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May 25, 2021 10:46 am

Dumbbell Workout At-Home For Women (Simple and Effective)

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A dumbbell workout at home is a good thing to have during these challenging times. There will be days when you will not be able to get to the gym, or just prefer a simple workout at home. With dumbbells you can achieve a great workout to tone your muscles and stay in top shape.

Many people think that a great workout requires a gym membership. But this is simply not the case, as many workouts at home are just as effective as anything in the gym. It's all about proper focus and putting in the effort. 

So let's explore a terrific beginner workout with dumbbells at home for women, and all you need is a small space in hour home and a few sets of dumbbells.

The Dumbbells You Need

For an effective home workout, it is best to have two sets of dumbbells. You can get by with one set, but it's more effective to have two sets: one for small muscles and one for large muscles. Additionally, if you're doing multiple sets (which is recommended to tone your muscles), then you will often start with the heavy dumbbells and move to the lighter dumbbells as your muscles fatigue.

Small Muscles:

  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Shoulders

Large Muscles:

  • Chest
  • Back
  • Legs

The exact dumbbells that you need depend on your fitness level and your strength. Here are some suggestions that are a good general guide:

Beginner:

  • Set of 5 lbs dumbbells
  • Set of 10 lbs dumbbells

Intermediate:

  • Set of 10 lbs dumbbells
  • Set of 15 lbs dumbbells

Advanced:

  • Set of 10 lbs dumbbells
  • Set of 20 lbs dumbbells

You can purchase your dumbbells at your local Walmart, or you can purchase online. Either way, you might consider a trip to Walmart or test at your local gym and actually lift and feel the dumbbells so you can get a feel for the two sets of dumbbells that work best for you. You can perform some bicep curls or shoulder side raises (both are below), and get a feel for the heavy or light dumbbells that are the best fit for you based on your fitness journey.

Once you have your dumbbells, you're off to the races! You might also consider a workout mat to place your dumbbells while not in use. Although this is not mandatory, it's nice to have and a workout mat can also be used when doing abs and other floor exercises.

Women's Dumbbell Workout: Strengthen Your Upper Body From Home

With any workout, whether in the gym or at home, it's important to work all muscle groups to ensure a balanced approach. You would not want to have good tone in your arms, and poor tone in your abs. So an overall balanced approach working all muscle groups is always the best way to approach any workout.

And many people think but you need to spend hours in the gym five days a week to achieve a toned and fit look. But this is not the case, and working each muscle group one or two times a week is plenty to get lean and toned.


Shoulder Workout

A simple shoulder workout to work the deltoid muscle (shoulder muscle) can be performed with dumbbells.

Shoulder Press

dumbbell shoulder presses
  1. From a standing position, take your heavy set of dumbbells and position them just above your shoulders with your palms forward.
  2. Push the dumbbell straight up until your arms are fully extended above you, and your palms continue facing forward.
  3. Return to the start position.
  4. Perform 2-3 sets, each set until your muscles are nearly fatigued.

Shoulder Side Raises

dumbbell shoulder side raises
  1. Start from a standing position with your light set of dumbbells at your side and your palms facing each other.
  2. In a slow and controlled manner, lift the dumbbells straight out to your side until your arms are parallel to the ground.
  3. Return to the start position.
  4. Perform 2-3 sets, each set until your muscles are fatigued.

Shoulder Front Raises

dumbbell shoulder front raises
  1. Start from a standing position with your light set of dumbbells at your side and your palms facing backwards.
  2. Keeping your arms straight, lift the dumbbells straight in front of you until your arms are parallel to the ground and your palms continue facing down.
  3. Return to the start position.
  4. Perform 2-3 sets, each set until your muscles are fatigued.

Bicep Workout

This simple bicep workout is all you need to tone and harden your biceps.

