26 Best Standing Dumbbell Exercises to Build Muscle

For those who work out without a bench, I’ve shared a complete list of standing dumbbell exercises in this article. To perform those workouts, you don’t have to lay down or sit; all you need is a pair of dumbbells and some space where you can stand.

This article includes dumbbell standing exercises for each muscle group, from the back, arms, and abs to the chest, shoulder, and legs.

Whether you want to build muscle or lose weight, you can integrate these exercises into your training program to bolster your entire body and build lean mass.

You can also combine these exercises with dumbbell lying exercises to design an effective no-bench home workout routine.

Here’s a quick list of all the exercises:

  1. Parallel Chest Fly
  2. Upward Chest Fly
  3. Behind the Neck Tricep Extension
  4. One-arm Overhead Triceps Extension
  5. Triceps Kickback
  6. Arnold Press
  7. Alternating Front Raise
  8. Standing Lateral Raise
  9. Bent-over Lateral Raise
  10. Upright Row
  11. Shoulder Shrug
  12. Alternating Biceps Curl
  13. Hammer Curl
  14. Crossover Curl
  15. Dumbbell Zottoman Curl
  16. Twisting Curl
  17. Reverse Dumbbell Curl
  18. Bent-over Row (Underhand grip)
  19. Bent-over Row (Neutral grip)
  20. Front Squat
  21. Forward Lunges
  22. Romanian Deadlift
  23. Calf Raises
  24. Side Bend
  25. Woodchop
  26. Windmill

Standing Dumbbell Chest Exercises

You can do a couple of dumbbell exercises to reinforce your chest muscles in the standing position.

1. Standing Dumbbell Fly

The parallel dumbbell fly works on the pectoral muscles and helps build a firm torso.

Steps to do it:

  1. Grab one dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip.
  2. Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart.
  3. Bring your arms out to the sides so your palms are facing forward.
  4. Bring the dumbbells toward each other until your arms are straight and together in front of your chest.
  5. Hold for a moment and then reverse the steps and repeat for the desired number of times.

2. Dumbbell Upward Chest Fly

The standing upward dumbbell fly primarily isolates the upper pecs and helps build a defined chest.

You can also do one arm chest fly to work more on the weaker side of your chest and improve muscle imbalance.

Steps to perform an upward fly:

  • Stand tall in the hip-width stance, holding a dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip.
  • Keep your arms straight at your sides with your palms facing forward.
  • Slowly raise your arms up at chest level until both dumbbells are close to each other.
  • Hold for a couple of seconds at the top, and then slowly lower the dumbbells to the start. That’s one repetition.

Standing Dumbbell Exercises for Triceps

Here are the three best dumbbell standing exercises you can do to hit your triceps lateral, long, and short head.

3. Behind the Neck Tricep Extension

This exercise hits the triceps long head and helps develop sturdy triceps.

Steps to do an overhead triceps extension:

  1. Grab one dumbbell with both hands and stand tall in a hip-width stance.
  2. Bend your elbows and hold the dumbbell behind your neck.
  3. Extend your arms overhead until you feel the complete triceps contraction.
  4. Hold for a moment, focus on your triceps muscles, and then lower the dumbbell to the start.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of times.
  6. Keep your elbows as close to your ears as possible

4. Single-arm Triceps Extension

Unilateral Tricep Extension

The single-arm tricep extension allows you to train one arm at a time, helps correct strength imbalance, and builds perfect triceps.

Steps to do it:

  1. Start with standing straight and holding a dumbbell in your right hand.
  2. Bend your right elbow and lower the weight toward the opposite side of your shoulder (bringing from behind your head).
  3. Extend your arms fully, pause for a moment, and then lower it down.
  4. Do as many reps and sets as possible on each side.

5. Dumbbell Triceps Kickback

Standing dumbbell triceps exercises

If you want to build horseshoe triceps, you shouldn’t skip kickbacks. Kickback is a highly effective exercise that activates all three heads of the triceps and helps develop sculpted arms.1 ACE Study Identifies Best Triceps Exercises – American Council of Exercise

Steps to do single-arm kickback:

  1. Grab a dumbbell in your left hand with a neutral grip and stand straight in the hip-width stance.
  2. Bend your knees and lean your torso forward.
  3. Keep your left arm straight at your side and the right one on your knees for balance.
  4. Slightly raise your working arm backward and lock your elbow.
  5. Now, kick the dumbbell back in an arc motion until your arm is straight behind you.
  6. Hold for a moment, squeeze your tricep muscles, and then your lower arm to the start (elbows should be locked throughout the movement).

Standing Dumbbell Workouts for Shoulders

You can do various standing exercises with dumbbells to build toned and healthy shoulders at home.

Let’s see all the exercises one by one.

6. Arnold Press

The Arnold Press is an excellent exercise to hit all three delts – anterior, lateral, and posterior delt.

Steps to perform an Arnold press:

  1. Grab one dumbbell in each hand and stand upright with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Bend your elbows and bring the dumbbells at shoulder height with your palms facing the body. That’s the starting position.
  3. Now, press the weights up (while rotating the dumbbells) until your palms are facing forward at the top of the press. Make sure your arms are fully straight overhead.
  4. Hold for a moment and then slowly reverse the movements so that your palms face the body at the bottom of the press. That’s one rep.

