Get ready to grimace, but don’t forget to breathe, for an intense workout with dumbbells. Dumbbells are an excellent choice for weightlifting and will help to get you toned and strong. The intensity of your dumbbell workout depends on the type of workout you choose, the weight you use and the number of reps and sets completed. When performing intense dumbbell workouts, choose a weight that you can use to perform at least 10 reps of each exercise. You want to be able to complete all your reps, but that last rep should be tough to finish.
Dumbbell Front Squat
The dumbbell front squat is an intense exercise because it requires you to use your core muscles in order to stabilize your body. Hold your dumbbells in front of your chest with both hands. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and squat until your elbows hit the top of your knees. Slowly ease your body up and repeat for a total of 10 squats.
Dumbbell Forward Lunge
The dumbbell forward lunge requires power in order to push your body back to the starting position. Adding in more dumbbell weight will make your push back more difficult and increase your heart rate, which also increases the intensity of the lunge. To perform the lunge, stand with a dumbbell in each hand and hold them at each side of your body. Push your right leg forward and perform a lunge. Push back from the lunge into your starting position. Repeat on left side. Perform 10 lunges for each leg.
Dumbbell Stiff-Legged Deadlifts
Dumbbell stiff-legged deadlifts engage the hamstring muscles, the lower back and the glutes. To perform stiff-legged deadlifts, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your knees are bent slightly and the dumbbells are on the floor in front of you. Keeping your back straight, lower your torso and bend at your hips. With an overhand grip, grasp a dumbbell in each hand. Extend your hips to lift the dumbbells and keep your legs and back straight. As you are lifting, position the dumbbells to the front of your body and continue the lifting movement until you are standing vertical. Lower the dumbbells to the top of your feet by bending at the hips, keeping your back and legs straight. Continue these movements until the dumbbells are at the floor. Repeat for a total of 10 reps.
Dumbbell Bent Over Row
You’ll be feeling your arm muscles burn with this exercise. The dumbbell bent-over row is best performed with the support of a bench. Kneel over the side of the bench by placing your knee and the hand of your supporting arm on the bench. Position the foot of the opposite leg slightly back to the side for additional stability. Grasp the dumbbell from the floor with your free arm. Pull the dumbbell up to the side until it makes contact with your ribs or until the upper portion of your arm is just beyond horizontal. Return your arm back toward the floor until it is extended and the shoulder is feeling stretched. Repeat for 10 reps and then switch arms for a complete workout.
Side Raise with Dumbbells
Stand with your feet hip-width apart for the side raise with dumbbells. Bend your knees slightly. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and let your arms hang by your sides with your palms facing inward. Bend your elbows slightly as you raise your arms out to the sides until the dumbbells are level with your shoulders and your palms face the ground. Lower your arms and repeat for a total of 10 reps.
Danielle Clark has been a writer since 2009, specializing in environmental and health and fitness topics. She has contributed to magazines and several online publications. Clark holds a Bachelor of Science in ecology and environmental science.