Build foundational strength and endurance with this 10-minute beginner dumbbell workout. The best strength training exercises for beginners looking to build a fitness routine at home or at a gym. This effective full body dumbbell workout is all strength training, all standing and no repeats – making it a great workout for beginners or anyone looking for a quick and simple strength session.
Squats, bicep curls, back rows and deadlifts – some of the simplest strength exercises also happen to be the most effective.
This all-standing beginner workout is entirely strength-focused and naturally low impact. That also makes it a great workout option for anyone who has joint pain, lives in an apartment, or just needs a quick and effective strength training session.
There are no repeats in today’s beginner dumbbell workout. You only perform each exercise once, so reach for a weight that challenges you.
Build functional strength in all the major muscle groups of the body in 10 minutes, using just a set of dumbbells.
Free Beginner Workout Plan
Beginner Dumbbell Workout FAQs
What Is A Good Dumbbell Weight for Beginners?
A good dumbbell weight for beginners is one that allows you to complete 10-15 repetitions of an exercise with good form. You want a weight that is heavy enough to lead to muscle growth, but not too heavy (which can compromise form, leading to injury). I recommend beginners start with weights somewhere between 5 pounds and 10 pounds.
Are Beginner Workouts Effective?
The most effective workout is one you’ll actually do. Beginner Workouts are an achievable way to build a regular fitness routine. Start where you are, and do what you can. I highly recommend following a well-rounded Beginner Workout Plan for accountability and motivation.
Yes, dumbbells are an effective tool for building muscle definition, increasing strength and improving endurance. As you build strength, perform more reps or use heavier dumbbells to achieve progressive overload.
10-Minute Beginner Dumbbell Workout
Build foundational strength, learn the basics of weight training, and improve general fitness with this Full Body Beginner Dumbbell Workout.
Targets: Quads, glutes, hamstrings, hip adductors and core.
How To Do Goblet Squats
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold one dumbbell vertically at your chest in a goblet hold.
Inhale as you bend your knees and sit your hips back (as if sitting down in a chair). Aim for 90-degree bends at each knee, focusing on pushing your knees out (not letting them cave in). Keep your torso upright.
Exhale as you press through your heels to stand tall, driving your hips forward to return to standing.
Alternating Back Row
Targets: Latissimus dorsi (or lats; the largest back muscle known for its large, flat “V” shape).
How To Do Alternating Bent Over Rows
Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in (narrow grip).
Bend forward at the hips maintaining a flat back, belly button pulled back towards your spine.
Pull the dumbbell in your right hand back towards your right hip (think of pulling from your elbow joint versus your wrist), as if you were starting a pull-start lawnmower. Stop once your elbow is in line with your rib cage, making a straight line from shoulder to elbow. Hold the row at the top for a moment squeezing your shoulder blade in.
With control, lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.
Then repeat, this time rowing the dumbbell in your left hand towards your left hip.
Slowly and with control, lower the dumbbell back down, returning to the starting position.
Targets: Legs, quads, hamstrings, butt and calves.
How To Do Split Lunges
Stand with feet hip-distance apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides.
Step your right leg back into a reverse lunge, dropping your right knee down towards the ground as you lower your hips. Both knees are bent at 90-degree angles, front thigh is parallel to the floor.
Exhale, squeezing your left glute and keeping the weight in your left heel as you push up, returning to standing position.
Modification: Hold one dumbbell horizontally at your chest, or do this exercise with just your bodyweight
Alternating Bicep Curls
Targets: The biceps brachii (the front of your arms). This move hits both heads of the biceps muscle.
How To Do Alternating Bicep Curls
Start standing, feet flat on the floor, core muscles engaged. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, palms facing outward (underhand grip or supinated grip).
Exhale as you squeeze your right bicep muscle to curl the weight in your right hand up to shoulder-height. Think about keeping your elbow tucked into your side and shoulder blade pulled down.
With control, slowly lower the dumbbell down to your side, returning to the starting position.
Then repeat, this time curling the dumbbell in your left hand up to your left shoulder, performing a standard bicep curl on the left side.
Slowly lower the weight to your side, returning to starting position.
Deadlift and Calf Raise
Targets: The posterior chain or backside of the body. Specifically targeting the hamstrings, glutes, hips and calves.
Start standing feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your body (overhand grip, palms face your body).
Hinge forward at the hips, pushing your hips back as you lower the dumbbells down along the front of your body. You should feel a stretch in the back of your legs (hamstrings). Focus on keeping your back in neutral alignment with your neck and shoulders throughout the entire movement. Keep a slight bend in your knees to avoid ‘locking out’ the joint.
Drive through your heels to push your hips forward; squeezing your glutes as you return to a standing position.
Once standing, lift your heels off the mat, transferring your weight to the balls of your feet (toes), performing a calf raise.
Lower your heels back to the mat with control, to return to the starting position.
Pin This Workout: Beginner Workout (Standing Workout)
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