Complete Dumbbell Workout Routine; Home or Gym

Complete Dumbbell Workout Routine Rich Far

Are you feeling a bit left out or behind the game because you don’t have a gym membership and only have a bit of equipment at home?

Well guess what?  I can help you!

In this article I give you the perfect solution with a complete dumbbell workout routineThe only equipment you require is a set of dumbbells, an adjustable bench and some additional weights. 

Now, sure…you are not able to load up for a 180 kg (397 lb) squat like you may do in the gym with the Olympic bar.  However, you can certainly work the muscles in such a way as to promote quality muscle gain.

Compound Movements: 

Just as with the barbell, it is important to focus primarily on compound movements.

These are exercises which incorporate the use of multiple joints and hence recruit more muscles adding to greater overall efficiency for gaining mass.

The workout I am providing here also incorporates some additional shaping exercises such as flyes and lateral raises.

Benefits of Using Dumbbells: 

  • Different Range of Motion than that of a barbell or machines – this means your muscles are working in a different way which enhances development.
  • Balance and Coordination Target muscles work independently to their own workload rather than as one unit (i.e. during a pressing movement for chest both pectoral muscles work independently of each other). Also, other muscles are recruited as ‘stabilizers’ for overall balance.
  • Safety – it’s easier to dump a loaded dumbbell if you get into trouble, especially when you train solo.
  • Symmetry – Due to the ‘independent’ aspect, as mentioned above, weaknesses become evident and can thus be worked on. For example, if the left bicep is not as strong and lacks some fullness or peak, you can throw in some additional work on just the required area.

Starting to get interesting, huh?


Remember to sufficiently warm up, especially on the first exercise for each muscle group.  Do at least two warm-up sets with approximately 50% then 80% of the weight you’ll use on your working sets.  Warm-ups are not pre-fatigue so only do 6 – 8 controlled reps.

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Complete Upper Body Dumbbell Workout 


Complete Dumbbell Workout Routine Flat Bench Flyes.

Flat Dumbbell Flyes

Flat Dumbbell Press 4 x 8 – 10

Incline Dumbbell Press 2 x 10 – 12

Flat Dumbbell Flyes 1 x Drop Set (3 drops)

Back & Traps

Alternating Single Dumbbell Rows 4 x 8 – 10

Bent-over Dumbbell Reverse Flyes 2 x 10 – 12

Dumbbell Shrugs 2 x 12


Seated Dumbbell Press 4 x 6 – 8

Side Lateral Raise 2 x 8 – 10



  1. Incline or Seated Dumbbell Curl 3 x 10 – 12
  2. Incline or Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extension 3 x 10 -12

Alternate Dumbbell Hammer Curl 2 x 12 – 15

Lower Body Dumbbell Workout


Dumbbell Squat 4 x 10 – 12

Dumbbell Leg Extension or Forward Lunges 3 x 12 – 15


Complete Dumbbell Workout Routine Romanian Deadlift

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

Dumbbell Romanian Dead-lift 4 x 8 – 10

Single Dumbbell Sumo Squat 2 x 8 – 10


Alternating One Legged Dumbbell Calf Raise 4 x 12



There you have it – a complete dumbbell workout routine.

You can break this up as to what suits you.

Some ideas would be:

Monday – Chest and Back

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – Shoulders and Arms

Thursday – Rest

Friday – Legs

Saturday/Sunday – Rest


Here is a very good split (my preference):

Monday – Complete Upper Body Dumbbell Workout

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – Lower Body Dumbbell Workout

Thursday – Rest

Friday – Complete Upper Body Dumbbell Workout

Saturday/Sunday – Rest

Then commence the following week with Lower Body Dumbbell Workout and continue alternating.

Dumbbell Routines and Exercises


With a workout like this, along with a good nutrition plan and adequate rest, there should be no reason not to experience good advancement in your muscle training endeavors.

You would probably want to consider some good muscle gaining supplements as well to further assist your efforts.

There are, of course, a variety of other dumbbell exercises and you should consider experimenting to see which fit with you best.

Some of these include:

  • Straight and Bent Arm Pullovers
  • Front Raises
  • Dumbbell Leg Curl
  • Triceps Kickbacks
  • Dumbbell Wrist Curl

If you liked this article please hit a Share Button below.

If you have any questions or relevant information you wish to share, then please post in the comment box below or contact me directly

Also, don’t forget to sign up for the Free Bodybuilding for Mass Newsletter.

Train Hard, Train Well, Train Safe.


Blessings Be –







– Rich Far

Founder of Bodybuilding for Mass



Thank you for reading:

Complete Dumbbell Workout Routine; Home or Gym 


Comments (8)

  1. Rob

    When I use to body build in the military dumb bells were an essential aspect of all of my routines. They’re mobile, adaptable and can easily be replaced with any heavy object should you not have access to them at the time.

    Any good all around routine requires these essential tools and you’ve done a great job in pointing out how they can be an asset.


    1. Rich Far

      Hey Rob,

      Thanks for visiting my site and taking the time to leave a comment.

      Dumbbells surely are the most versatile workout equipment – along with body weight exercises. I love how manageable they are for packing up to take with you if needed. no excuses not to workout :-)

      Wishing you Health & Happiness,

      – Rich

  2. Hilda

    Great article Rich. The explanations are really easy to follow. Do those routines work the same for women and men? I have used small dumbbells before but just to reduce the flab in my arms. I like the idea of resting each other day because doing that routine every day could be too much for me! I will try the incline dumbbell cur. Thanks for all the useful tips! Blessings!

    1. Rich Far

      Hi Hilda,

      Thank you for commenting.

      Yes, this workout is usable be males and females and will certainly reduce any arm flab :-)

      Incline dumbbell curls are awesome as they isolate the bicep very well and utilize the ‘stretch’ position of the muscle. Keep good form on these, as with all the exercises, and use a weight you can correctly curl without swinging your arm or heaving your body.

      Let me know how you go with it Hilda and if you have any further questions I am happy to help.

      Best Wishes,

      – Rich

  3. Joaquin

    Thanks for this post! I’ve always liked free weights for effectiveness and convenience (much less likely to have a machine at home). I appreciate the free workouts using th dumbbells too! Also like this layout — white is always the sleekest background in my opinion :)

    1. Rich Far

      Hi Joaquin,

      Thank you for visiting my site and posting a comment.
      I appreciate the positive feedback :-)

      Free weights should definitely be the staple of all lifting routines. I do believe also in implementing machines, though they should never be the stand alone feature of a workout. Where as free weights certainly can be.

      wishing you Health and Happiness,

      – Rich

  4. Deidre Salcido

    YAY! Finally, something simple and easy to do. I don’t have the dumbbells yet but Dad wants to give some to me. I think I can actually do these. I like the part where you mentioned I could drop the dumbbells if I got into trouble. LOL! I don’t have the FLABBY ARM SYNDROME yet but would these exercises eliminate that mess? Good Blog and I will definitely be back!

    1. Rich Far

      Hi Deidre,

      Thank you for visiting my site and I appreciate the positive feedback on this article.
      Hey, it’s great your Dad is looking after his girl :-) Maybe you can do this workout together – great encouragement and good for those times of ‘trouble’.

      Let me know how you go with this workout Deidre and YES – this workout will definitely prevent the FLABBY ARM SYNDROME, quite the opposite, your arms will become terrifically toned as will the rest of you :-)

      You might find this article useful as well: Click Here

      Wishing you Health and Happiness –

      – Rich


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