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The best dumbbell exercises for building muscle could entail a lot of movements, but which ones are the best? In this video, I am going to show you my selection of the 30 best dumbbell exercises to build muscle. Not only that, but I am going to break them down into specific muscle groups as well to help you select the right dumbbell exercises for you.
1. Kneeling Waiter’s Curls
2. Standing DB Alternating Curls
3. Cross Body Hammer Curls
4. DB Drag Curls
5. DB Weighted Chins
The Waiter’s Curl is excellent for developing the biceps peaks. The Standing DB Alternating Curl is a classic way to hit the short head, in contrast to the DB Drag Curls which targets the long head. We can’t forget the brachialis, which is well targeted by the Cross Body Hammer Curl. To round it all out, the DB Weighted Chins allows for the opportunity to overload the muscle with more weight than is available with just dumbbells.
6. Lying Tricep Extensions
7. JM Press
8. DB Kickbacks
9. DB Incline Powerbombs
The Lying Tricep Extensions and Incline Powerbombs allow us to get that long head on stretch through the exercises’ full range of motion. To put the long head in its peak contracted position, we would select the DB Kickback. The JM Press allows for the use of some heavier weight to overload the triceps overall which will help assist in muscle growth.
10. DB Tripod Rows
11. DB High Pulls
12. DB Pullovers
13. DB Weighted Pullups
The DB Tripod Row is a great replacement for the 1-Arm DB Row as it gives a better base of support to avoid a hernia. The DB High Pull is excellent for targeting the upper back muscles with the added benefit of external rotation. The DB Pullover is a great selection for being able to put the lats on stretch while giving them an opportunity to overload. And while the pullup itself is great for building your lats, adding weight allows for more overload for greater size.
14. DB Bulgarian Split Squats (Upright / Leaning)
15. DB Reverse Lunges
16. DB RDL’s
17. DB Offset Lunges
The DB Bulgarian Split Squat is great for loading up the quads or the posterior chain (based on your torso position). The DB Reverse Lunge is great for those with knee pain but still want to engage in a dynamic, unilateral leg movement. The DB RDL’s are great for putting the hamstrings and glutes on stretch before engaging them to return the weight to its starting position. The DB Offset Lunge is another great option that adds the challenge of not allowing the weight to pull you over to one side.
18. DB Bench Press
19. DB Upper Chest Pullover
20. DB Incline Squeeze Press
21. DB Weighted Dips
22. DB Floor Flies
The DB Bench Press is a staple exercise that I believe is one of the absolute best for building a bigger chest. While I mentioned previously the pullover as a back exercise, by changing the orientation of our elbows, we can effectively target the upper chest. The DB Incline Squeeze Press is another great option for hitting the upper chest, but gives the added benefit of isometric adduction. The Dip will definitely build the lower chest, but adding some extra weight and overload to the exercise will help spark even greater muscle growth. The Floor Fly takes the risk of the regular bench fly and negates it by offering the support of the ground through the movement
23. DB Scoop Press
24. DB Cheat Laterals
25. DB Push Press
26. DB Hip Huggers
27. DB Rear Delt Rows
28. DB Front Raise
29. DB Over and Backs
The DB Scoop Press gets additional front delt activation before a combination of shoulder muscles are used. Cheat Laterals allow for overload on the middle delt through using a heavier weight, but also a controlled eccentric. Speaking of overload, the DB Push Press allows for more weight to be used in comparison to a traditional overhead press by allowing momentum from below. To really hit the side and rear delts, the DB Hip Huggers offers a great option. The Rear Delt Row will effectively target the rear delts, an often ignored muscle in the shoulder. The DB Front Raise is a great option for targeting the front delts while limiting the activation of the rest of the shoulder. The DB Over and Back is solid as well.
30. DB Carries
Heavy DB Carries offer a great opportunity to not just build mental toughness, but bigger forearms and traps as well.
Leave a comment below letting me know what your top 5 dumbbell exercises are!
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