7. Dumbbell Alternate Front Raise

Standing Dumbbell Exercises for Shoulder

The front raise is an isolation exercise that primarily hits the anterior deltoid and forges your shoulders.

Steps to perform an alternating front raises:

  1. Grab one dumbbell in each hand and stand tall in the hip-width stance.
  2. Grip the dumbbells as tightly as possible with an overhand grip and hold your arms straight in front of your thighs. That’s the starting position.
  3. Now, raise the dumbbells upward until your arms reach slightly above your shoulder height.
  4. Hold for a second, then slowly lower the dumbbells in the starting position. That’s one rep.

8. Dumbbell Lateral Raise

dumbbell side delt raise

The standing lateral raise reinforces the side delts and makes your shoulder healthy and look more defined.

Steps to perform a side delt raise:

  1. Grab one dumbbell in each hand and stand upright with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Grip the dumbbells as tightly as possible with an overhand grip and hold your arms straight at your sides. That’s the starting position.
  3. Now, raise the dumbbells out to the sides until your arms become parallel to the ground.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbells in the starting position. That’s one repetition.

9. Bent-Over Lateral Raise

The bent-over lateral raise, also known as the rear delt fly, works on the posterior delts and upper trap and improves your upper body appearance, especially the rear side.

Steps to perform a bent-over lateral raises:

  1. Grab one dumbbell in each hand and stand upright with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Slightly bend your knees, push your hips back, and bend your torso forward, but keep your back remains flat.
  3. Hold your arms straight underneath your chest with your palms facing each other. That’s the starting position.
  4. Raise the dumbbells to the sides until you feel a complete contraction in your shoulders.
  5. Lower the dumbbells to the start and repeat.

10. Dumbbell Upright Row

The upright row is a compound exercise that simultaneously strengthens the shoulder and upper trap muscles.

Steps to perform an upright row:

  1. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand straight in the hip-width stance.
  2. Grip the dumbbells as tightly as possible with an overhand grip and hold your arms straight in front of your thighs.
  3. Pull the dumbbells toward your chin until they reach your neck (elbows should go out to the sides).
  4. Hold for a moment at the top, and then return the weight to the start.

11. Dumbbell Shrug

back and shoulder workout with dumbbells

The dumbbell shrug specifically builds up the area around our neck and shoulders and helps correct posture.

Steps to perform a shrug:

  1. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand upright with your back straight.
  2. Keep your arms straight at your sides with your palms facing in.
  3. Raise your shoulders toward your ears as high as possible.
  4. Shrug through your shoulder blades and lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

Standing Dumbbell Exercises for Biceps

12. Alternating Bicep Curl

Standing Dumbbell Exercises For Biceps

The alternating dumbbell curl is an old-school exercise that helps build sizable biceps and beefy arms.

Steps to do it:

  1. Stand straight in the hip-width stance, along with holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Grip the dumbbells with an underhand grip and hold your arms straight at your sides. That’s the starting position.
  3. Keep your core tight, inhale, and curl the dumbbells toward your shoulder until you feel the contraction in your bicep muscles.
  4. Hold a moment at the top of the curl, then return the dumbbells to the starting position.

13. Dumbbell Hammer Curl

Standing dumbbell workout for biceps

The hammer curl targets the two-headed muscle from a different angle and engages the forearms as well. Pairing it with other biceps exercises will help you build rounded and good-looking biceps.

Steps to perform a hammer curl:

  1. Grab one dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip and stand tall.
  2. Keep your arms straight at your sides with your palms facing your body. That’s the start.
  3. Flex your arms toward your shoulders until you feel the contraction in your bicep muscles.
  4. Pause for a moment at the top of the curl, then slowly uncurl your arms.

14. Dumbbell Crossover Curl

  1. Stand upright in the hip-width stance, along with holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Grip the dumbbells with a neutral grip and hold your arms straight at your sides with your palms facing your body. That’s the starting position.
  3. Curl one dumbbell up across your body to the opposite shoulder while keeping your palms inward.
  4. Hold for a moment, and then return to the start. That’s one repetition. Perform three sets of ten reps.

15. Standing Dumbbell Zottoman Curl

  1. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand upright with your back straight.
  2. Keep your arms straight at your sides with your palms facing in. That’s the start.
  3. Brace your core, inhale, and curl the dumbbells toward your shoulder until your biceps are engaged.
  4. At the top of the movement, rotate your wrists so that your palms are facing forward. And then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the initial position.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of times.

16. Standing Dumbbell Twisting Curl

  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells with a neutral grip and stand tall with your feet together.
  2. Hold your arms straight at your sides with your palms facing in.
  3. Curl one arm toward your shoulder; as you reach the half of the curl, rotate the wrist so your palms face your body at the top of the movement. Hold for a second and then reverse the steps to return to the starting position.
  4. Repeat with your opposite arms to complete one repetition.

