Build a ripped athletic body with just a few dumbbells

Dumbbells are definitely one of the best form of workout equipment due to their ability to be used in small spaces and their high degree of athletic carryover. With their three dimensional freedom, dumbbells allow you to workout in all planes of motion and require a great deal of core strength and stability to use them properly. That said, choosing the best dumbbell exercises ever can be quite a challenge since there are so many to choose from. In this video, I picked the 8 best exercises with dumbbells and give you a reason why each has earned its spot.

To begin, lets take a look at the best dumbbell exercises. They are:

Dumbbell Curl and Press
Crush Grip Goblet Squats
Farmers Carries
One Arm DB Incline Bench Press
DB Pullovers
Tripod Dumbbell Rows

Each of these exercises require either just a single dumbbell or two dumbbells. They were chosen given their ability to work multiple muscle groups in one dumbbell only workout. The more muscles you can train in one workout the quicker your training session will be and the more impact you can have on your body in a shorter period of time.

Dumbbell only workouts can be incredibly challenging. In fact, some people think that you can’t effectively train your legs with db’s since you aren’t able to load up the weight high enough. That’s not true at all. You can choose exercises that you load with even 100lb dumbbells and perform on a single leg and you are sure to be pushing yourself to your limits.

The same can be said for dumbbell chest workouts and dumbbell back and arm workouts. The fact that you aren’t using a barbell does not sacrifice the quality or effectiveness of the training session. That said, you cannot continue to lift light dumbbells and think that you are going to get a great enough workout. Even if you are training at home, aim to lift the heaviest dumbbells that you can lift if you want to build muscle in your workouts.

If you are looking for a complete workout program that uses just a few dumbbells, a bench, a pullup bar and a resistance band then head to and get the ATHLEAN-X Training System. By using equipment like dumbbells in your workouts, you’re training your body to move and look like an athlete.

For more dumbbell workouts and exercises you can do with dumbbells for your chest, arms and shoulders be sure to subscribe to our channel here on youtube at

    53 replies to "8 Best Dumbbell Exercises Ever (HIT EVERY MUSCLE!)"

    • Dr. Fine

      1:00 Curl and Press
      1:34 Crush Grip Goblet Squat
      2:41 Dumbbell Pullover
      3:35 Farmer’s Carry
      4:45 Thrusters
      5:49 One Arm Incline Bench Press
      6:43 Swing
      7:20 Tripod One Arm Row

      The descriptions are great, but I was going to use this to work out and it was a pain… so I made this list 🙂

      • Jayden

        You dropped this king 👑


        Can a woman do it?

      • Arnav Sinha

        you’re a good man

      • 4kh1l 60und3r


      • josiah Lopez


    • Jeremiah A

      You are by far my favorite fitness coach on YT. Great presentation, minimum bullshit gimmicks, graphics or music. No ego… Thank You,

      • Drebolaskan

        Jeremiah Smith yup, a real professional

      • 0407luke

        Absolutely agree.

      • Daniel Gilerman

        Jeremiah Smith could’nt agree more

      • Random-access Memory

        Yeah. Simplicity is still the best.

      • Justin B

        I did some of these workouts today and came back to leave a comment about how much I appreciate the videos. Thanks for doing it for me

    • Fugitive Recovery Man

      This guy is awesome. His videos have taught me skills and motivated me. I was 19 years old 5’9 and was 245 lbs. I am now 20 years old 5’9 163. I cant thank this guy enough!

      • TDG

        Nice bro, keep at it!

      • Christmasmoose 2


      • NotSoEntertaining

        Missing height day, still at 5’9 puny boy

      • TDG

        @NotSoEntertaining imagine making fun of a manlet for something he can’t even control? Come on dude.

    • primaltone

      I’ve been performing this routine for almost 2 months now, after determining that I must be on the “fatish” side of “skinny fat”: good BMI but still quite flabby. In this time I’ve seen noticeable improvements and I’m stoked about the future. It really does work. Thanks for posting this, as it was just what a noob like me needed.

      • A changed man

        How many reps/ sets and how many times a day? I’m interested in this and was curious about creating a routine. Thanks

      • primaltone

        @A changed man I do 3 times per week, once per day, and I split it into 3 “circuits”. I repeat each circuit 3X before moving to the next, with about a 2 minute break b/w circuits. My routine looks like this:
        Circuit 1: Dumbbell Curl and Press, Crush Grip Goblet Squat, Dumbbell Pullover
        Circuit 2: Dumbbell Thruster, Farmers Carry, Arm Inclined Bench
        Circuit 3: Kettle bell Swing, Dumbell Tripod Row

        I have no idea if my routine is anywhere near optimal, but it does work. It’s helped out my pushups immensely. I took a 1 month break on this routine and focused on pushups and planks, but I did 146 pushups today via 6 sets. Best I was doing this time last year was ~40 in a day. I took a break due to overextending and getting some elbow muscle fatigue. Jeff does a great video on how to prevent this, and I intend take greater care to prevent this when I start back, perhaps next week.

