Health & Wellness

13 Adjustable Dumbbell Workouts [For Upper and Lower Body]

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As we’ve all learned, there are a lot of challenges that come with quarantine. And one of them is working out. But exercise doesn’t need to go by the wayside even though we have the fantastic excuse of the gym being closed.

Now is actually a great time to either start a routine or, if you’re a workout junkie like I am, explore a new approach to strength training.  And one of the easiest ways to stay in shape is with dumbbells.

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a pair of adjustable dumbbells just before we went on lockdown. With just a few quick adjustments, I can take them from 6 pounds up 25, which is all I need for a complete body workout. But adjustable dumbbells come in a variety of ranges to suit your specific needs.

Next, I went online to get some pro tips. Obviously, workout gurus abound in cyberspace.

There are routines that cover the gamut from beginner to full-on bodybuilder and everything in between. And it’s definitely worth surfing around to find someone you vibe with.

Today I’m going to share some basic exercise videos that will cover off your upper and lower body. Obviously, with the right dumbbells, you can adjust the weight to your specific needs for any exercise.

So ladies, don’t be afraid to take tips from a big, burly guy. You’re not going to end up looking like him! And fellas, just because a girl is doing an exercise doesn’t mean it can’t work for you too. Up the weight, if you need to and man up.

Alright, team, that’s the lowdown.

Now let’s get to some videos that will hopefully inspire you to get off the couch and earn those extra calories you’re scarfing. Here are 13 Adjustable Dumbbell Workouts.


I love this routine for sculpting your biceps. With just 5 simple exercises, you’ll cover all parts of the muscle. The trainer has excellent form and tips such as controlling the weight on the ascent as well as the descent for each exercise.

Now watch as he takes you through: the alternating curl, dumbbell drag curl, hammer curl, zottman curl and the concentration curl.


Nobody likes to have flabby underarms when they’re sporting a tank top, which is why it’s so important to work the tricep as well as the bicep. And it’s actually pretty simple.

First up, we have a video of a (yes) big, buff guy to take you through 5 exercises that will definitely keep your tris from flapping in the breeze. Don’t let him intimidate you, ladies. Adjust your weight and get to work.

If Mr. Big Buff guys is too much for you to handle, check out the second animated guide that includes 7 tricep exercises.

With that, you’ll have everything you need to blast your tris.


Guys generally love to work their chests. But girls, you should be working yours too. It keeps the whole area perky and also helps you avoid inner arm flab. That’s why first up we have a video from a lady this time—just 7 exercises to work all parts of the chest.

Next, we have a 5-minute super intense chest workout from Scott Herman’s fitness. I love the variety and the fact that workout is so fast but effective.

And because I know how much guys are into chest workouts, there’s one more video from bodybuilder Damien Patrick. He has fantastic form and an undeniably great chest.

And remember fitness divas, there’s still a lot you can take from the men’s videos. Don’t skip out on them! I learned a lot from Damien Patrick.


Strong backs are sexy. Sometimes we forget that because we don’t often see our own. Nevertheless, this is an area you don’t want to skip. I’ve included three videos in this section.

First up is Jeff from Athlean-X. This guy is super pro and has tips covering all your fitness goals for this area.

More of a beginner? Bowflex will get you started with just three simple dumbbell exercises to start strengthening your back.

Or if you prefer something a little more by the book, check out the last simple animated guide that includes 9 exercises to get you rolling.

Related: The Best Back Exercises [Baby Got Back]

Lower Body

Women tend to work the lower body more than men do. Buy guys, the gorilla chest with the chicken legs is not a good look. So don’t ignore this important part of your routine!

I am now obsessed with this lower body video from It includes 35 exercises you can do for the lower body with just dumbbells. I love these guys! No hype. No unnecessary chatter.

Just 35 exercises to blast your body from the core down. It’s literally everything you need. Check it out!

Full Upper Body DB Routine: Women

Okay, so maybe you’re looking for a routine that can quickly cover off the entire upper body in just 10 minutes.

Meet Kelli from FitnessBlender. I love her no-nonsense approach. Check out her routine of compound moves that are both quick and effective.

Full Lower Body DB Routine: Women

If you liked Kelli’s routine for the upper body, check out this one for the lower body. It’s a 10-minute routine to blast your legs and glutes.

Full Body DB Routine: Men

Okay guys, we know that sometimes you like it quick and dirty too. That’s why I’ve included this routine from fitness fanatic Chris Haria. All you need to work the entire body is a set of dumbbells and these 8 compound moves.

Why are compound moves so effective? You work more muscle groups, burn more fat and build more muscle. Obviously, it’s working for Chris because this guy is ripped.

Ladies, don’t miss out on this video. There’s lots to learn. And it comes with a great view.

Check this dude out!

The Beginning

Well fitness buffs and would-be fitness buffs, I hope you found these routines inspiring. I know I did!

Remember to warm up and stretch out afterward. And always adjust the weight to your needs. It’s best to start light and work your way up than to burn yourself out too quickly.

Now all you have to do is turn off Netflix and unglue yourself from the couch. It’ll be worth it! And you can enjoy that popcorn and a movie guilt-free a little later.

Here’s to having a great summer body when we all get out of quarantine!

You might also be interested in: The 40 Best Bodyweight Exercises [For All Fitness Levels]

Sherry De Alba

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