Dumbbell Workouts | The Best Upper Body Dumbbell Fitness

Dumbbell Training and the Best Upper Body Free Weight Workouts

Dumbbell Training and the Best Upper Body Free Weight Workouts

The benefits of dumbbell workouts are numerous. They can be done anywhere and require little to no equipment, well apart from the dumbbells and a decent bench that is.

They can be tailored to your approach by selecting the appropriate weight they can be low-impact, not putting undue pressure on your joints or they can be ramped up to give a better exercise.

They can be used to work out almost every muscle in your body and are particularly great at improving your entire upper body strength with improved chest muscles growth, shoulder muscles improvements and even lower body muscles at any intensity level.

The other benefit of free weight and dumbbell exercises is that they require you to balance the weights, which means that the supporting muscles will also get a decent workout, increasing your calorific burn rate whilst improving overall muscles generation.

So lets get straight to it with these great upper body dumbbell exercises to dramatically increase your upper body strength.

Here is our list of the best Free Weight Dumbbell workouts for the upper body, upper arm and chest exercises

Bicep Curl and Shoulder Press

Bicep Curl and Shoulder Press

The beauty of this workout is that it hits so many upper-body muscles at once. If you're looking to save time, this is a great exercise to add to your routine. we are going to combine two classic movements here, the Bicep Curl and the Shoulder Press.

The benefits of combining exercises like this, is that it works a bigger range of muscles, in this workout your going to complete a bicep curl and then transition into a shoulder press by rotating your wrists 180 degrees and pushing the weights towards the sky.

This will target your wrist muscles, your upper back, your triceps and biceps and your deltoids, so will give you a good overall upper body workout.


How to do a Bicep Curl to a Shoulder Press?

For the bicep curl into shoulder press move, you will need a set of dumbbells. Start by standing upright with feet hip-width distance apart and abs tight. Next, keeping your elbows tucked tight to your side, curl the dumbbell up towards yours chest.

From here, rotate your arms and push the dumbbells up and towards the ceiling, lower you arms slowly back down into the curl position, lowering your arms until they are straight and ready to begin the rep again.

Aim to complete a good 10-15 reps of this exercise. Rest and repeat 3 times or do a drop-set

You can use a beach for this if you find it easier, don't use a flat bench instead used one with a back

Top tips with the Bicep Curl to a Shoulder Press?

Chances are your going to be able to curl more weight than you can shoulder press, so start on a lighter weight until you get the gist of it, and just undertake a higher rep count if you can manage it. 


Dumbbell Bent Over Row

Dumbbell Bent Over Row

The Bent Over Row normally involves using the barbell, but it is more than possible to undertake this great workout using a set of dumbbells instead.

This great and targeted exercise, puts a strong focus onto the Shoulders, Triceps, Biceps, Abs and the middle Back. This exercise helps to increase core strength as well as improve your shoulder and middle back strength which can improve posture helping to lower the risk of injuries.

How to do a Dumbbell Bent Over Row?

Bent over row infographic

Place one hand on a bench or step, and the same side knee on the bench. Keep your back in a straight position, pull the dumbbell in towards your abs and lower the dumbbell back down in a controlled manner.

Aim to complete a good 8-10 reps of this exercise. Rest and repeat 3 times or do a drop-set

Top tips with the Dumbbell Bent Over Row?

To get the very best from this exercise, try and keep your arms close to your side as you lift, and try and squeeze your back muscles as you lift and at the very top of the movement.


Front Dumbbell Raises 

Front Dumbbell raise exercise

The front dumbbell raise is a great exercise for targeting your shoulder muscles, putting a large focus on your anterior deltoid muscle. It will also bring additional works outs to your, upper back, your core and is a great forearm trainer.

How to do a Front Dumbbell Raises?

Infographic on how to do a front arm raise with a dumbbell

Front Straight arm raises are fairly simple to learn to complete. Let's see how you complete them.

1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand.
2. Keeping your core tight and your chest up, with your arms straight, and a dumbbell in each hand resting by your front waist, slowly raise each dumbbell up in front of your whilst keeping your arms straight.
3. Hold for a second and slowly lower the dumbbells back down and in front of your waist. Keep the movement controlled throughout.

Aim to complete a good 10 reps of this exercise. Rest and repeat 3 times or do a drop-set

Top tips with the Front Raise?

Infographic explaining the correct way to do a front dumbbell lift

Slow down the movements the slower the better and more conditioned the workout will be especially on the way back down, don't be afraid to start at a lower weight as your arm length will multiple the weights force on your shoulders, also don't lift over 90 degrees instead stay at the 90 degree position for a few seconds before lowering.


Standing Triceps Extension 

Standing Triceps Extension

This simple exercise does a lot more than it looks its a great way to concentrate your training on your triceps, whilst the shoulder rotations will help build your shoulder strength.

It also has the added benefits of improving your core strength as you will be tensing a lot in your lower body and abs to control the weight. 

How to do an Overhead Tricep Extension?

Infographic on how to do a overhead tricep extension

This one is quite simple to undertake, holding a dumbbell in both hands above your head, lower the dumbbell weight slowly down as low as you can comfortably go.

Keep your elbows facing forward, and raise the weight whilst squeezing through the triceps to return to the starting position.

Aim to complete a good 10 reps of this exercise. Rest and repeat 3 times or do a drop-set

This is a great workout to strengthen them without buying expensive triceps training equipment

Top tips with the Dumbbell Tricep Extension?

