The 6 Best Dumbbell Exercises

building muscle strength training watch (videos) workouts Feb 05, 2022

Dumbbells are the best way to effectively build your strength at home, without large equipment.

Exercising at home is absolutely the most time-efficient way to work out. And dumbbells are the most effective equipment to use. 

Join me in the gym for a brand new format of Hot Tea with Holly. In this episode you'll learn the BEST exercises for workouts at home with dumbbells, and...I'm going to SHOW you how to do them right.

These are the 6 dumbbell moves that can truly transform your body, once you learn the most important cues. You can add these 6 moves to your weekly workouts, or, use them as a stand-alone workout. 

Join me in my gym to watch and learn. Or, grab your dumbbells and practice alongside me. You’ll walk away with 6 moves you can do anytime to increase your lean muscle mass, improve energy, and reduce the risk of injuries, all without leaving your home.

I’ll help you use strength training to create the body you NEED to keep up with the life you love.

You may be wondering why I featured dumbbells for this story. Dumbbells are great because you can accomplish a lot with just two sets - one set of “light” and one set of “heavy.”

After all these years coaching women (thirty years now!) I find dumbbells to be the most consistent training tool because when you pick up a set of 8 pound dumbbells, you know you’re getting 8 pounds. This is because dumbbells are a “fixed resistance” tool that is the same in all positions. It’s a definitive mass in relation to gravity that doesn’t change as you move it.

This is different from exercise resistance bands. Now don’t get me wrong, I do love bands as well. Bands are great for travel, and they are the most compact in size if you work out at home. Some movements work great with bands - but many don’t. There are just some movements that are really uncomfortable with bands. And, bands stretch out over time, and you never really know what “weight load” you’re getting with a band. 

The six exercises featured in this story were chosen because…

  • They are foundational to your continued strength training
  • They can be added in to your current weekly programming 
  • They can used as a stand-alone workout

In whatever manner you use them, you’ll want to use a weight load where the last two reps of every set are hard. In general, 10-12 reps is the best place for women to start. 

Heavier weight loads for 10-12 reps builds strength and that lean muscle mass that makes your body look great.

I hope you’ll try each of these exercises and let me know what you think!

One of my basic tenets is that in order to get real results and create the body you know you’re capable of, it’s critical that you’re on a dedicated strength training program. Unless you’re a trained professional, you shouldn’t be trying to figure out your workout programming on your own.


I created The Glutes Project as a whole body strength program to help you create lean muscle mass, with an emphasis on the largest muscle group in your entire body.

While strengthening all of the major muscle groups of your body is important, your glutes are by far the most important. In my experience, nearly every single client that has walked through my doors had weak glutes, to a greater or lesser degree.

If you’ve been doing exercises without any real intention, or simply because they looked cool on social media, I encourage you to get yourself on a body part split routine.

If you’ve been working hard and not seeing the results you want, The Glutes Project is a great program to help get better results so you stop wasting your time on ineffective workouts. Check out The GLUTES Project here.


Stay strong, friend.


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