Exercises That Only Need One Dumbbell

Dumbbells are very versatile pieces of equipment. With only one dumbbell in your set, you can effectively get a full-body workout if you know how to go about it. In fact, the exercises that just need one dumbbell can make things happen and quickly achieve maximum output easily.

Single-arm overhead presses

This should be as simple as it sounds. Having only one dumbbell allows you to alternate between your arms and effectively get the same workout. Hold the dumbbell and shoulder length and begin by pushing the dumbbell straight up. Slowly let the dumbbell come back down until it’s at shoulder length again. Now you can swap to your other arm and repeat the movement. Do this 8 to 12 times with each component to make significant shoulder gains.

Reverse lunges
Source: Women’s Health

Reverse lunges

Walking lunges aren’t for everyone. Try making reverse lunges with your dumbbell for a great leg workout. While holding the dumbbell in your right hand, stand with your feet together. Next, step back with your right foot and bend your knees as you bring your right knee to the ground. Now push yourself back up but use your left leg and foot until you are in the standing position again. Do this with the left side, so it doesn’t feel like missing out. Do this 8 to 12 times on each side to give your glutes a searing workout.

Weighted glute bridge

Continuing with leg exercises, you can also try the weighted glute bridge. Lie on your back with the dumbbell in your lap, lying neatly on your thighs. Make sure to hold it with both hands as you squeeze your glutes and push the dumbbell up with your pelvis. Keep the weight there for a second before slowly letting it down again. That’s one rep. You don’t have to alternate on this one, so 8 to 12 reps should do. This also makes for a great core workout.

Bicep curl
Source: Getty Images

Bicep curl

This is one of the easiest and most common one dumbbell exercises. With the dumbbell in your hand, ensure your wrist is facing outwards. With the dumbbell to the side, curl the weight up towards your bicep. Hold and squeeze, letting the dumbbell down slowly again. That makes for one rep. This also makes for a great workout if you only have one dumbbell, as you can alternate between 8 to 12 reps.

Single lateral raises

Keeping the dumbbell in your right hand, try to pull up and outwards using your shoulder muscles. At the end of the rep, your arm should be stretched out to the side with a dumbbell. Slowly bring the dumbbell back to your side, and you will have completed one rep. Alternate between arms to get a great shoulder and arm workout.

Dumbbells can be a very versatile and effective exercise utility. Keeping these simple exercises in mind can be an excellent means of using a single dumbbell for a quick workout. Who knew there were so many ways we could work out bodies with just one dumbbell?