17. Reverse Dumbbell Curls

  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells in your hands with an overhand grip and hold your arms straight in front of your thighs.
  2. Curl the dumbbells toward your shoulders until your biceps are fully engaged.
  3. Pause for a couple of seconds, and then lower your weights to the start.
  4. Do as many reps and sets as you like.

Standing Dumbbell Back Exercises

Dumbell bent-over row, deadlift, and reverse fly are some of the dumbbell standing workouts you can do to fortify your back muscles.

18. Dumbbell Bent-over Row

dumbbell back and shoulder exercises

The bent-over dumbbell row targets the latissimus dorsi and traps and helps build a broader back.

Steps to do a bent-over row (overhand grip):

  1. Grab one dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip and stand upright with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Slightly bend your knees and push your hips back to lean forward. Keep your back straight and chest up.
  3. Without moving your torso, pull the dumbbells at your sides.
  4. Pause for a couple of seconds at the top, and then slowly lower the weights to the star.

19. Neutral Grip Dumbbell Row

It targets the back muscles from a different angle and helps build a muscular back.

Steps to do:

  1. Holding a pair of dumbbells, stand in the bent-over position.
  2. Keep your core tight, back straight, chest up, and arms straight below your torso with your palms facing each other.
  3. Driving your elbows at your sides, pull the dumbbells until your back muscles are fully engaged.
  4. After a brief pause, return to the start and repeat.

Standing Dumbbell Exercises For Leg

20. Dumbbell Squat

Standard Dumbbell Squat

The dumbbell squat is a strength and muscle budling workout that strengthens the quadriceps and builds sturdy legs.

Steps to perform a dumbbell squat:

  1. Holding a pair of dumbbells in each hand, stand upright with your back straight.
  2. You can hold the dumbbells on your shoulder or in front of you.
  3. Brace your core, and pushing your hips back, bend your knees and lower down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  4. Hold for a second at the bottom of the squat, and then return to the standing position. (pushing through your heels).

21. Dumbbell Lunges

You can do various lunges to build powerful legs, such as forward lunges, backward lunges, and in-line lunges.

Steps to do forward lunges:

  1. Holding a pair of dumbbells with a neutral grip, stand upright.
  2. Take one large step ahead and, pushing through your front foot, return your leg.
  3. Repeat on the opposite side.

22. Romanian Deadlift

The dumbbell RDL bolsters hamstrings and improve posterior chain muscle health.

Steps to perform DB RDL:

  1. Holding one dumbbell in each hand, stand in the hip-width stance.
  2. Pushing your hips back, lower the dumbbells until your hands reach close to your shin.
  3. Slowly return to the standing position by pushing your heels onto the floor. That’s one repetition.

23. Standing Calf Raises

Calves are crucial muscles that help in running, jumping, and squatting. And you can reinforce them with standing dumbbell calf raises.

Steps to perform a dumbbell standing caf raise:

  1. Holding a pair of dumbbells with a neutral grip, stand upright.
  2. Raise your heel as high as possible and stand on your toes.
  3. Hold for a couple of seconds, then slowly land your heels on the floor. That’s one repetition.
  4. Make sure to raise your heels until you feel the full stretch in your calves.

Standing Dumbbell Exercises for Abs

You can also do a few standing dumbbell workouts to strengthen and tone your abs.

24. Dumbbell Side Bend

  1. Grab one dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip, and stand straight with your feet together.
  2. Lower the dumbbell to the right side until you feel the contraction in your oblique.
  3. Squeezing your love handle, pause for a moment, and then return to the standing position.

25. Standing Dumbbell Woodchop

The dumbbell standing woodchop helps you strengthen the oblique and core without a bench or fancy equipment.

It has several variations, such as reverse and rotational wood chop.

Depending on your fitness levels, you can do any of them.

26. Standing Dumbbell Windmill

  1. Holding a pair of dumbbells with a neutral grip, straight in the slightly wider than shoulder-width stance.
  2. Lower your right arm between your feet by bending your hips to the right and raise your left arm overhead simultaneously.
  3. Do two to three sets of six to eight reps, equally on both sides.

45-Minute Full Body Standing Dumbbell Workout to Build Muscles

Summary

  • Frequency: 3 days a week
  • Duration: 45 minutes
  • Rest between sets: 1-minute

Monday

WorkoutSetsReps
Dumbbell Squat315, 12, 10
Dumbbell Standing Fly310, 8, 8
Overhead Tricep Extension312, 10, 8
Dumbbell Bent-over Row312, 10, 8
Dumbbell Curl312, 10, 8
DB Reverse Delt Fly310, 8, 8

Wednesday

WorkoutSetsReps
Arnold Press312, 10, 8
Dumbbell Lateral Raise310, 8, 8
Dumbbell Lunges310, 8, 8
Romanian Deadlift38, 6, 6
Calf Raises312, 10, 8
Dumbbell Upward Fly310, 8, 8

Friday

WorkoutSetsReps
Dumbbell Deadlift38, 6, 6
Front Lunges312, 10, 8
Dumbbell Side Bend312, 10, 8
Triceps Kickback312, 10, 8
Alternating Biceps Curl 312, 10, 8
Neutral Grip Bent-Over Row312, 10, 8

References

Photo of author
Author
Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share to...