Bicep Curls

dumbbell bicep curls
  1. From a standing position and your heavy dumbbells at your side, palms facing each other.
  2. With your elbow staying in the same position, curl your arm lifting the dumbbell to the up position.
  3. As you lift the dumbbell, rotate your forearm so that your palms face upward.
  4. You can do both arms simultaneously, or one at a time.
  5. Return to the down position.
  6. Perform 1-2 sets with your heavy dumbbells, and as your biceps fatigue then perform 1-2 sets with your light dumbbells.

You can also perform an alternative bicep exercise by not rotating your forearms as you perform the curls. So your palms stay facing each other throughout the movement. These are called Hammer Curls, and work the biceps at a slightly different angle.


Tricep Workout

Kickbacks

dumbbell tricep kickback
  1. Start from a standing position, with your heavy dumbbells at your side and palms facing.
  2. Bend at the waist until your upper body is parallel to the floor (you're looking straight down), and your arms are bent at a 90 degree angle and aligned with your upper and lower body. Make sure to keep your back straight and maintain solid posture.
  3. Lift and raise the dumbbells straight back until your arms are fully extended, keeping your upper arms stationary during the movement.
  4. Then return to the start position, with the dumbbells pointing down.
  5. Perform 2-3 sets.

Tricep Extensions

dumbbell tricep extension
  1. Start from a standing position, holding one heavy dumbbell on one end with your hands cupped around one end of the dumbbell.
  2. Slowly lift the dumbbell extending your arms straight up to the up position and your arms nearly straight. 
  3. Return to the start position.
  4. It is very important to keep the dumbbell away from your head as you move to the start position, and as you perform the exercise.
  5. Perform 2-3 sets.

Back Workout

Two-arm Rows

dumbbell back rows
  1. Start from a standing position, with your heavy dumbbells at your side and palms facing.
  2. Slowly bend at the waist to a near 90 degree angle so that your upper body is parallel to the floor, and your arms are hanging straight down holding the dumbbells with your palms facing.
  3. In unison, pull the dumbbells straight up until your arms are fully bent. Feel the contraction in your back.
  4. Return to the dumbbells down to the start position.
  5. Perform 2-3 sets with your heavy dumbbells.

Bent-over Side Raises

dumbbell bent over side raises
  1. Start from a standing position, with your heavy or light dumbbells at your side and palms facing.
  2. Bend at the waist to a 90 degree angle so that your upper body is parallel to the floor, and your arms are hanging straight down holding the dumbbells with your palms facing.
  3. Keeping your upper body solid, slowly lift the dumbbells straight out to your side until your arms are parallel to the floor.
  4. Hold the up position for 2 seconds, then return to the start position.
  5. Perform 2-3 sets.

This will give your upper body a good overall workout, and tone your muscles over time. Perform this workout two times a week, with several days break in between. If your muscles are very sore, then hold off another day before performing the workout again.

Adding some bodyweight exercises to your workout for your abs and legs are a great addition to your dumbbell workout at home. Our friends at A Lean Life have some great bodyweight exercises and additional home workouts.

Important Reminders for a Home Dumbbell Workout

It's important to remember these tips for your home dumbbell workouts:

  1. 1
    Do 5 minutes of light cardio to get the blood flowing and loosen your muscles. This can be jumping jacks, jogging in place, or a brisk walk around your home.
  2. 2
    Do 3-5 minutes of dynamic stretching to ensure your muscles are ready for the workout. This can be as simple as arm swings and arm rotations.
  3. 3
    Be very careful when handling the dumbbells, as a dropped dumbbell can wreak havoc on a tile floor or table.
  4. 4
    Hydration is key to any workout, so make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to feed and hydrate your muscles.
  5. 5
    A healthy, balanced diet is critical to feed your muscles and get the most out of your workout and building lean muscle.

A dumbbell workout at home is a great way to tone your muscles and achieve a balanced and fit look. Work in cardio around these home workouts, and you're on your way to being the very best version of you!

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About the author 

Tami Smith

A fitness enthusiast, Tami Smith is an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life!

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