Dumbbell Home Workout Review

Are you looking to build a great home gym? With a dumbbell home workout, you add strength training to your home workouts. If you are like me, becoming stronger is a big part of my fitness goals.

Dumbbells provide a great solution to gaining muscle and getting fit. dumbbell home workoutBy just using dumbbells alone you can have a great looking body as they can be used to target so many areas. Dumbbells are one of the best pieces of equipment if you are looking to get some size. Yes I want to be healthy and look the part, but who doesn’t want to get strong in the process? Here is why I think dumbbells are important in every workout program.


Why Use Dumbbells?

Dumbbells are one of the best ways to build strength. powerblock dumbbell reviewMost people when they think of dumbbells they picture some jacked guy curling 50 lbs dumbbells. You know, one of those “I pick things up and put them down” kind of guys. However, dumbbells are great at targeting many areas of the body.

For example, instead of using the dumbbells for arm curls, try squats, lunges, shoulder flys, triceps extensions, and more! So many different exercises can be done with the use of dumbbells in your workouts. This variety of exercises make dumbbells one of my top pieces of equipment.

Also, dumbbells challenge you muscles. If you are not using dumbbells in your workouts and recently noticed the dreaded “plateau” effect, dumbbells can help push you to the next level. You will notice a drastic increase in your strength, and the strength will come faster than before when you were not using them.

Dumbbells add a “negative” force to your training. This means that if you are curling, when you lower the dumbbells you still have resistance known as a negative resistance. This negative resistance helps to build stronger muscles, and there is a lot of science regarding negative based training. Negative training can only help you better your results.

Lastly, dumbbells allow you freedom of movement in 3 dimensions. Many machines you will encounter at the gym lock you into a static up and down, or left and right motion. By using dumbbells you can work in a different dimension easily, and do life-like movements instead of the locked position. This also helps other muscles to grow as they need to stabilize these other movements.

Are There Different Types of Dumbbells?

Dumbbells can come in different shapes and sizes, but they are all similar in that they have some type of handle, with a set amount of weight designated for each arm. Many companies have developed different types of dumbbells. Some examples would include PowerBlock and SelectTech dumbbells. You can also buy gym dumbbells at different weights.

For home workouts I strongly advise a pair of dumbbells that save space. Click here to see my review on my preferred choice for dumbbells!

Who Should Use Dumbbells?

From above, anyone looking to get stronger and want a way to test your strength should get dumbbells. I use dumbbells in about 75% of my workouts to help promote strength. Body weight exercises are great, but you will not be able to target certain muscles groups past a certain point without adding in the extra weight to push yourself.

I also suggest someone who is younger use dumbbells. This is because the extra strain the dumbbells provide may be too much for someone far too old or to young. If you are a lot older, I recommend using resistance bands for you workouts. Resistance bands are similar to dumbbells except they are better for your joints and lighter to pick up. You may even want to test out both before deciding which is best for you.

Who Should Not Use Dumbbells?

From above, if you are older, I suggest using resistance bands vs. dumbbells. This is because of the strain encountered when lifting up the dumbbells, that are heavy, from the floor. Resistance bands are light and can easily be picked up. Just be careful if you decide you want to go and use dumbbells.

Also, if you want to save money on workout equipment, dumbbells may not be the best way to go. Normally, it costs about $1 per pound (at least where I live). That means one 20 lbs dumbbell costs $20. This means a pair of 20 lbs dumbbells will cost you roughly $40. That can get expensive very quickly.

Lastly, if you do not have a lot of space to workout, you may want to consider either buying an all-in-one set of dumbbells, or using resistance bands. I currently have PowerBlocks that I use. This saves a lot of space for me to do my exercises. No rack of dumbbells required.

When Do I Use Dumbbells In My Workouts?

Dumbbells are a huge part of my workouts. Chest, back, arms, legs, and abs all involve dumbbell exercises. I would say that I use a dumbbell in 75% of the workouts I do during the week, if not more. Sometimes I trade out dumbbells for resistance bands or just a body weight exercise, but this is pretty rare.

My favorite exercises for dumbbells are arms and legs. I tend to do push-ups for chest exercises and pull-ups for back exercises. Weighted leg and arm exercises seem to provide the greatest change in my results with dumbbells.  Dumbbells are an essential part of my workouts, so I highly advise purchasing dumbbells whether that be PowerBlocks, SelectTech, or a rack.

