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5 Best Exercises for Men To Gain Strength With Dumbbells

To build up your strength, start lifting weights.
FACT CHECKED BY Alexa Mellardo

When it comes to classic masculine traits, there's no denying that physical strength is among the most desirable. Whether you are someone who needs physical strength to perform your job, an office worker who wants to stay in shape to offset a sedentary job, an athlete, or a father who needs energy and strength to play with your kids, staying strong is a must. If you have traditionally steered away from strength training or feel lost when it comes to getting stronger, I've got some great news. The truth is, getting stronger is quite simple, and these five exercises for men to gain strength with dumbbells will help.

To build up your strength, you need to pick up heavy objects in a repeated manner using optimal movement patterns. In layman's terms, you need to lift weights. Dumbbells are among the most popular and common tools available when it comes to fundamental weight training. Found in most commercial gyms, the dumbbell offers a massive array of exercises to strengthen every muscle in your body.

The following are the five best exercises for men to gain strength that can be performed with dumbbells. I've put many male clients through this routine and helped them develop serious strength and muscle across their entire bodies. Perform each exercise with a heavy weight that causes failure between five and eight repetitions. Complete four sets per exercise, resting for three to five minutes between sets. Repeat the workout twice per week.

Keep reading to learn more, and when you're done, don't miss out on the 5 Strength Exercises Men Should Do Every Day To Stay Fit.

Dumbbell Bench Press

man doing dumbbell bench presses

The dumbbell bench press is a foundational exercise for developing upper-body strength. Primarily targeting the pectoralis major and minor (chest muscles), it also engages the deltoids (shoulders), triceps, and muscles in your upper back and core to a lesser extent.

To perform a dumbbell bench press, start by sitting on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand, resting them on your thighs. Lean back onto the bench, keeping the dumbbells close to your chest. As you settle back, lift your feet and plant them firmly on the floor. Your feet, hips, and upper back should all maintain contact with the ground and the bench. Push the dumbbells upward, extending your arms. Make sure to keep your wrists straight and in line with your forearms. At the top of the lift, the dumbbells should be directly above your chest. Lower the dumbbells in a controlled manner back to the starting position, bending your elbows and shoulders, while keeping your feet, hips, and upper back stable. Repeat for the target repetitions.

Dumbbell Rows

muscular man doing dumbbell rows

Dumbbell rows are excellent for strengthening your back, specifically the latissimus dorsi, rhomboids, and traps. Additionally, they also work your biceps, shoulders, and forearms.

To perform a dumbbell row, begin by standing with a dumbbell in your right hand. Bend at the hips, keeping your back straight, and place your left hand on a bench for support. Your right foot should be slightly behind your left foot. Engage your core, and hold the weight with your arm extended straight down. Pull the weight upward, visualizing crushing a piece of fruit in your armpit as you retract your shoulder blades and squeeze at the end range of motion. Avoid shrugging throughout the range of motion. Lower the weight back to the starting position, controlling the motion. Repeat for the target repetitions, and switch to the other side.

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Dumbbell Goblet Squats

illustration of dumbbell goblet squats

The dumbbell goblet squat is a compound exercise that mainly targets the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings, but also works the calves and core muscles.

To perform a dumbbell goblet squat, start by holding a dumbbell vertically in front of your chest, cupping the top end with both hands. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your body by bending at the hips and knees while keeping your chest up. Be sure to push through your full foot. Continue until your thighs are parallel to the ground, keeping your back straight. Push through your full foot, raising your body to return to the starting position. Repeat for the target repetitions.

Dumbbell Overhead Press

fit man doing dumbbell exercises for a tapered waist at the gym

The dumbbell overhead press is a great exercise for developing strength in the deltoids and triceps. It also engages the core and upper-back muscles for stability.

To perform a dumbbell overhead press, begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level with your palms facing forward. Engage your core, and press the dumbbells overhead, extending your arms fully. Pause at the top, ensuring you avoid shrugging throughout the range of motion. Lower the dumbbells in a controlled manner back to shoulder level. Repeat for the target repetitions.

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Dumbbell Lunges

man doing dumbbell lunges

The last of the best dumbbell exercises for men to gain strength is the dumbbell lunge. Dumbbell lunges are effective for working the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings. They also require balance and stability, engaging the core muscles.

To perform dumbbell lunges, begin by standing upright with a dumbbell in each hand, arms fully extended at your sides, and palms facing your torso. Take a step forward with your right foot, keeping your torso upright and maintaining balance. As you plant your right foot, rotate your left foot inward slightly. Lower your body by flexing the knee and hip of your front leg until the knee of your rear leg is almost in contact with the floor. Ensure you're pushing through the full foot of your front leg. Push through the full foot of your front leg, extending your hip and knee to return to the standing position. Repeat for the target repetitions, and then switch legs.

Tyler Read
Tyler Read is a personal trainer and has been involved in health and fitness for the past 15 years. Read more about Tyler
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