How to Use a Single Adjustable Dumbbell for a Full-Body Workout

When you think about a dumbbell-only workout, you probably imagine using a set of two, one in each hand. The truth, however, is that using a single dumbbell still works out for your full-body training. Read on to find out how we exercise effectively with only one adjustable dumbbell!

1. Warm-Up First

Start with arm circles by extending your arms and rotating them in large circles, then switch directions after 30 seconds. Follow with leg swings: hold onto a stable surface for balance and swing one leg forward and back, gradually increasing the swing's range. Introduce gentle stretches using a light dumbbell, like overhead reaches and torso twists, to integrate light resistance and prepare your body for the exercises ahead.

Use a Single Adjustable Dumbbell for a Full-Body Workout

2. The Workout Routine

Each of the following exercises should be performed with attention to form and controlled movements. Adjust the weight according to your capacity, starting lighter and increasing as you progress.

Use a Single Adjustable Dumbbell for a Full-Body Workout

Squat Press

  • Muscles involved: Glutes, quadriceps, shoulders, arms.
  • Repetition: Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions.

Stand at shoulder width. Your grip on the dumbbell should be firm enough that the dumbbell can be sustained and placed at the level of your shoulders by both hands. When you squat down, your back should remain in a neutral position, and your knees must track over the toes without extending past the toes. Always engage the core during the movement so as to stabilize the body. Drive through the heels as you rise, using the momentum to press the dumbbell straight up over your head and fully extend your arms. The dumbbell should travel in a straight line up.

Single-Arm Row

  • Muscles Targeted: Upper back, biceps, core.
  • Repetitions: Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions per arm.

Place one hand on the bench and lean forward until your torso is nearly parallel to the floor. Position your feet at a distance from each other of a little more than hip-width. With your free hand, grasp the dumbbell with your palm facing your body and let it hang directly beneath your shoulder. Start the row by driving the elbow towards the ceiling, keeping it close to your side, and squeezing your shoulder blade towards the spine at the top of the movement. Lower the dumbbell back into the starting position slowly and under control.

Lunging Bicep Curl

  • Muscles Targeted: Hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, biceps.
  • Repetitions: Complete 3 sets of 8 repetitions on each side.

Stand upright with the dumbbell in your left hand. Step forward with your right leg into a lunge position, ensuring your front knee does not surpass your toes. Lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor, maintaining balance and stability. As you descend, curl the dumbbell toward your chest, keeping your elbow stationary. Push through your front heel to rise back to the starting position while lowering the dumbbell. Switch the dumbbell to the other hand and repeat the movement with the opposite leg.

Weighted Russian Twists

  • Muscles Targeted: Core, obliques.
  • Repetitions: Do 2 sets of 15 twists on each side.

Sit on the ground with your knees bent and feet flat for stability. Hold the dumbbell with both hands in front of your chest. Lean back slightly to engage your core muscles. Rotate your upper body to the right, bringing the dumbbell beside your right hip. Return to the center and then rotate to the left, moving the dumbbell to your left side. Ensure that your movements are controlled and deliberate to fully engage the core muscles.

Single-Leg Deadlift

  • Muscles Targeted: Lower back, hamstrings, glutes, core.
  • Repetitions: Perform 3 sets of 10 on each leg.

Stand upright on one leg, holding the dumbbell in the hand opposite the supporting leg. Keep a slight bend in the supporting leg to maintain balance. Hinge at the hips to lower your torso and the dumbbell towards the ground, extending your free leg straight behind you for balance. Your body should form a T-shape at the lowest point of the movement. Focus on keeping your back straight and your hips square. Slowly return to the starting position by contracting your hamstrings and glutes.

3. Cool Down

Finish your workout with a series of stretches that relax your muscles and facilitate recovery. Focus on areas that feel particularly worked, such as the shoulders, back, legs, and hips.

Finish your workout with a series of stretches that relax your muscles

Final Words

Utilizing a single adjustable dumbbell for a full-body workout offers a flexible, space-efficient solution for maintaining fitness. This routine not only builds strength across various muscle groups but also enhances muscular coordination and balance. Whether you're at home or in a gym, this versatile piece of equipment can help you achieve a comprehensive workout tailored to your fitness level.

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