Dumbbell-Only Workouts: Exercises by Muscle Group

Want to keep your workouts simple and not have to wait for machines at the gym? Just grab a couple dumbbells and practice all these exercises, you'll be sure to get a great full-body workout.

Whether your gym only has dumbbells or the New Year’s crowd is hogging all the barbells, this dumbbell-only workout promises to provide you with a solid workout, regardless.

Dumbbell exercises give you more control throughout the exercise, helping you develop your stabilizing muscles, which leads to more functional strength. 

Dumbbell exercises also provide other valuable benefits, including the following:

  • Correction of muscle imbalances
  • Safe to use alone
  • Improved lifting form

Regardless of your circumstances, you should always try to include dumbbell exercises into your routine!

This full-body dumbbell-only workout will highlight the best compound chest exercises for working each of your major muscles groups, including chest, shoulders, back, arms, abs, and legs.

Add this dumbbell only workout into your routine to take advantage of all the dumbbell weightlifting benefits today.

The Best Dumbbell-Only Workout Exercises


  • Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Dumbbell Flys
  • Incline Dumbbell Flys


  • Seated or Standing Dumbbell Military Press
  • Lat Shoulder Raises
  • Front Shoulder Raises
  • Seated or Standing Reverse Flys


  • Suitcase Deadlifts (One-Arm Dumbbell Deadlifts)
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Rows
  • Bent-Over Dumbbell Rows


  • Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extension
  • Standing Dumbbell Skullcrushers
  • Close-Grip Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Tricep Dumbbell Kickback (Simultaneously or Alternating)


  • Hammer Curls
  • Zottman Curls
  • Isolation Curls (With Arm Support or Without)



  • Goblet Squats
  • Lunges
  • Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts (Straight-Legged Deadlifts)
  • Calf Raises (While Standing on Dumbbells)

3-Day Dumbbell-Only Workout Split

dumbbell split workout

Here’s an example of a super-effective 3-day split you could do with dumbbells:

  • Monday – Chest/Triceps/Abs
  • Wednesday – Back/Biceps
  • Friday – Legs/Shoulders/Abs


  • Dumbbell Bench Press – 3 sets
  • Close-Grip Dumbbell Bench Press – 2 sets
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press – 3 sets
  • Standing Dumbbell Skullcrushers – 3 sets
  • Hanging Dumbbell Knee Raises – 4 sets
  • Leg Lifts – 3 sets


  • Suitcase Deadlifts – 4 sets
  • Hammers Curls – 3 sets
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Rows – 3 Sets
  • Zottman Curls – 4 sets


  • Goblet Squats – 4 Sets
  • Dumbbell Romanian Deadlifts – 4 sets
  • Calf Raises – 3 sets
  • Seated Dumbbell Military Press – 3 sets
  • Lat Shoulder Raises – 2 sets
  • Seated Reverse Flys – 3 sets
  • Dumbbell Decline Crunches – 4 sets
  • Ab Bicycles – 3 sets


Use these dumbbell exercises on their own for an awesome full-body workout, or add them in to your regular routine.

Don’t miss out on the benefits of dumbbell exercises by only sticking to the machines and barbells!

Dumbbells are a great way to change it up and keep your muscles guessing.