You don’t always need to become a member of a fancy gym to ace your fitness game. Even though it is helpful to access modern equipment and a personal trainer to get into shape, not everyone has the time and money for these. Many people who do want to change their bodies can do it at home with nothing more than dumbbells. These don’t take up much space and are pretty pocket-friendly. And the best part is that a well-rounded home workout plan with dumbbells will hit all the major muscles and help build a strong body by working out only a few minutes daily. The primary purpose of a dumbbell workout plan is to enhance muscular strength. Dumbbell exercises for full-body, multiplanar movements can provide several strength-related outcomes. They also offer several benefits for cardiorespiratory flexibility and fitness.
What Are The Benefits Of An At-Home Workout Plan With Dumbbells?
Dumbbell exercises can improve inter and intramuscular coordination, leading to improved muscle activation levels (1).
Intermuscular coordination is the ability of different muscles to work in coherence and stabilize their movements. Meanwhile, intramuscular coordination refers to the amount of muscle motor units and their attached fibers that get activated within a specific muscle.
A dumbbell workout plan may help cure any strength imbalances you may have developed. As each limb moves independently, your core must brace hard to stop your body from tipping to one side. Dumbbells also benefit from the elastic and contractile elements of the muscular tissues. The contractile elements are actin-myosin muscle proteins that slide across one another to create concentric shortening actions (2).
The CDC recommends adults get at least two days of strength training per week. When you weight train with dumbbells, you work against gravity to lift weight to a certain extent.
How To Build Muscle At Home?
You can’t keep doing the same exercises every day. There comes the point when you are fed up and ready to quit your workout habits because of monotony. For example, you may initially be inspired to run a few laps every morning but gradually lose interest in getting up early due to your busy schedule.
On the other hand, creating a home workout plan to build muscles with dumbbells includes many movements. You can schedule out a 30-day workout plan that can easily squeeze into a busy life and be consistent. Eventually, you will notice improved strength and flexibility across your body.
Push-Ups: 3 – 6 sets of 8 -12 reps
Push-ups have stood the test of time. Despite all the advanced equipment we have today, push-ups have a unique importance in different exercise routines. They can help to grow the strength in chest and triceps, along with giving a much-needed movement to core muscles, shoulders, lower back, and lower body.
To do a push-up, you have to:
- Lie with your face towards the ground and place your hands on the floor, keeping them slightly wider than the shoulders
- Push upwards to lift your torso, shoulders, and legs with elbows in, until your arms are extended
- Ensure that your hands and toes are touching the floor
- Slowly lower your body until the chest touches the floor
Burpee: 6 each minute for 15 minutes
Burpee is the ultimate exercise to prepare your core, arms, legs, back, and glutes for a full-body cardio workout. To do a burpee, you have to:
- Lower yourself from a standing position to make a squat
- Place both hands on the floor, keeping them wider than your shoulders
- Jump your feet into a plank position
- Do a push-up and get back into the plank position
- Draw your legs back into a squat
- Now jump upwards with hands kept over your head
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Inchworm: 3 sets of 4 – 6 reps
This exercise is as fun and quirky as its name. It is a crawly movement that makes you feel like a kid again while working on building your shoulders, triceps, chest, glutes, and quads.
To do an inchworm move, you have to:
- Stand with your knees bent slightly
- Bend at the hips and reach down to touch your toes
- Put your hands on the floor, then crawl them away from your torso until you go into the plank position
- Take insect-sized steps in the forward direction until your feet contact your hands
Lunge: 3 sets of 15 reps on each side
There are plenty of lunge variations that could help in strength training. For starters, you can go for the classic lunge to help build your glutes and quads. It also builds your hamstrings.
To do the lunge, you have to:
- Stand upright and take one step forward with one leg
- Lower your body towards the floor so the upper thigh is parallel to the floor and the back knee is touching the floor
- Raise by putting pressure on the front leg’s heel
- Repeat by taking a big step with the opposite leg
Squats: 4 – 5 sets of 6 – 12 reps
Squats are a popular exercise in a weight-lifting regime. This has created a common misperception that they are only done with weights. However, squatting without weights can also give you solid muscular strength if you do it with proper form.
