In my first beginner routine I tried to get you comfortable with using machines. This routine is designed to take you to the next level by introducing you to dumbbells. Dumbbell exercises will require more balance and control, but they’re an excellent way to isolate individual muscle groups and diversify your workouts. If you don’t have access to a gym or the equipment I suggested before, these exercises can also be done at home or mixed in with your favorite machines.
Why Choose Dumbbells?
Women are often intimidated by dumbbell exercises… aka “scary free weights,” but the truth is, they shouldn’t be scary at all! Dumbbells are simple to use (even for beginners) and are a great way to isolate individual muscle groups – or do total body workouts. Not only will you be targeting your intended muscle(s), but dumbbell exercises can stimulate other groups as you stabilize and control the body.
As you become more experienced with weight training, you may find that you have a more dominant muscle or group of muscles on one side. By doing dumbbell exercises with each side individually, it will help to balance your body and is often a more beneficial way of training. I prefer many of these movements myself, and I often incorporate them into my workout routines, especially when I’m trying to isolate a weak muscle group.
Just like my beginner routines with machines, I don’t suggest chest and back exercises for newbies. Not a priority for most women! And once again, that washboard stomach won’t appear unless you’re dieting and burning fat, so we’ll leave the ab exercises out for now.
New to the gym? What you should know before getting started →
Dumbbell Workout #1
Dumbbell Workout Routine #1 for women (full body). Complete 3-4 times per week, with 1 day of rest between workouts.
Dumbbell Workout #2
Dumbbell Exercise Routine #2 for women (full body). Complete 3-4 times per week, with 1 day of rest between workouts.
Warm up set of 15-20 reps
3 sets of 10-12 reps
More Advice for Beginners:
If you skipped my machine routines and this is your first time training with weights, you may want to consider cutting down from three sets of each exercise to just two for your first several workouts. You’re sure to be sore if you haven’t been hitting the gym, so you can limit the stress (and pain!) in your muscles by easing into things slowly.
Selecting the appropriate dumbbells to use can be a little bit tricky in the beginning as well. Start off light and then work your way up until you feel a moderate burn on your last 3-4 reps of each exercise.
ALSO, feel free to interchange the exercises in each of these dumbbell routines. Maybe you don’t feel comfortable with one of the movements, or maybe you like one better than another. The key is to hit each muscle group per day: shoulders, biceps, triceps, hamstrings and quads.