What To Watch Out For

When picking up heavy dumbbells, make sure you are not using only your back. I have heard of way too many people putting out their back when picking up heavy weights. Engage your legs in the lift as well to avoid injury. Also, you may want to put the dumbbells on your quads and kick up into position to avoid a quirky back motion to get the dumbbells in place.

Also, make sure to place the dumbbells on the ground. Don’t throw the dumbbells after a workout or drop them from a height. You will damage your house/apartment, or you may end up dropping the dumbbells on yourself. Be in control and place the dumbbells down appropriately.


  • Build strength faster.
  • Work stabilizing muscles.
  • Allows for 3 dimensional movements.
  • Great for many exercises.
  • Portable (not locked like a machine).


  • Cost (for home workouts).
  • Rack of dumbbell takes up a lot of space.


Dumbbells are a great way to build strength and complete exercises in 3 dimensions. If you can afford to buy a rack of dumbbells or a set of PowerBlocks or SelectTech, you will see you results. Dumbbells can be used with a wide variety of exercises, and provide a way to develop stabilizing muscles regularly ignored buy machines.

Make sure to use dumbbells properly in order to avoid injury. Far too many times I have heard of someone getting injured just picking up the dumbbells. This goes for both younger and older people as I hear this from all ages.

I use dumbbells in the majority of my workouts and I highly recommend them. If you do not feel you can afford dumbbells or do not wish to purchase them, look for resistance bands instead. In short, invest in a dumbbell home workout to get results.

  • What a great post! I find it very informative, comprehensive and, most importantly useful. The layout is easy to follow and I like that you give both pros and cons, dos and don’ts. I sure appreciate your including “What to watch out for when using dumbbells”.

    • I have put a lot of time into creating the information you see. I am glad you like it!

  • Filip

    Dumbbells are awesome, I am only using them. No bars, only dumbbells. I like how I hit chests with them and I can feel a more mind-muscle connection because you are also working stabilizing muscles. Okay, this comes from a guy who goes to the gym for only one year.

    • Yeah dumbbells are great. However if you have been going to the gym for a year (consistently) I advise that you try some body weight exercises, or workouts that are a bit advanced with dumbbells. This can help add variety to your workout and make it more fun.

  • Hi Darrik,

    I’ve recently started to use dumbells at home, I started to use them due to back and shoulder problems. I have been trying to improve my upper body strength,
    your post has given me a lot of insight into dumbells as I just started using them (nicked them of my son) without any real research.
    So Thank You Very Much!
    Great Post!
    Mishyboo! X:-).

    • Glad you jumped on to using dumbbells and got them for free! Just make sure to keep proper form in your workouts to protect yourself from injury. Good luck!

  • I am an active 53 year old male looking to restart an exercise program. I have some dumbbells lying around but have never really known how to build an exercise routine around them. I want to add both strength and flexibility. Couple questions:

    — What are the minimum weights that a person like me should use to see some results. I’m not buff but I am also not a wimp
    — Can you recommend any dunbbell programs I could start out with? I can give it about 30 minutes a day.

    • It really depends on the size you are going for. If you want to be lean, I would suggest T25. This workout is higher in cardio and has some weight involved, but not as much as other programs. If you are looking for an athletic build, I recommend P90X3. This is the simplest of the P90X programs, but I use it and I get great results. However, there are pull-ups involved (unless you modify to use resistance bands) so it may be something to consider.

      As for weights, this also depends on how much size you are looking for. I normally recommend weights within the 20-30 lbs range for someone of your age. If you want to go bigger, by all means go ahead and do it. Just make sure more weight is not going to cause injury. Start small and grow to where heavier weight is something you can achieve.

  • LIsa Brand

    Thanks for the info on dumbells, I think I will save up for a set of the adjustable ones you talked about. For the past couple of years I’ve just concentrated on Cardio, doing T25 at home mostly (which I LOVE!) but I want to start using weights to get more toned, do you think weights will create a better body shape than the cardio?

    Cheers, Lisa

    • Yes, yes I do. I actually don’t care for cardio too much. Almost all the cardio I do is built into weight-training exercises. Cardio can help speed up weight loss, but it doesn’t do a lot in the sense of shaping your body. For that you need to break down your muscles and rebuild them. Don’t stop doing cardio altogether, just add more weight based workouts into your routine.