To do the squats, you have to:
- Stand with feet kept wider than the shoulder width
- Extend your arms straight with the palms facing downwards
- Inhale and push your hips a little backward as you bend your knees
- Look ahead with your back straight and chin kept high
- Squat as low as you can, aiming to keep your hips below your knees
- Let your core push upwards from your heels
How To Make A Workout Plan With Dumbbells?
If you have done the basic exercises and are looking to upgrade your routine, you should use dumbbells to make them more exciting. The only way to advance in this routine is to follow a progressive training plan that will challenge your body in new ways.
Research reveals that the results will remain the same whether you do the entire workout in a single day or split the exercise into various muscle groups. Below, we have outlined a workout plan for beginners at home with dumbbells.
This is a recommended 30-day workout plan at home with dumbbells which can be tweaked according to the time and energy levels of the practitioners.
Have a look!
- Stand with the dumbbell in each hand and your elbows resting at your sides. Your forearms should extend out in front of your body, and your knees should remain slightly bent while your belly button draws towards the spine.
- Bring dumbbells all the way up towards your shoulders by bending your elbows. Once it is at the top, hold on for a second by squeezing the muscles.
- Reverse the curl and repeat.
Bent Over Row
- Stand with your legs kept at a shoulder-width distance and knees kept slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand while keeping hands at a shoulder-wide distance. Your palms should face each other and bend over at a 45-degree angle. Then, take a deep breath in.
- Pull the dumbbells upwards, towards the side of your chest or besides the lower portion of your ribcage when you exhale. Lift till the point allowed by your motion range. Keep your wrists moving as you lift the dumbbells.
- Lower the weights gradually until you are in the same position you started. Stay bent until all repetitions are complete.
- Start by keeping your arms by your sides while holding the dumbbells.
- Exhale as you extend your arms sideways about as high as your shoulders. Ensure that the trapezius muscles (muscles of the upper back and neck) are not hunched towards your ears. Relax these muscles.
- Lower the arms back to the starting position (at your sides). Then, repeat this 10 times.
It would help if you had plenty of space on either side of your body for side lunges. As part of your at-home workout plan with dumbbells, you should add more weights to this exercise.
- Start in a standing position with your feet kept at hip-width apart. Place your hands in front of your chest. Then, take a wide step with your left leg on one side
- Both your toes should be pointed in the same direction, and your feet should be flat on the floor. Bend your left knee as you step outside while keeping your hips back. Now, release the position by pushing your left foot to return to the starting position
- Perform one set of side lunges towards your left leg, then switch on the right leg. Then, repeat for more sets.
Single Leg Deadlift
- Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and parallel. Hold dumbbells with hands kept down in front of you.
- Lean forward in your hips and shift your weight on one leg while the other leg is engaged and starts to extend behind you.
- Lift your extended leg and pitch your body forward until your body is in a “T” position. Keep your arms hanging straight down while holding your weight. There should be a slight bend in your legs. Slowly bring your extended leg and return to the standing position.
- Repeat with the other leg.
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Standing Side Crunch
- Stand with your feet kept at hip-width apart, then bend to one side without twisting your body.
- Squeeze your abs and oblique muscle as you go into the bending position
- Perform 2 – 3 sets of 10 – 15 reps and then switch the sides
Standing Diagonal Cross
- Hold one dumbbell with both hands and reach your arms upwards towards the left upper corner of the room. Now step your right foot out towards the right side.
- Then, pull the dumbbell down towards the right knee as you bring the right knee diagonally across the body to bring weight to the center.
- Touch your hands to the right knee and place the right foot back downwards. Then, bring your arms back to the left side.
- Repeat this 10 times and then switch the side.
The Bottom Line
If you have a pre-existing health condition, you should consult a physician before beginning the home workout plan with dumbbells. A well-articulated 30-day workout plan at home with dumbbells will enable you to get optimal results within a month. To build body strength and see constant progress, you should conduct warm-ups, rest properly, and consume the proper nutrition.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Using Machines or Free Weights for Resistance Training in Novice Males? A Randomized Parallel Trial (2020, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Actin, Myosin, and Cell Movement (n.d., ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- How can strength training build healthier bodies as we age? (2022, nia.nih.gov)