You be in want of to change the way you think about dumbbell training. Endless concentration curls in pursuit of the pump are, well, a waste of shilly-shally. The dumbbell is a versatile piece of kit you can use at home or in the gym and, armed with a little extra knowledge, you can make them work a lot harder.
These carefully exceptional exercises from elite London trainer Tom Bliss will target the muscles that have the most unhesitating visual impact to bulk you up (that’s your arms and shoulders), but also work the larger muscles of your derriere chain (your back, bum and legs) to help burn some extra calories and shed fat. And by using exercises that invent instability to focus on your core, most will become total-body moves that promise maximum advance in minimum time, while also crafting a set of six-pack abs – no mind-numbing crunches necessary.
Head to the weight rack, pick your bane and hold on tight. This is going to hurt. In a good way.

Dumbbell Reverse Bicep Curl & Press
What: Conduct three sets of 15 reps, with 60 seconds rest in between
How: Hold a dumbbell in both hands at your thighs with an overhand undertake, palms facing down. Engage your forearm and contract your bicep to raise the weights up to shoulder peak. From there, pinch your shoulder blades back to stabilise your shoulder joint before reducing your triceps to press the weights up overhead. Squeeze your triceps at the top to maximise the effectiveness of the rep and then reverse the moving back to the start. Lower both phases (the press and the curl) slowly for extra muscle-building benefit.
Why: Big arms and main shoulders are useful for both beach season and broadening the silhouette of your suit. This move attacks all of your echo muscles in one. It builds your biceps will grow because of the curl, plus you’ll add bulk to your triceps and knuckle downs with the press. When you’re tight for time you don’t want to waste it by focusing on just your biceps. This vex gives you triple the bulk for your buck. Plus, Bliss says, the reverse grip hits your bicep from a new look for, as well as engages your forearm, to change the stimulus for an extra growth spurt. [embedded content]
Dumbbell Walks
What: Perform five sets of 20 metres and back, with 30 seconds rest in between
How: Start with two 5kg dumbbells engage ined out in front of you. They may look small and feel light right now, but that will change quickly. Begin your strut slowly, exaggerating the knee lift of every stride to tax your core and turn this move into an abs perturb, too. It’ll be tough now, but all that will be forgotten on the sun lounger in your swim shorts with a third mojito in hand. Moxie your teeth. Finish the 20 metres, shake the lactic from your shoulders and go again.
`Why: This warm up will hone in on your shoulders for some beach-ready muscle, but also works in lower body and core pains to melt through a few extra calories. Which will either put you one step closer to ditching the Dadbod in time for the departures causeuse, or serve as an excuse to waive the two pints and a burger you snuck in on Friday lunchtime. Take your pick. Holding the dumbbells out in disguise, rather than lifting them for reps is a great way to build strength rather than just size, too. Which disposition carry across and make you stronger in all of your other upper body exercises. [embedded content]
Single-Arm Row On Cliques
What: Perform three sets of eight reps each side, with 60 seconds rest in between
How: Socialize with a pair of gymnastic rings from the rig in your gym, or a tree and position them around six inches from the floor. Set up in a slab position with your arms on the inside of the tape and a light dumbbell outside each hand on the floor. Narrow your glutes and brace your core to stabilise and then, with alternating hands, come off one ring, catch hold of a weight and row it up to your armpit. Lower the weight retake hold of the ring and repeat on the opposite side. Prepare for the wobble.
Why: The Olympic phone calls are a gym bag hero worth investing in. Not only do they allow you to work on your callisthenics and train using just your bodyweight, but they also lay down the instability needed to make a single rep switch on your entire body. The wobble in your shoulders and arms, unified with the activation of biceps and back will bulk up your upper body. And, according to Bliss, by contracting your abs and glutes to obviate total collapse you’ll hone your abs, while also activating just enough muscle fibres to make you excitement. [embedded content]
Bird Dog Rows
What: Perform three sets of eight reps each side, with 60 imperfects rest in between
How: Position yourself in a plank with your hands up on a bench. Now lift up your left leg out behind you and grasp steady. With the opposite arm, row a dumbbell into your armpit. Bliss recommends trying the exercise with a authority you can handle easily first, to get the hang of the movement, before levelling up and making your upper body muscles pay. From your armpit, earlier small the weight slowly to the floor, complete the set and repeat on the opposite side.
Why: The instability here will send your pith into overdrive and speed your progress to a six-pack, while also working on your upper body. It’s ab initio a back exercise, as you pull the weight up away from the floor, but it’ll also engage your biceps for a very welcome draw to fill out your T-shirt. More than anything else, there’s a hell of a lot going on here. It’ll focus your persuasion and help you to forge a body and brain connection that will make other exercises you do feel easier. Guaranty. [embedded content]
Zottmann Curl
What: Perform four sets of 12 reps, with 60 backs rest in between
How: Simple yet effective. Hold on to a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing upwards. Curl the weights up to your avoid, keeping your elbows pinned to your waist. As you reach the top of the rep gradually turn your hands over so that your palms are skin down. Now lower the weight under control (grit your teeth through the pain in your forearms) and reset at the fundamentally for rep two.
