Dumbbells are ubiquitous when it comes to exercise equipment. Whether you’re walking into a state-of-the-art fitness facility or a hotel gym, you can be certain you’ll have a dumbbell rack at your disposal for your workout.

Dumbbells are a versatile tool that can be used for a ton of different exercises, including unilateral work. This no-fuss piece of equipment packs a punch — dumbbells activate several muscle groups at the same time to provide a total body burn. Grab a pair of dumbbells and try out these exercises for your next strength day at the gym.

Dumbbell Safety And Etiquette

There are a few important safety and etiquette reminders to be aware of when exercising with dumbbells.

  1. Do not drop the dumbbells – they will bounce!
  2. Make sure you have a nice firm grip when holding dumbbells.
  3. When you’re finished with your dumbbells, wipe them down.
  4. When finished, re-rack the weights in the corresponding spot on the weight rack.

Related: When is the last time you used one of these weight machines at the gym?

How To Do A Romanian Deadlift (RDL)

The first exercise is the Romanian Deadlift or RDL. To begin, hold the dumbbells with a strong grip right in front of your thighs. Keeping a soft bend at the knee, slowly hinge at the hips as if something is pulling your hips toward the wall behind you. Dumbbells should remain close to your shins as you hinge. When your back reaches a flat position, stand back up tall bringing your hips forward. That’s one rep!

How To Do A Squat

The next movement is the squat, and you only need one dumbbell for this exercise. Holding the weight vertically at your chest, place your hands underneath the top bell. Hug your elbows in close to the rib cage to activate your lats. Maintain a tall posture through the chest and upper back. Place your feet hip-width apart and pull yourself down into a seated position. Knees will track slightly out. Drive through the floor to return to a standing position. That’s one rep!

How To Do A Three-Point Row

To perform a three-point row, you will need one dumbbell and a bench – or any sturdy surface. Position yourself close to the bench and place your left arm on the bench. Press into the bench with a locked elbow to keep your lats engaged. With your feet hip-width apart and knees soft, pull your right hand (which is holding the dumbbell) toward your hip. Return to the starting position and repeat. Make sure to repeat this movement with the dumbbell in the opposite hand!

How To Do A Chest Press

The last exercise is the chest press. You will use two dumbbells and a bench for this exercise. Have a seat on the bench, placing dumbbells on your thighs. With a firm grip on the dumbbells, lay down on the bench. Make sure your feet are driving into the ground, and your neck should be relaxed on the bench. As you press the dumbbells up, try to get your wrist, elbows and shoulder to align. Pull the weights down nice and slow and repeat.

15 Minute Dumbbell Workout

The format for this dumbbell workout is 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. Here is the workout:

Circuit One:

Romanian Deadlift for 30 seconds

Rest – 30 seconds

Chest Press for 30 seconds

Rest – 30 seconds to 1 minute

Repeat this circuit for a total of 3 rounds, before moving on to this next set below.

Circuit Two:

Squat for 30 seconds

Rest – 30 seconds

Three Point Row – Left Arm for 30 seconds

Rest – 30 seconds

Three Point Row – Right Arm for 30 seconds

Rest – 30 seconds

Repeat this circuit for a total of 3 rounds, and your dumbbell workout is done! This workout should take you about 15 minutes to complete.

Related: Looking for more workouts? Try this 20 Minute Kettlebell Workout

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Post written by FFC Contributor Natalie Casper. Video and workout courtesy of FFC Fitness Director Mario Dato.