Dumbbell Row (Kneeling on Flat Bench) 3 X 10-12 3110 75 seconds
C1. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3 X 10-12 4010 75 seconds
C2. Seated Dumbbell Curl 3 X 10-12 3010 75 seconds

Final Words

Whether you are training at home with limited equipment or at a gym with lots of toys, there is always a place for dumbbells in your training. Dumbbells are not the only tool that can help you achieve your training goals, but they are certainly one of the best!


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