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Exercise 101 : dumbbell exercises

Exercise 101 : dumbbell exercises

Many people avoid using dumbbells, but there’s no need to be afraid of using free weights. Teach yourself the basics, build up strength gradually, and you will do wonders for your muscle tone and exercise confidence.


Convenient size. Dumbbells are usually pretty small, meaning you can train from anywhere: at home, a gym, hotel, on holiday, as long as you have enough space to move you can fit a workout into a busy schedule.

Flexible workouts. Dumbbells provide a large range of exercises. Plus, all the variations you can do mean that the number of exercises you can do are huge. This includes ones you can’t do with barbells such as single-arm exercises.

Combine with plyometrics. Unlike many machines, dumbbells lend themselves well to explosive exercise (plyometrics), which is a highly effective way of exercising.

Good value. Because of their relatively low cost, most gyms have a good set of dumbbells. Or, if you prefer to start at home you can buy a decent set of adjustable dumbbells for under £50.


Lateral Raises

Create the impression of wider shoulders and slimmer hips.

  • Hold dumbbells in front of your thighs with palms facing each other and elbows slightly bent. Slightly bend over with knees and hips slightly bent.
  • Raise upper arms to your sides until parallel to the floor.
  • Lower and repeat.
  • See the movement performed here:


Biceps Curls 

To make you look the business in sleeveless tops. 

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand and hang your arms loosely by your sides, palms facing forward.
  • Stand tall, tuck your stomach in, and keep your knees slightly bent.
  • Curl your forearms upwards until the dumbbells nearly touch your shoulders.
  • Lower back down and repeat.
  • See the movement performed here:


Triceps Kickbacks

A great choice for developing and defining the triceps.

  • Stand to the right of a bench holding a dumbbell in your right hand with an overhand grip.
  • Put your left lower leg and left hand on the bench.
  • Raise your right arm until your elbow is in line with your body and close to your waist.
  • Keeping your upper arm steady, straighten your right forearm out behind you until the whole arm is parallel to the floor and one end of the dumbbell is pointing to the floor.
  • Hold for a second, then slowly bend your arm back towards you.
  • Repeat 10 - 20 times, then switch sides.
  • See the movement performed here:
the author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for Hussle. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.