Its all in the squeeze, try and squeeze your trapezius muscle in your upper back as you undertake this exercise, another way to dramatically improve the potency of the workout is by slowing it down, the slower the more toning and conditioning the workout will be

Straight Arm Raises

The lateral raise is a great exercise for targeting your shoulder muscle, it goes one step further though and be used to improve your traps or trapezius muscles, upper back, arms and also work your core.

How to do a Lat Arm Raises?

infographic on lateral raise gym workout

Lat raises are fairly simple to learn to complete, but they can bring a big range of benefits. Let see how you complete them.

1. Grab a dumbbell in each hand.
2. Keeping your core tight and your chest up, slowly raise each dumbbell up, keeping your arms straight so they are level with you shoulders.
3. Hold for a second and slowly lower the dumbbells back down beside your hips. Keep the movement controlled throughout.

Aim to complete a good 10 reps of this exercise. Rest and repeat 3 times or do a drop-set

Top tips with the Lateral Raises?

This one is all about speed and conditioning, try not to throw the weight up quickly but keep a controlled movement up and down, this is crucial to a good workout, unfortunately this is an exercise where physics really is again you, your arm length is going to multiple the force required by your shoulders.

Don't be afraid to go down to a lot lower weight, the key is controlled movements.

The Dumbbell Snatch

The dumbbell snatch

This exercise is a great way to work your whole body while also improving your power and coordination, it also improves your shoulder blades strength, upper arms strength and upper chest strength.

Snatches involve quick movements, that engage your core to improve your balance and require a lot of other muscles to keep the movements controlled, they are a great way for increasing overall strength.

Traditionally snatches are done with barbells, or Olympic bars, but you can easily do a one or two handed dumbbell snatch, we will teach you the one handed approach here.


How to do a Dumbbell Snatch?

With your legs slightly apart in the crouched down, squat like position, place a dumbbell on the ground just in-between your legs, grab the dumbbell and drive upwards powerfully towards the ceiling using your legs and thrusting your hips forward whilst trying to maintain a controlled movement.

This movement should give you the power you need to raise the dumbbell over your head and hold it in place. Keeping the dumbbell close to your body as you complete the moment will bring the you best results, slowly return back to the starting position and lower the weight back to the ground between your legs, before starting another repetition.

Aim to complete a good 8-10 reps per side of this exercise. Rest and repeat 3

Top tips with the One Handed Dumbbell Snatch?

Start of with a lower weight than you might be used too and try and keep a good form throughout the exercise, your going to be using a lot of other muscles to control the movements, so make sure you are warmed up well.

Snatches like any quick weight actions can be prone to pulling a muscle, make sure to keep good posture and form and be warmed up before hand.




Upper body dumbbell workouts are a great way to achieve upper body exercise. They can be done anywhere and require only a basic setup, they are low-impact and don't put excessive pressure on your joints, they can be used to work out every muscle in your body and they can be done at any intensity level.

By following these upper body exercises, you can achieve a very complete upper body workout by using dumbbells alone.


Looking for some weight to use with your upper body dumbbell workout? Why not check out our Amazing Range of Home Gym Weights

Our Amazing Range of Gym Weights

If you have aspirations to building a toned or getting an elusive six-pack, strength training will be the key component to making it happen.

However, even if it's not your objective to maximize muscle size, strength training might still be the best way to meet your health goals. 

Why's that? Building muscle is a great way to burn more calories at rest. And when your muscles are bigger and stronger, they'll also help you perform better everyday activities and have more energy.

Weight Training is perfect for building these muscles and a healthier and more toned body, The best way to achieve this is to utilise a vast range of Strength Training Equipment we have available at the Home Fitness Store

If however your looking to use Free-Weights to train which often give you the best all round workout, Have a look at our vast collection available below.


Dumbbells - The must have Weight for any Gym.

Dumbbells are the swiss army knife of the gym, their balanced design gives great flexibility in their use allowing you to undertake a range of exercises.

They work greatly with the assistance of a gym bench so be sure to check out our selection of benches as well.

Buying your set of Dumbbells can seem expensive at first, but its the one bit of equipment your going to use every session and a good set of Dumbbells will last a lifetime.

Dumbbell Weights give the following benefits

  • Versatile Range of Exercise's
  • Balanced in the Hand
  • Great for Chest, Arms, Legs, Core
  • Builds Lower, Upper & Core Strength
  • Improves Grip Strength
  • Exercises include Lunges, Flys, Chest Press, Arm Curls, Hammer Curls, Skull-Crushers, Shoulder Press, Wrist Curl, Shrugs, Calf Raise

Our Range of Gym Dumbbells for sale at the Home Fitness Store 

Kettlebells - Train for Rapid and Specialized movements.

Kettlebells are a great addition to any gym, they can be used for rapid movements like Snatches or used to add weight to exercises like Shrugs.

They are great for exercises involving two hands on one weight such as through the leg exercises. 

Kettlebells give the following benefits

  • Great for Rapid Movements
  • Can be used for Incline Press-ups
  • Builds Grip and Wrist Strength
  • Good for two Hand one Weight setups
  • Exercises include Lunges, Hammer Curls, Skull-Crushers, Wrist Curl, Shrugs, Incline Press-ups, Squats, Calf Raise

 Our range of Gym Kettlebells for sale at the home fitness corp


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