        Another key I’ve followed is to indeed exercise to fatigue. I shoot for ~10 reps per exercise, but if I can do 13, I increase the weight next time, shooting for 8-10 reps per set. Again, I am a complete noob, but it’s worked for me.

      • A changed man

        @primaltone hell yeah man. Thanks for all the info I really appreciate it. And keep up your great work. Sounds like you’re nailing it to me. 👍

    • Geist六

      I’ve been wanting a good, complete workout for dumbbells and this is perfect. Not a bunch of extra stuff and can be done in even a small area.

    • Aivars Klavins

      Great video like always. I’m working out at home and your videos have helped me a lot. Your great coach.

    • Carlos Cubillo-Barsi

      Jeff, fantastic workout. I’m a 50 year old looking to get stronger and leaner. 3 sets of each exercise, medium weights x 10, 20 secs gap. Took 40 minutes and left me sweating like mad. Unbelievable. Thrusters are a killer. 😂

      • TheSunTheSea

        Glen Dlugach how many sets?

      • Modal Soul

        @TheSunTheSea 3 to 4 sets with 6 to 12 reps and 30 60 sec rest

      • Carson McKenzie

        Good for you man also I recommend reps of 12 they are just barely more challenging much more beneficial

      • Louis Lestner

        @Carson McKenzie lmao

      • Ham

        Don’t get too lean though it can lead to earlier death

    • David Cooper

      Tried this routine last night absolutely blown away, feels like it’s worked every muscle in my body. Great video keep up the good work.

    • Darren Brown

      Love this workout – going back to it for the second time, one year later. I did it like a circuit with no rest between exercises and then rested after each was done. Did that 3x for a great workout.

      • Saad Yousaf

        Were you doing it for weightloss or building muscle….and was it effective?

    • Top Lists

      1:00 Curl and Press
      1:34 Crush Grip Goblet Squat
      2:41 Dumbbell Pullover
      3:35 Farmer’s Carry
      4:45 Thrusters
      5:49 One Arm Incline Bench Press
      6:43 Swing
      7:20 Tripod One Arm Row

      • DADDY


      • David Simons

        Very nice you’re very helpful.8 exercises that tire you out.

      • Heiropentred

        epic fail

      • Michael

        Stole literally number for number

      • Jeffrey Babino

        What is the sets and reps for this workout thanks

    • Jerzy Gawor

      Great variation on my standard dumbell workout. I like the emphasis you place on engaging the core muscles and you clearly practice what you preach judging by your defined abs. Thanks.

    • Robert Bailey

      Yo! Just did 10 reps for every stance he just went through, feeling it. Great stuff! 💯💪🏾👍🏾✨

    • Lawson Grissom

      This may be some help if you have trouble remembering the workouts like me. Curl and Press 1:03 Goble squat 2:06 Db pullovers 2:53 farmers carry 3:43 thruster 4:57 one arm incline press 5:52 swing 6:46 one arm row 7:26

      • Muhammad Hassan


      • kalebt


      • BITW

        Thanks 👍

    • Chris Alustiza

      Been here with you for many years, Jeff, and I STILL come back to the basics. You’ve changed many lives, sir. Including my own. Thank you for being you brother. Wish you And yours continued health and happiness. -Chris

    • Graham Newton

      Needed a new routine in the gym. Just tried this workout as part of a session, excellent!

    • A Keeper Of Odd Knowledge

      Hi, Jeff! I’ll be 68 yrs old in 2 months and am a survivor of 3 heart attacks. I’ve been doing cardio since Feb or March of this year at the hospital gym under supervision. A few weeks ago I started playing around with dumbbells and really love it!
      I’m starting out with light weights and lots of reps (3 sets of 20, decreasing the weight with each set) and doing just a few exercises. I’ve been viewing your videos for instructions for best results and, I gotta tell ya, Jeff, I’m seeing results after just 2 weeks of modest training! I will follow this program starting tomorrow (Tuesday, my scheduled time. And again on Thursday)!
      So much more rewarding than just cardio – though I warm up on the treadmill, first!
      Thanks again, Jeff!

      • games 4 life

        How are you today

      • Ham

        @games 4 life no way you like ac odyssey

      • Joshua Heredia

        @Hamthat was the first thing to come to your mind💀

    • Nadeen

      great workout Jeff. first time trying it and I definitely feel it! Thank you.

    • ATHLEAN-X™

      Dumbbells are an amazing tool to build muscle. I can show you how to build bigger wider shoulders using a SINGLE dumbbell in just 14 days –

    • jack bippus

      Jeff, I am 71 and have been working out for 25 years. You have really turned me on to almost all dumbbells. I have had two rotator cuff surgeries in my left shoulder and one in my right shoulder. My last surgery was from not being lined up correctly on my weight machine for bench presses. With dumbbell on my weight machine bench, my shoulders can easily move to line up correctly. Also staying away from anything behind my head. You have given me some great what not to does. I go to you for everything. Thanks for the great knowledge. Jack

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