Only Have 1 Set of Dumbbells? Make a Workout With These 50 Bodyweight and Dumbbell Exercises
If the only equipment you have is a set of dumbbells and your own body, here's a list of the ultimate dumbbell and bodyweight moves you can do anywhere. These exercises all target the upper body so you can strengthen your shoulders, biceps, triceps, forearms, and upper back muscles. Use them for inspiration to create an at-home arm workout, or add them to a workout using these other dumbbell and bodyweight exercises to create a full-body workout. Don't attempt to do all these exercises at once; rather, pick a few of your favorites and customize an upper-body workout that works for you. Have fun working out at home!
Overhead Shoulder Press
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand just above your shoulders, palms facing in.
- Straighten your arms above you.
- Bend your elbows, coming back to the starting position to complete one rep.
- Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand at the sides of your body.
- Keeping your elbows close to your sides, slowly raise the dumbbells to your chest.
- Moving with control, lower back to the starting position.
- This counts as one rep.
Wide Bicep Curl
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hips-width-distance apart.
- Holding a dumbbell in each hand, hold your arms out wide with a slight bend in your elbows, palms facing up.
- Bend at your elbows, pulling the weights toward your ears.
- Extend your arms out wide again to complete one rep.
Bicep Curl and Overhead Press
- Stand with your feet directly under your hips, holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing out. Bend the elbows, bringing the weights to your shoulders, performing a bicep curl.
- Stabilize your torso and keep your arms moving upward, straightening the arms above you, performing an overhead press with the palms facing out.
- Bend the elbows coming back to the end of your bicep curl, then straighten the arms coming back to the starting position to complete one rep.
Overhead Triceps Extensions
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart.
- Hold one dumbbell (go for your heavier weight) with both hands, bending the elbows behind your head.
- Straighten your arms to lift the dumbbell into the air, then slowly bend the arms to lower. This counts as one rep.
- Holding a dumbbell in each hand, hinge forward from your hips, bending your knees slightly. Bend your elbows behind you.
- Straighten your arms behind you with your palms facing in. Your arms should be parallel to the floor. Squeeze your triceps, then return to the starting position.
- This counts as one rep.
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, and place a dumbbell in each hand. Your closed palms should be facing your body. Your shoulders should be over your pelvis, with knees slightly bent.
- Keeping the dumbbells close to your body, raise them to your shoulders, bending your elbows out to the sides.
- Slowly lower them to the starting position. This counts as one rep.
- Lean forward and bend both knees, remembering to keep a flat back.
- Extend your arms so they are straight. Lift the dumbbells straight up to chest level, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you do. Be sure to keep your elbows in and pointed upward. Don't arch your back.
- Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position to complete one rep.
- Start in a shallow squat, holding the weight in your right hand.
- Pull your elbow back, squeezing your right shoulder blade toward your spine while you twist to the right. This completes one rep.
Bent-Over Reverse Fly
- Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with the knees slightly bent. Keeping your back flat, bend forward at the hip joint.
- Exhale and lift both arms to the side, maintaining a slight bend in the elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Then, with control, lower the dumbbells back toward the ground. This completes one rep.
- Grab a set of dumbbells, and start by lying on your back with the knees bent.
- With one dumbbell in each hand, raise your arms so they are above your chest, making sure your elbows are straight but not locked.
- Slowly lower both arms toward your head, bending your elbows to 90 degrees as the dumbbells reach the mat. Aim to lower your dumbbells so they are on either side of your head, elbows bent and pressing in toward your head.
- Lift your arms back to starting position. This is one rep.
Lying Chest Fly
- Lie on your back with your hips and knees both at 90-degree angles. Using your low abs, press your lower back into the mat. Raise your arms toward the ceiling, palms facing each other, keeping the elbow joint slightly bent.
- Keeping your torso stable, open your arms out to the sides until your elbows are about two inches from the floor.
- Raise your arms back to the ceiling, bringing the weights together over your chest. This counts as one rep.
Lying Overhead Reach
- Lie on your back with your hips and knees both at 90-degree angles, using your low abs to press your lower back into the mat. Holding five- to eight-pound dumbbells, raise your arms toward the ceiling, keeping the elbow joint slightly bent.
- Reach your arms overhead, tapping the dumbbells on the floor above your head. Do not let your back arch away from the floor as you lower the weights.
- Raise your arms back to the starting position to complete one rep.
Dumbbell Bench Press
- Grab a set of dumbbells, and sit on a flat workout bench.
- With one dumbbell in each hand resting on your thighs, lie back onto the bench.
- Hold the dumbbells above your chest, shoulder-width apart, creating a 90-degree angle between your upper arm and forearm. Palms should be facing forward.
- Exhale as you push the dumbbells up, fully extending your arms. Hold for one second.
- Inhale and lower the dumbbells to the sides of your chest with control.
- This counts as one rep.
Single-Arm Chest Press
- Lie on your back with your heels about a foot away from your butt. Hold a dumbbell in your left hand and bring both hands to the ceiling.
