I'm a Trainer, and These Are the 16 Dumbbell Exercises Everyone Should Know

03/10/2018 - 11:16 AM

Not only is weightlifting fun, it's one of the best ways to lower your body fat percentage [1] and build lean muscle [2]. In addition to losing fat, a 2006 review in the British Journal of Sports Medicine explained that other benefits of weightlifting [3] are: increased bone mass, improved cardiovascular fitness, strength, and an enhanced sense of well-being.

If you're a beginner, you're probably wondering what weightlifting exercises you should be doing at the gym, and I'm glad you're thinking one step ahead. Most trainers agree that compound exercises [4] — moves that work multiple muscle groups at once — like squats [5] and pull-ups [6], elicit a greater energy expenditure and enable the body to burn more calories [7] and body fat. If that was too much to digest just remember this: the bigger the movement, the more muscles you use, and as a result, the more calories and fat you burn.

Now that you know types of movements to do, you may be tempted to start with more advanced exercises you see your favorite Instagram influencers [8] and trainers doing; that is not a good idea. Instead, master the 16 exercises ahead. Once you've got them down, you can safely progress to the more difficult moves.

The following exercises are not meant to be done together as a workout. Instead, choose 3-6 exercises that are specific to a muscle group (arms, legs, etc.) and create a workout with them.

Shoulder Press

Dumbbell Squat

Squat to Overhead Press

Dumbbell Bench Press

Upright Row

Dumbbell Deadlifts

Dumbbell Triceps Extensions

Bent-Over Row

Dumbbell Sumo Squat

Bent-Over Reverse Fly

Bulgarian Split Squat

Goblet Squat

Side Lunge

Weighted Squat

Crossover Lunge

Lateral Arm Raise

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