4 Exercise Tips Using Lightweight Dumbbells

Exercising doesn’t always have to be at a gym filled with lots of machinery or heavyweights. It can also be done at work or home — and anywhere, as long as you have access to some form of weights.

The weights don’t have to be heavy nor varied in size or shape. The exercises will determine what core muscle groups are being used, not the weights per se. The weights can be a single dumbbell weighing five pounds, or two of them to add variety and simultaneous workout to both arms with various multiple muscle groups between them. Here are some exercise tips that fall into two categories — either they are two-arm exercises designed for two dumbbells — or they are one-arm exercises useful for those who want to work a single arm at a time.

Using the Bow and Arrow with Two Dumbbells

In ancient times, bowmen were rally strong and athletic soldiers. This was because of the agility and strength required to be constantly pulling back on those bows — especially longbows. A way we can replicate that type of agility and strength is to practice the method of pulling back on a string with dumbbells instead of a bow.

Hold one dumbbell in front of you vertically with the other parallel to it and also outstretched in front of your body. Now alternate between the two arms in regards to pulling back slowly with a single one of your dumbbells to replicate the actions of a bowman. As you are pulling back, extend the outstretched hand forward as well.

Butterflies Using Two Dumbbells

Another exercise worth trying with two dumbbells is the butterfly exercise. Hold both dumbbells together vertically and your arms bent at the elbow while the dumbbells rest on your chest. Now outstretch both arms, with a dumbbell in each hand, while your chest slightly moves forward. Keep both hands vertical while you do this. Later if you want to add variety, switch it to a horizontal butterfly motion but when both hands meet — meet them at the center, not on your chest but in front of you with fists touching.

Outstretching a single dumbbell in front of you

This exercise is meant to train your muscle intensity or ability to keep the tension for more than a second. What you need is a dumbbell around three to five pounds (depending on your strength) and outstretch it in front of your face. As you do this, you can twist it from vertical to horizontal positioning. You can also change the angle and lift on your arm to work for different muscle groups. The aim is not to hurt your arm but hold it just tight enough where you feel comfortable with the weight but not too comfortable, so it takes more than a minute for you to feel any tension.

A Back-Bending Arch with a Single Dumbbell

This exercise may not be for everyone. It is useful, however, for wrestlers, gymnasts, and martial artists. Grab a very lightweight dumbbell and hold it in front of you with both hands. Now bend your back slowly or arch backward while holding the dumbbell. As you start to tip and balance toward the floor, lift the dumbbell above your head and backward. It is kind of like a back suplex in wrestling but with a dumbbell. This exercise will train balance and core body strength.


There are many other variations of these exercises. For example, you can combine some of them with movement and while switching your lead foot front and back, then switching the lead foot to the other one. These types of exercises condition aerobically and will be of benefit to any athlete.

They are also often taught at boxing gyms to get boxers’ hands ready for constant movement and strain, holding the gloves together for long periods. But really, it is possible to think of many others with creativity combined with light dumbbells or other tools.