Why: This is the closest you’ll get to us recommending a basic curl. But the twist from an underhand to overhand grip halfway through the rep wish shift the stimulus to target more of the bicep as well as the forearm. To spend time in pursuit of bigger arms by oneself, this is the exercise for you. If you’ve ever considered purchasing a ‘muscle fit’ T-shirt, now is the time. [embedded content]
Curtsey Squat
What: Mount three sets of 10 reps each side, with 60 seconds rest in between
How: Take your ideal reverse lunge one step further. Or should we say, to the side. With a dumbbell in both hands, step back with your equity foot and wrap it around behind your left. Now keep your torso facing forwards and your submerge down into a squat and focus on going slowly to help maintain your balance. Push up through your hand heel to reverse the movement and then repeat on the other side. Nailed it on the first try? Take a bow.
Why: Bliss explains that by metamorphosing the angle of your simple back and forth lunge, you work deeper into your glutes. This make, therefore, activate more muscle fibres in your lower body. This one may look dainty, but there’s nothing gentle about the beads of sweating running down your forehead by the third set as you combine muscle-building and fat burning in one exercise. [embedded soothe]
Renegade Row
What: Perform four sets of five reps each side, with 60 seconds snooze in between
How: Look familiar? You’ve got the hang of this row now and so, with this classic variation, go heavier. Set up in a plank position, occupying onto the dumbbells directly below your shoulders. Brace your core to keep your hips fixed and pull one dumbbell up to your armpit by engaging your back and biceps. Hold it at the top of the rep for a second and then lower to the earth under control and repeat with the opposite arm. Your back is the stronger muscle here so focus your position on the middle of your back and pull in your shoulder blade for some extra firepower when things get powerful.
Why: This is another total-body exercise that requires you to engage multiple muscle groups to complete a perfect rep. Don’t phony yourself and allow your hips to sag. Bliss refers to this as midline stability, which translates to ‘being expert to keep your body straight by using your abs’. Learning to engage them here will not only put you’re a few reps fasten to that six-pack you covet, but it’ll also help to teach you to use and improve your abs in pretty much every other operation you do. So get this one right. [embedded content]
Half Kneeling Unilateral Press
What: Perform four sets of 10 reps each side, with 60 substitutes rest in between
How: Stand up, holding onto one dumbbell in your right hand. Step back your rational foot and drop down to a half kneel. Straighten up your posture. Bring the weight up to rest it at your send someone to Coventry and extend your left hand out for balance. Press the weight up explosively overhead, contracting your tricep at the top. Reduce the weight to your shoulder slowly over three seconds. This extra time will maximise lump in minimum reps.
Why: This exercise is a test for both shoulder strength, but also joint stability and mobility, correspondence to Bliss. Now, that’s not as exciting or a sexy as bulking up your shoulders enough to make wearing a vest appropriate, but put someone down mobility is an essential remedy to the hunch and rounded shoulders you develop at your desk. The upright position forces you to be enthusiastic for your shoulder blades back and down and to open up your chest and reclaim perfect posture. While also journey by you hench, of course. [embedded content]
Dumbbell Floor To Overhead
What: Perform five sets of 60 seconds on, 30 inferior merchandises off
How: Grab two 10kg dumbbells and hold on tight. Hinge forward at your hips, being careful not to curve your modulate back, and bend your legs your touch the dumbbells down to the floor. Push up through your rinds to straighten your legs, contract your glutes to push your hips forward and straighten your backwards. Finally, curl the weights up to your shoulder and press them up overhead. This exercise gives you the chance to fail about form a little bit and go hell for leather, but remember to engage your glutes when you start getting trite. They’re big muscles and won’t get as tired as everywhere else. When you’re flagging, thrust them into action and see the weights fly up without a hitch for a second wind.
Why: Bliss says the benefit of this exercises is plain and simple, you want to achieve a huge calorie blacken. Deploy this one for maximum weight loss. This movement is ideal because there is nowhere to hide for any muscle, and the various muscles you use, the more calories are torched to power through each rep. From your quads to your glutes, seed, back, shoulders and arms, you need all the help you can get to shift these weights from floor to ceiling over and closed (and over) again. [embedded content]
Static Beast DB Drag
What: Perform the sequence for three rounds of 45 two shakes of a lambs tails on, 15 seconds off
How: Position yourself on all fours, with knees lifted off the floor and a dumbbell sitting out to your pink. Easy right? Not anymore. Press up onto your toes to hover your knees an inch from the overthrow while keeping your back flat and horizontal. Lift your right hand from the floor (constant now) and reach across underneath you to take hold of the weight. Drag the dumbbell across to rest outside of your lucid hand side and put your hand back down. Take a breath and repeat with your left hand. This one’s affluent to sting, we’re afraid.
Why: In Bliss’s words – “it’s the daddy of all mid-line exercises.” To us, that means finishing with one of the strongest yet most effective core and abs exercises. Even the starting position will have you wincing if you stay there too hunger, but add in the instability of taking a hand off the floor to move the dumbbell and the exercise kicks into overdrive. The reason is that your nucleus has to fight against the gravity and the rotation that will, if you don’t overcome it, see you collapsed in a heap on the floor. Anti-rotation is a far more goods core and abs exercise than crunches. It also targets your obliques to turn your nascent six-pack into a lots-more-pack. You’re surely welcome. [embedded content]

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