- Bend your left elbow, lowering your upper arm to floor. Exhale and straighten your elbow, pressing the weight back to the ceiling to complete a rep.
- With your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor behind you, straighten your elbows to lift your pelvis off the ground.
- Keeping your pelvis high, inhale, and bend your elbows straight behind you.
- Exhale and straighten your arms, working the triceps. This completes one rep.
Reverse Plank Bridge
- Begin seated with your hands behind you with your fingers pointed away from you.
- Press the heels of your feet and hands into the ground as you raise your pelvis off the floor until it is in line with your shoulders and knees.
- Lower your pelvis back to the ground to complete one rep.
Tabletop to Reverse Pike
- Start in a tabletop position. Inhale, and as you exhale, lower your hips and straighten your legs so your hips are hovering above the floor.
- Flow back to the tabletop position to complete one rep.
- Balance on the hands and toes with the body in one straight line, hands underneath the shoulders and feet hips-width distance apart.
- Pull your abs to your spine, and hold this position for 30 to 60 seconds. This counts as one rep.
Plank With Shoulder Tap
- Begin in a plank variation with your feet slightly wider than your hips for added stability.
- Keeping your torso stable, bring your right hand to your left shoulder, then return your right hand back to the mat.
- Bring your left hand to your right shoulder, and return it to the mat. This counts as one rep.
Plank Dumbbell Row
- Start in a plank position with your legs wider than hip-width distance; the wider stance makes you more stable. Hold onto your dumbbells, keeping your wrist locked to protect the joint.
- With your core tight and your glutes engaged, exhale, stabilizing your torso as you lift your right elbow to row; feel your right scapula sliding toward your spine as you bend your elbow up toward the ceiling.
- Keeping your neck long and energized, return the weight to the ground to complete the rep.
Plank and Straight-Arm Kickback
- Start in a plank position holding a dumbbell in each hand. Open your feet wider than hip width for a stronger base of support.
- Lift your left arm behind you as high as you can. Bring the left arm back into plank to complete one rep.
Plank With Arm Circle
- In a plank position, reach your left arm back and then circle it overhead, bringing your palm back to the floor; repeat on the other side to complete the rep.
- The wider your feet are, the more stable you will be. Do not let your pelvis drift toward the ceiling.
Plank With Lateral Arm Raise
- Start in a plank position.
- Keeping your torso stable, slowly reach your left arm out to your side. Brace through the abs by pulling your navel to your spine. Hold this position for five seconds. If you feel too unstable, try moving your right hand so it is under the center of your chest rather than under your right shoulder.
- Keeping your torso stable, bring your arm back to the plank position. Do not round your back or twist your spine.
- Repeat this same motion on the other side, extending your right arm to your side. This counts as one rep.
Plank Side Walk
- Begin in plank position with your hands underneath your shoulders, body in one straight line.
- Simultaneously cross your right hand over your left as you step your left foot to the left. Then simultaneously step your left hand and right foot to the left, so you're back in plank position. Your hands move together as your feet step apart.
- Repeat this for five steps to the left and five steps to the right to complete a rep. Be sure to keep the hips low as you move, drawing the navel toward the spine.
Plank With Alternating Shoulder and Knee Tap
- Begin in a plank variation with your feet slightly wider than your hips.
- Bring your right hand to your left shoulder, then place that hand back on the mat. Bring your left hand to your right shoulder and return it to the mat.
- Bring your right knee and your left hand toward one another under your body; return to plank and switch sides so your left knee meets your right hand. This completes one rep.
- Lower into a crouching squat with your hands on the floor.
- Do a squat thrust by jumping your feet back into a plank position.
- Do one basic push-up, bending the elbows and then straightening back to a plank.
- Jump the feet forward to the hands, and come into a squat.
- Do an explosive jump straight up, getting as much height as you can to complete one burpee.
- Start in a traditional push-up starting position — shoulders over hands and weight on just your toes.
- Bring your right foot forward, bending the knee and putting weight on the ball of your foot.
- Switch legs, bringing the left knee forward while moving the right leg back. This completes one rep.
Plank With Bunny Hop
- Begin in a plank position with feet touching.
- Pull your abs in, and jump your feet to the right, bringing your knees toward your right elbow. Your torso will twist to the right.
- Jump your feet back to plank and repeat on the other side to complete one rep.
- Begin in the plank position with your shoulders over your wrists, your body in one straight line, and your feet together.
- Like the motion of jumping jacks, jump your legs wide apart and then back together to complete a rep.
- Start in a plank position, with palms spread out evenly and your shoulders over your wrists and legs out behind you. Pull your belly button in, and keep your back straight.
- As you lower and exhale, bend your elbows outward to the sides. Hold at the bottom before you raise back up to complete one rep.
- Start in a plank position with your arms and legs straight, shoulders above the wrists.
- Keeping your upper arms parallel, bend your elbows lowering your chest until your shoulders are in line with your elbows. The elbows should touch your ribcage. Inhale to straighten the arms. This counts as one rep.
Push-Up and Rotate
- Begin in a plank position with your feet in line with your hips.
- Lower your body toward the floor, and then push through your arms, returning to plank.
