Best Home Dumbbell Workout [No Bench Required]

There is so much you can do for your body with just minimal equipment. In fact, you can do a full body dumbbell workout with no bench. Do this while you’re watching TV in the comfort of your home. Dumbbells are so incredibly versatile, you can work almost every muscle in your body with just one pair. Here is our plan for your home workout with a dumbbell and no bench.

​Best Home Dumbbell Workout with No Bench

If you want to start to see real changes in your body, do this workout 2-3 times a week with a rest day in between. Do this circuit twice if you’re a beginner and 3-4 times if you’re more advanced. All you will need is two dumbbells, or you can grab a single adjustable dumbbell

Optional equipment includes a mat and different weight options in case you want to go heavier or lighter. Rest at least 10 seconds between sets and 30 seconds between exercises.

​Dumbbell Squats

​​Dumbbell squats are one of the best lower body workouts you can do with dumbbells. They target your quads and glutes but also require some engagement of your core. It’s a great home dumbbell exercise you can do with no bench.

  1. Start with your feet about shoulder width apart, your chest up, and holding a dumbbell in each hand. 
  2. Begin the movement by sitting back in a squatting position as if there is a chair behind you. This is a good free weight exercise on its own but you can make it even more challenging with a set of dumbbells for starters.
  3. Keep your eyes looking forward and chest lifted as you do this. Be sure to go into a deep squat so that you really feel the burn. You don’t want to cheat yourself out of your workout.

As you get more advanced, you can add more weight, or extend the number of sets, or hold the deep squat longer.

A man doing a dumbbell arm raise workout

​Bent Over Row: 20 reps, 2 sets

​​To work your back you should be doing bent over rows. Not only does it work the mid back, it also works the rear delts, traps, and your lats.

  1. Start in an athletic stance while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Bend over by hinging at the hips and bending your knees.
  3. Look straight ahead and keep your chest up as you do this.
  4. Next, begin to pull the dumbbells up to your stomach, and then slowly lower them back down.

​This is a good move to do if you want to add some definition to your back while being in the comfort of your own home.

​Single Arm Plank Row: 8 reps each side, 3 sets

​​To work your back, chest, and core try working on the single arm plank row. It requires a lot of stability in the feet and arms so it will engage multiple muscle groups primarily, your chest.

  1. To do a single arm plank row, first hold a high plank while gripping the bars of your dumbbells. 
  2. Begin the movement by bringing the dumbbell in your right hand up to your chest with a rowing motion then return it to the ground.
  3. Repeat for the 12 reps, switching sides with every repetition.
  4. As you are doing this pay extra attention to your plank. You want to keep good form in your plank so you get the maximum benefit from your workout.

​Overhead Tricep Extension: 20 reps, 2 sets

​The triceps are a difficult part of the arm to work but with tricep extensions, you can easily target them and help eliminate those stubborn bat wings in your upper body.

  1. Start a tricep extension by grabbing a single dumbbell and holding it straight above your head with both hands. 
  2. While keeping your arms above your head, bend at the elbow so that the weight goes behind your head.
  3. When your elbows reach a 90-degree angle, pause and then extend your arms to bring the weight back to the starting position.

Also, it is good to use some workout gloves to avoid ripping your skin from this exercise.

​Alternating Bicep Curl: 8 reps each side, 3 sets

​No move is as ubiquitous as the bicep curl. It is one of the best no-bench dumbbell workouts you can do for your bicep. The reason you see it so frequently is because it is so effective at helping people build mass in their arms.

  1. To start this move, stand up straight in an athletic stance while holding a dumbbell in each hand. 
  2. Tuck in your elbows and face your palms towards your thighs.
  3. Next, rotate your palms forward and then bend at the elbow to lift the weight up to your chest.
  4. Throughout the move be sure to keep your upper arm totally still.
  5. Lift the dumbbell up as much as you can and then slowly lower it back down. 
  6. Repeat the same motion on the other side, thus exercising both sides of your upper body.

Only the forearms should be moving as you perform this exercise.. If you cheat the move by relying on your upper arm for support, you will not see the results you want.

Woman standing on a green mat while lifting dumbbells

​Dumbbell Thrusters: 2 minutes

​When you want to see real changes in the composition of your body you need to be doing dumbbell thrusters. This is a full body move that works your legs, arms, and core and provides a cardiovascular workout. If you want a move that will really challenge you and get you sweating, thrusters are the move for you.

  1. To do thrusters, get two dumbbells and stand with your feet shoulder width apart. 
  2. Rest the dumbbells on your shoulders in the rack position.
  3. Start the movement by lowering yourself down into a deep squat.
  4. As you are squatting keep your torso lifted.
  5. Once you have gotten into your lowest squat, extend your legs explosively to return to standing.
  6. As you reach your full standing position, press the dumbbells straight up over your head as you would for a shoulder press.
  7. Then lower the dumbbells back to your shoulders and begin to squat again.

This move should feel like one fluid motion instead of three separate jerky moves. Try to keep the flow without pausing to keep your lower body engaged.


When you first starting out working with dumbbells you may not realize how much you can do without a bench. If you don’t want to spend extra money on equipment you can do this home dumbbell workout with no bench and still work every part of your body.

There are so many moves you can do with dumbbells that only require one or two dumbbells. Investing in at least two solid weights for your home gym opens up a world of workout opportunities.

They don’t take up much space and you don’t need to break the bank buying them. With just the basic pieces of equipment you can get in a full exercise routine without ever leaving your own home. 

Robert Lemus has been a natural competitor for 6 years, starting in Men’s Physique, then Bodybuilding, and then into Classic Physique. He is the Orange County Bodybuilding champion in 2016 for the Musclemania Organization. In 2018, he received his Pro Card with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in Classic Physique.