Single Dumbbell Workouts for Home

dumbbell workouts for home

Dumbbell workouts for home can be quite effective when it comes to encouraging strength and lean muscle gains resulting in fat loss.

However, many just put an assortment of exercises together that take away from keeping the body under enough tension. Or too many movements using the same primary muscle causing injury from excessive strain over strengthening.

Most of the following exercises take away from fully isolating areas and use the body as a whole first before moving into isolation, which is how workouts are supposed to be within the gym as well.

During these current times we’re stuck at home most the day under quarantine, so let’s do more productive workouts to not just maintain but improve our performance and health.

I for one hope that with these events people make better use of home training alongside their gym exercises. Knowledge and adaptability go a long way.

Unilateral Training

First, you have to understand why using one dumbbell instead of two can be just as beneficial – if not more beneficial. This is called unilateral training, which is the use of resistance on only one side of the body.

Most only do a movement like this for the back when it comes to dumbbells like rows, which isolate the back and biceps. However, there’s so many more exercises to incorporate into your training especially when it comes to dumbbell workouts for home.

The use of weight on only one side, during a full body movement especially, makes your body go off balance encouraging your core to work harder. The activation of your core used more efficiently corrects the imbalance to stay upright.

For more in-depth information on unilateral training, go ahead and check out my coaching article published on STACK.

Single Arm Dumbbell Snatch

The snatch with a barbell is a powerful weightlifting exercise that requires a lot of technique and mobility to perform, so luckily with a dumbbell in one hand they’re much easier to execute.

They do use the body as a whole to promote strength, but also allow those that want to improve their power to do so as well.

dumbbell snatch exercise

You may be thinking there’s a lot of shoulder use, but when executed correctly they don’t isolate the shoulders and the dumbbell is propelled up using the entire body.

Suitecase Deadlift

This particular exercise is named after how it looks, which is holding a suitecase in one hand while performing a deadlift.

Normally deadlifts are performed where the weight is in front of the body, but placing it to one side instead causes your body to shift towards that side.

suitecase deadlift

The key to this movement is keeping your body straight up as much as possible with little to no lean. A very important exercise for core use and full body activation. Encourages strength also in your hamstrings and lower back.

Single Dumbbell Clean and Press

This single arm dumbbell workout can be done two different ways as seen in the video. You can do a full clean and squat engaging more leg use as the first rep I do in my video.

Or you can just clean the dumbbell up to your shoulder only performing a partial squat and go straight into the press limiting too much leg use.

single arm dumbbell clean and press

Either one needs the body to work as a whole and require plenty of core activation. The single dumbbell clean and press does isolate the shoulders a bit more than the previous dumbbell snatch.

Bending at the knees changing it into a push press allows you to take some of that shoulder strain off.

Dumbbell Swings

Dumbbell swings are just the same as with the kettlebell movement, but basically using a different type of free-weight to get the job done.

Kettlebells are great for home use. Though some of the exercises can cause wrist strain when using a kettlebell, so the perfect hold in the center of the dumbbell makes it a better choice for some.

dumbbell workouts for home dumbbell swings

The dumbbell swing is a great home exercise because it’s a mixture of cardio and strength training in one movement. Your entire body is used to perform the exercise making it a perfect fit.

Goblet Dumbbell Split Squats

Split squats look similar to lunges but are executed differently. You place your feet split apart and simply hold this position encouraging use of your quads and glutes primarily.

Goblet style is a great holding method when it comes to a dumbbell workout at home because for one you only need a single dumbbell, and two it places all the weight directly down the center.

dumbbell workouts for home goblet split squat

This helps for those with a weaker core and/or balance issues, or can just be simply good to focus on isolation over balance.

You can make the exercise more difficult by placing the dumbbell in one hand to the opposite side for the leg that is placed forward.

Dumbbell Goblet Squat

My favorite dumbbell workout for home would be this one. Just like the previous exercise, the goblet position places the dumbbell directly at the center taking away the need for too much grip use as well.

Primary muscles being activated are your quads, but if you go to full depth you see much more focus on your glutes and hamstrings also.

This is a great beginner exercise and yet still very useful for advanced lifters and athletes. My powerlfiting athletes especially have to perform this at least every other week to make better use of engaging the core and keeping the body upright.

goblet squats

Your Dumbbell Workouts for Home

As mentioned previously, your home workouts don’t need to be random workouts put together consisting of banded glute workouts and rowing exercises.

Yet, the workouts should also keep your body under tension for the muscle development phase instead of just strength promotion.

That’s why the order you read these exercises is close to the order you will perform the dumbbell home workout program. The image below shows the exercises in order with sets and repetitions.

There’s no break between exercises unless you need a few seconds to catch your breath. The biggest thing about home workouts is you have dumbbells that aren’t very heavy since they cost more, so you’re making use of what you have.

I’d definitely suggest purchasing 2-3 different dumbbell resistances so you can perform a large variety of exercises and get a better program created. However, if you have one then we can come up with plenty of home workouts to do.

If you like the workout and want to get on a good training program, please use the contact form on my website to go over your personal goals! Stay strong and healthy out there friends. Live it. Do it.

Brian Pankau

Brian Pankau

Experienced personal trainer and strength coach

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