Training with a single dumbbell may sound foolish, but imagine the following scenarios. You go to the gym, ready to go, and it's packed and most of the equipment is gone. This makes completing your current program an annoying challenge. Or the will to train is strong, but time is short, or you are looking for some variety in your training for whatever reason.
How are you?
Here's a suggestion. Grab a dumbbell and do the following exercises and workouts below. These single dumbbell workouts will have you sweating - maybe even smiling - in no time and will be able to get in the shower quickly while others are still finishing their day.
Here we dive into the benefits of using dumbbells, the best single dumbbell exercises, and a few single dumbbell workout examples to get you sweating.
Benefits of training with a single dumbbell
- Reduces Power Imbalances: Training with a dumbbell helps strengthen imbalances between the sides when performing unilateral exercises, if any. When training with barbells, one side can take over the other, creating a power imbalance.
- User friendliness: You'll need to get the plates on and off the barbells, and often another piece of equipment is required to perform exercises like a bench or squat rack. It's not a big deal, but it can be a problem when the gym is full and equipment is scarce.
- Freedom of movement: Barbells and trapeze bars will lock you in a certain range of motion, which is great for lifting more weight. But with dumbbells, you can hold them with different grips, like the neutral grip. Changing your grip can take the strain off your wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints.
- Improved Muscle Building: Holding and lifting a single dumbbell in an offset, goblet, or rack style strengthens the imbalance between the sides, resulting in better muscle development on the smaller or weaker side.
How to hold a dumbbell
There are a few ways to hold a single dumbbell to increase the training effect, particularly in squats, lunges, and carries. Holding a dumbbell by your side, like a stretcher, gives you an offset load that challenges your balance and core stability.
Holding the dumbbell cup style offers more front core action and is more difficult because the weight is farther from your legs. Also, holding a single dumbbell in the front rack position will challenge your upper back, balance, and glutes more. And having a dumbbell overhead is the most challenging position for a reason already listed.
There is no right or wrong way to hold a barbell. Use a position that challenges you and aligns with your fitness goals.
Common single dumbbell exercises
In theory, for most exercises that use two dumbbells, you can use one, but some exercises I've found work better with one dumbbell. Here's a selection of exercises you can use in any single dumbbell workout.
- full body: Snatch, Squat to Press, Push Press, Hang Clean and Hang Clean and Press.
- Carries: Case, cup, frame and overhead stretcher.
- Rows: Rows with one arm on the bench, RDL rows, deadstop rows, chest-supported rows, 3-point rows, lawnmower rows, bent-over rows, and birddog rows.
- Squats: Sumo, mug, suitcase, staggered front squat, staggered overhead squat, and split squat variations.
- Lunges & other one-leg exercises: Backward, sideways, forward and kinky lunges with all of the dumbbell positions listed above. Single leg deadlifts and step ups.
- Chest & Shoulders: Bench press, sweater press, floor press, deadbug floor press, standing and seated overhead press, and Arnold press.
- Hinges: Dumbbell deadlift, hip thrust, one-leg hip thrust, and offset bilateral RDL.
Single dumbbell workouts to burn fat and build muscle
te: You can participate in a similar exercise of your choice. The following suggestions are not set in stone.
Give a spin with these single dumbbell workouts when you're short on time or equipment. You'll strengthen side imbalances while burning calories and showering early. you can thank me later Or not.