Are you looking for the best dumbbell exercises for your upper body? Here are some of the best upper body dumbbell exercises you can easily do at home.
Benefits Of Using Dumbbells
Using dumbbells can provide superior benefits over other equipment. Here are the top 3 benefits of using dumbbells.
Wide Variety of Movements- Due to a broader range of motion, trainees can accomplish more movements with dumbbells
Higher Neuromuscular Activation- Because dumbbells are held in one arm, a higher degree of stabilization is needed, meaning more muscle activation
Smaller Weight Range- Dumbbells can start as low as 0.5lbs. This makes them very practical for new trainees as they can start with very lightweight to strengthen their muscles.
The Top Dumbbell Exercises For Your Upper Body
Below are the best exercises you need to build bigger and stronger muscles in your chest, back, shoulders, and arms.
1) Dumbbell Chest Press
The dumbbell chest press is going to be your main horizontal pressing movement. It’s going to train your chest, shoulders, and triceps.
How To Perform The Dumbbell Chest Press
Sit on a bench and bring the dumbbells to your knees.
Hold the dumbbells to your body as you lay down
Lay down with your butt and upper back on a bench and feet in the ground
Push the dumbbells up and bring them towards the center at the top
Be sure to keep your elbows out to the side as you push
2) One-Arm Dumbbell Row
The one-arm dumbbell row is going to be your primary pulling exercise. It’s going to hit your entire back, rear deltoids, and biceps.
How To Perform The One-Arm Dumbbell Row
Choose a dumbbell and get a bench
Place one knee on the bench and one hand
The other leg should be placed to support your body
Keep your back slightly arched with shoulders level and pulled back
Pull your elbow back and up into the sky. Your arm should rub against your body
3) Dumbbell Shoulder Press
While the dumbbell chest press and row also hit the shoulders, the dumbbell shoulder focuses on strengthening these muscles. Further, the shoulder press requires you to have good shoulder mobility.
How To Perform The Dumbbell Shoulder Press
You can perform these sitting or standing
Choose a pair of dumbbells and bring them up. At the start, you can let them rest on your shoulders
Tighten your core and your butt
Bring the dumbbells out so that your forearm is vertical
Push the dumbbells up and in at the top
Let the dumbbells come down while keeping your elbows out to the side. They can go slightly forward if needed
Come down until your upper arms break parallel. There’s no need to bring your elbows down all the way.
4) Renegade Rows
Renegade rows are a fantastic exercise that consists of combing pushups and a single arm row. The trick is that you do the pushups while holding a dumbbell and come up directly into a one-arm row. Because you will basically be on a one-arm plank during the row, it’s also an intense anti-rotational core exercise.
How To Perform Renegade Rows
While holding the dumbbells, get into a pushup position
The dumbbells will be parallel with each other giving you a neutral grip
Come down into a pushup and push up
When you reach the top, use one arm to perform a row. This will put you in a single-arm plank position.
As you perform the row, keep your shoulders level. You can widen your feet to add stability if needed
5) Front To Lateral Shoulder Raise
Front to lateral raise will focus on strengthening your shoulder in multiple planes and hit your traps and upper back. Make sure to use light weights to start with as it’s going to burn. In a good way.
How To Perform Front To Lateral Shoulder Raise
Stand with a natural stance and knees slightly bent
With a prone grip (palms down) raise the dumbbells out in front of you with straight arms
Come down slow and then immediately bring the dumbbells out to your side
Keep a slight bend in the elbow when raising out to the side
Keep the elbows higher than the dumbbells
6) Dumbell Curls
Don’t forget about the biceps…however, these also serve another purpose. Having some form of elbow flexion isolation exercises is a good idea as it’sit will strengthen the tendons and ligaments of the joint prone to get inflamed.
How To Perform Dumbbell Curls
Stand with a natural stance and knees slightly bent
Start by holding the dumbbells with a neutral grip down to your side (palms facing inward)
Keeping the elbow close to the body and fixed, bring the dumbbell up
As you come up, rotate the dumbbell out so that your palms are facing up at the top
Do this in an alternating fashion with one arm at a time
7) Dumbbell Skullcrushers
Scary name but an effective isolation exercise. And, since you use dumbbells, there’s no real risk of crushing your skull. Dumbbell skull crushers are going to hit your tricep by only involving the extension of your elbow.
How To Perform Dumbbell Skullcrushers
Lay on the ground or bench
Start by holding the dumbbells straight up. You can angle the arms back a bit if you want
Use a neutral grip (palms facing in) so that the dumbbells don’t hit your face.
Keeping the elbows pointing straight up, bring the dumbbells down towards your head
The dumbbells should be on either side of your head at the bottom
Now extend your arms to bring the dumbbells back overhead.