Get Ripped at Home with Dumbbells

“Hit the Gym to Get Fit!”

If the above statement were an ad line you swore by, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Why? Because designing a workout plan with dumbbells and some basic equipment is all that you need to get fit and ripped, all within the comforts of your own home!

But why should we invest in a Home Gym?

There’s no doubt that it could be more fun to visit a gym, but in today’s world, long office hours, hefty gym subscriptions, and unhelpful trainers are making more and more fitness loving folks try their hand at building their own setup. While it’s nice to have the camaraderie and competitive spirit of gym, if your focus is fitness (as it should be), you can just as easily pack muscles and hone a leaner, more defined body right in your own living room.

Why dumbbells?

Dumbbells are weights which act as external resistance to any strength training routine. They can be incorporated into training all the body parts during a home workout. They’re easy to use (d’uh!) and easier to maintain, move around, and stow away. And, they double up as handy home tools too. Just try using a smith machine to break open those walnuts or drive that nail in, and you’ll know!

Can all exercises be done using dumbbells?

Remember, modern strength workout machines came into existence much later than the ordinary yet trustworthy dumbbells! The modern gym equipment is no doubt more exciting and perhaps more ergonomic and convenient. However, to strengthen your overall body, most exercises are easily and safely done even today using dumbbells. Visit any small local gym and you’ll see just as many able bodied men flexing their biceps with only a humble rack of dumbbells at their disposal.

That makes sense to me…now tell me how!

It is fairly simple to start your home workouts with dumbbells. The things you need to invest in are – Dumbbells, a Yoga Mat, and (or) a bench.

Dumbells: Buy ideally 3-4 sets, choose them according to your strength. For example, a beginner’s set could consist of sets of 1, 2, 3 and 5 kg dumbbells.

Other equipment: An exercise mat, and a stability Ball, an incline bench

Is that all?

Yes. That combined with your understanding of various exercise movements and some improvisation can help you do a full body workout within your  home.

Now let’s take you through some of the exercises you can include in your full body workout with just dumbbells. These are by no means exhaustive. If you’d like to challenge yourself, you can find a vast array of options available online. However, if you’d like to stick to the basics and have a complete body workout, here’s what you can happily follow:

  • Biceps: Dumbbell Biceps Curl (B1), Hammer Curl (B2),
  • Triceps: Standing Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension (T1), Triceps Dumbbell Kickback (T2)
  • Back: One arm Dumbbell Rowing (BK1), Bent Over Two Dumbbell  Rows (BK2), Dumb Bell Bent Over Wide Rows (BK3).
  • Chest: Dumbbell Chest Press (C1), Incline Dumbbell Chest Press (C2), Decline Dumbbell Chest Press (C3), Incline Dumbbell flys (C4), Straight Arm Dumb Bell Pullovers (C5).
  • Shoulders: Dumbbell Shoulder Press (S1), Dumbbell Front Raise (S2), Side Lateral Raise (S3), Seated Bent Over Rear Delt Raise (S4)
  • Legs: Dumbbell  Squats (L1), Plie Dumbbell Squats (L2) , Dumbbell Wall Squats (L3), Leg Curls (L4), and Leg Extensions (L5)
  • Abdominals: Dumbbell Crunches (A1),  Dumbbell Unilateral Side Bends (A2), Spell Caster (A3), Dumbbell V-Sit Cross Jab (A4).

Note: You can simply check out YouTube videos to see how these exercises need to be performed!

Now, a sample workout plan could be –

  1. Stretching and Warm up
  2. BK1, C1, B1,T1, S1, S2, L2, L4, L5… 4 sets each, Number of repetitions 12-15.
  3. Post workout stretching.

A full body workout with warmup, intra set rest periods, and post workout cooldown stretches could be finished within 45 minutes to an hour. You can choose your weights, sets, and repetitions in the range of 12-15 to begin with. By using various combinations you could keep changing the workout each day and vary it according to your requirements. This will keep the workout fun and exciting. You could also add body weight exercises to your list for more variety.

Hmm…how do I make it more interesting?

Invite a family member or friend to workout with you. Appreciate and point out errors. This will help you and your workout buddy progress much faster.

Exercise Resources

Websites such as and have extensive database of exercises with videos and pictures. And of course, there’s always YouTube.

The bottom line

Simple! You don’t need to invest in an expensive gym membership to get fit and ripped!


Article Credits – Arunava Chatterjee

Arunava Chatterjee

Arunava Chatterjee

Hi, I’m Arunava Chatterjee, a certified professional in nutrition and fitness from Institute of Nutrition and Fitness (INFS). MY USP - I TRY HARDER An Engineer – MBA and avid sports lover in my earlier avatar I have helped people regain lost energy and vitality, achieve fat-loss and transform themselves mentally and physically. I have spent a lot many years in the corporate worlds and been a witness to young men and women losing track of health and well being and in no time looking and feeling a lot older than their actual age. In fact, I was one of them before I turned into a fitness enthusiast. I changed the course of my life after an injury setback. No leisurely morning strolls for me. Instead, I decided to pick up dumb-bells and become as strong as I could. I did that by religiously working out and by following a structured diet. Several months later I was stronger and fitter than even in my life except perhaps with the exception of when I was in my 20s. Motivated by my own success I decided to motivate others. BASICS: I firmly believe that good nutrition and fitness are important for all irrespective of age or gender. Both are very powerful tools which if used wisely will ensure our well being for many years. Belief: I am often asked, sometimes rather cynically “is it possible to lose weight and transform, at my age” To all those asking that. my answer is a resounding YES!. The adage “Health is Wealth” is not just for the youth. It is for every individual irrespective of age. Want to know more about my work? Look through the transformations and testimonials sections of my profile. When you try hard with me, I try harder.....