9 Workouts You Can Do With Just One Dumbbell

Look to the classics, says personal trainer Emma Middlebrook, owner of REP Movement.

A person with braids sits on a bench in a gym and performs seated dumbbell curls. Dumbbell curls can...


Turkish Get-Up

Middlebrook's number one dumbbell move is the Turkish get-up. As a full-body stability and strength exercise, it works your shoulders, chest, core, and lower body. Pay very strict attention to your form, she says, because it's a very technical move.


Take It For A Walk

Lace up your sneakers and take your dumbbell for a walk — no, really. You'll increase your grip strength (grocery run, anyone?) and improve your cardio system all at the same time.

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Hollow Body Single-Arm Press

If you're looking for an extra challenge, Middlebrook advises mastering the core-strengthening hollow body hold. Then, grab your dumbbell and add a single-arm overhead press. Your entire body will work to keep you stable and strong on this one.


Russian Twist

Hold your dumbbell between both hands for this core move, Middlebrook says. "You’ll engage your biceps, shoulders, and abdominal area," so don't be surprised if you're sore for a day or two.


Lateral Jumps

You don't have to hold your dumbbell to get the most of out it. "Put your weight on the floor and use it as a hurdle to do lateral jumps," Middlebrook says. "Having a target to jump over keeps you mentally and physically engaged."


Clean It Up

Dumbbell cleans are easier to master than their kettlebell cousins, and are excellent for your strength and cardio goals. Once you've got the basics down, this one move is a full-body workout — especially when you get fancy and add a squat or overhead press to the mix.


Pull, Pull, Pull

Since we're often hunched over our computers all day, pulling exercises can help strengthen our backs, improve our posture, and prevent pain. Use your dumbbell for rows, reverse flys, curls, and single-leg deadlifts.


Use A Chair

You might think you need to go super heavy on leg day — but think again. Prop up your back leg on a stable chair for single-dumbbell Bulgarian split squats and you'll give yourself an excellent quad, glute, and hamstring workout.


Design Your Own Flow

"You can create some fluid movements with one dumbbell," Middlebrook says. "For example, you can go from a snatch to a reverse overhead lunge to a lateral lunge. The options really are endless if you just get a little creative."

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