The Best Full Body Dumbbell Workout for Beginners

dumbbell bicep curl

When you’re working out from home, it’s all about working with what you’ve got. Luckily, you don’t need all the fancy cable equipment from the gym to get your whole body burning from your own home – all you need are a couple of dumbbells.

Ah yes, the humble dumbbell. Simple, beautiful, and arguably one of the most versatile and underrated pieces of equipment out there. They’re adjustable for weight and easy to use, meaning there are tons of dumbbell exercises for beginners out there. Not to mention they take up almost no space, making them amazing for at-home workouts.

So, grab those weights, put on your favorite workout clothes, and follow along with this easy full-body dumbbell workout you can do right in your living room.  

The Workout: 

Perform 12 reps of each exercise below in the order listed. The dumbbells you choose should be heavy enough so that the last few reps are hard, but not so heavy that you can’t do 12 reps with good form. 

Do the circuit 3 times for one express body-sculpting workout!

Standing Dumbbell Curl

This classic exercise is one of the most simple to perform, and really gets your biceps working hard! You can do this exercise sitting or standing up, one arm, or both arms at a time, making it a go-to at any fitness level. Be sure to experiment with weights, as it’s always better to start with less until you perfect your form to avoid injury.

dumbbell bicep curl

How it’s done:

  • Hold one dumbbell in each hand with your hands by your side
  • Keep your upper body still, and your shoulders in place
  • Curl one dumbbell up to your shoulder while engaging your bicep, extend your arm, then repeat on the other side
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Dumbbell Front Squat

The front squat is a tried-and-true compound exercise that gets your entire body sweating, with a heavy focus on your legs, core, and back. The dumbbell squat adds a twist, by incorporating a weight in the front. Holding the dumbbell not only makes this move more difficult and helps tone up those glutes, but it also helps your shoulders stay open and doesn’t put as much pressure on your back as a traditional barbell squat.

front squat

How it’s done:

  • Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell with both hands in front of your chest
  • Squat as low as you can, while keeping the dumbbell in line with your feet
  • Push through your heels to stand back up
Shoulder Press

Just like the dumbbell curl, this one’s got a few variations. If you’re just starting out, try this one sitting down to give your back a little extra support. But if you’re confident in those shoulders and ready to move up a level, stand up to feel the burn all throughout your core.

shoulder press

How it’s done:

  • You can either sit or stand with your feet hip-width apart
  • Hold one dumbbell in each hand next to your ears with your arms bent at 90 degrees
  • Press the weights up over your head and return slowly
Dumbbell Reverse Lunge

Not sweaty enough yet? We didn’t think so. This move is dynamic, so it really gets your blood flowing while also toning up your legs and core. For this exercise, you’ll need to pay attention to your form because it requires balance. 

dumbbell lunge

How it’s done:

  • Stand holding one dumbbell in each hand
  • Step your right leg backward and bend your knees to lower your body
  • Push through your left heel, drawing the right foot back in line with it to return to standing
  • Repeat on your other leg

Whether you’re a fitness fanatic or a weight-lifting novice, you can do this dumbbell workout routine. Try all of these moves in a circuit to get your heart pumpin’, body sweatin’, and muscles workin’, without even leaving your home.

Want more dumbbell exercise ideas? With a 7-Day Free Trial at Studio SWEAT onDemand, you’ll not only get access to tons of dumbbell workouts like all these, you’ll also get onDemand fitness classes like TRX, Pilates, HIIT, and Spin. So what are you waiting for? Grab those dumbbells and let’s get to work!