- Twist to the left, reaching your left arm to the ceiling without letting your pelvis rise or lower.
- Return to plank position, bringing your hand back to the floor. This completes one rep.
Push-Up and Rotate
- Begin in a plank position with your feet in line with your hips and your hands each holding a dumbbell.
- Lower your body toward the floor, then push through your arms, returning to plank.
- Twist to the left, reaching your left arm, dumbbell in hand, to the ceiling without letting your pelvis raise or lower.
- Return to plank position, bringing your hand back to the floor. Do another push-up and twist to the right. This completes one rep.
- Start on your hands and knees.
- Extend your left leg behind you so it's parallel with the floor. Engage your abs.
- With your leg extended, bend your elbows lowering your torso toward the floor while keeping your left heel in line with your left hip.
- Straighten your elbows to push yourself away from the floor to complete one rep.
- Start in plank position with your hands under your shoulders and your body in one straight line.
- If your knees aren't on the floor, separate your feet so they're about shoulder-width apart to help you stay balanced throughout the exercise.
- Place your hands together, directly under your sternum, with the tips of your index fingers and thumbs touching. Your fingers and thumbs should form a diamond or triangle shape.
- Bend your elbows out to the sides, and lower your chest toward the floor. Then exhale to straighten your arms. This counts as one rep.
- Start in a traditional plank position, with your hands under your shoulders, and your body in one straight line.
- Bend your elbows out to the side to lower your torso toward the floor, and bring your left knee and touch it to your left elbow.
- As you straighten your arms, return to plank position bringing your left foot next to your right, then repeat this move on the other side. This counts as one rep.
- Start in a plank on your knees. Move your left hand out to the side, then bend both elbows lowering your torso toward the mat. Straighten your arms to return to plank.
- Switch your hands, bringing in the left hand while stepping the right hand wide — this is where you should try jump off your hands. Perform a push-up. This completes one rep.
- Begin in a plank then lower your left elbow to the ground, with your forearm crossing under your chest. From this position bend your right elbow, lowering your body to the mat.
- Straighten your right elbow to complete one rep.
- Come into a plank position with your arms and legs straight. Your hands should be underneath your shoulders and your feet hips-width distance apart.
- Keep your torso parallel to the floor, and lower your right forearm to the mat and then the left, coming into elbow plank.
- Then step your right hand back onto the mat, and then the left, pushing yourself back up to plank position. This completes one push-up walk.
- Start on the floor, resting on your forearms and knees.
- Step your feet out one at a time, coming into a plank position.
- Contract your abs to prevent your booty from sticking up or sinking. Your spine should be parallel to the floor, with your abs pulling toward the ceiling.
- Hold for 30 seconds, and work your way up to one minute as you get stronger. This counts as one rep.
Forearm Plank Hip Dips
- From an elbow plank, slowly rotate the spine to lower your left hip to just above the floor (about one to two inches from the ground). Come back to elbow plank.
- Lower the right hip toward the floor. This counts as one rep.
Elbow Plank and Reach
- Begin in an elbow plank with your feet slightly wider than your hips to create more stability.
- Reach your right arm straight out, with the thumb pointed toward the ceiling. Return back to elbow plank, and reach your left arm out. This completes one rep.
Plank With Side Step
- Start in an elbow plank.
- Extend your left leg out to the side, gently tapping your toes on the ground.
- Bring your foot back into a plank. Repeat the same movement with your right leg to complete one rep.
- Sit on your right side with your legs slightly bent and your feet stacked.
- Place your right hand about 12 inches from your pelvis.
- Push your hand into the ground, and straighten your legs as you lift your pelvis off the ground. If you have trouble balancing, stagger your feet so the top leg is in front.
- Hold for 30 seconds, and switch sides to complete one rep.
- Come into a side plank on the right side. Flex both feet and lift your left arm straight in the air.
- Keeping your spine lengthened and your abs engaged, lift your left leg up as high as you can without letting your waist sink to the ground.
- Then slowly lower your right leg back to the starting position to complete the rep.
Side Plank With Weight
- Start in a side plank on your left side, holding a dumbbell in your right hand with your right arm parallel to the floor.
- Exhale and pull your abs toward your spine to stabilize your torso as your raise your right arm to the ceiling. Do not let your hand travel behind your shoulder. Lower the weight back to the starting position to complete one rep. Squeeze your inner thighs together for added stability.
- If you feel wobbly in this position, split your legs, bringing your right foot forward.
Side Elbow Plank
- Begin by lying on your side. Bring your right elbow directly under your right shoulder. Engage your core, press your right elbow into the floor, and rise into side elbow plank.
- Stagger your feet so your left foot is just in front your right or stack the heels.
- Reach your left arm up toward the ceiling, which will help you lift your waist.
- Hold for 30 to 60 seconds to complete one rep.
Side Elbow Plank With Leg Lift
- Start in a side elbow on the right side.
- Without letting your pelvis drop, lift your left leg up so your foot is higher than your hip.
- Lower the left leg down with control, and activate your right inner thigh to help keep you stable. This completes one rep.