5 Beginner-Friendly Exercises Using Dumbbells and a Bench

girl with dumbbells

Some people make excuses for not working out because they think they don’t have enough equipment to do so. However, there are many exercises you can do with a minimal setup. In fact, you can do these beginner-friendly exercises with just a bench and dumbbells!

1. Dumbbell Bench Press

This exercise targets the triceps, pecs, lats, and traps. You start by lying on the bench. Make sure your feet are flat on the floor, and your back is slightly arched. With a dumbbell in each hand, extend your arms out vertically and bring the two dumbbells together. When doing this, make sure to contract your pectoral muscles and pull your shoulders back. 

Slowly bring your arms down the sides of your chest. This is one rep. Contract your pecs, push the dumbbells forward, and bring them together once the arms are fully extended.

2. One-Arm Dumbbell Row

The one-arm dumbbell row is a great exercise for the biceps, lats, upper back, and traps, and it requires only one dumbbell instead of two. For this exercise, begin with your feet shoulder-width apart. Maintain a flat back while you hinge forward at the hips. Place on foot on the bench and hold the dumbbell in the opposite hand. 

Using the arm holding the dumbbell, bend the elbow as you pull the dumbbell toward the side of your chest. Hold for a moment and then slowly lower it back to the starting position. When you’re done with your set, switch to the other leg and transfer the dumbbell to your other hand.

3. Incline Push-Ups

To train the shoulder, arms, and pecs, you can do some incline push-ups using your bench. You start by placing your hand on the bench’s edge, just a bit wider than shoulder-width. Make sure your arms are straight, but your elbows are not locked. Position your feet such that your body and arms are in a straight line.

Slowly lower your chest by bending your elbows. Make sure you are breathing in and keeping your body straight and rigid as you do so. Once your chest is lowered to the edge of the bench, push your body away as you exhale. Do so until your elbows are extended but not locked. 

4. Seated Bicep Curls

Train your biceps with some classic seated bicep curls. Begin in a standing position with a dumbbell in each hand and palms facing forward. Tuck your elbows to your sides and curl the dumbbells up. Make sure to squeeze the biceps as you reach the top. Next, lower your arms to the starting position, and this completes one rep. Avoid swinging the dumbbells as you do your reps.

5. Leg Pull-Ins

This last exercise is at a beginner to intermediate level and targets the abs or core. Start by sitting on the bench. With your hands grabbing the bench behind you for stability, lean back and lift your feet off the floor. Once your feet are in front of you, bring your knees to your chest. From this position, extend your legs back and lower them so that your feet are close to the ground but not touching it. 

Begin Your Fitness Journey

It can be pretty intimidating to use different gym equipment if you’re just starting out. But you don’t have to dive right into it if you’re not ready. You can start small and just use a bench and some dumbbells to train those muscles. What matters is that you take steps to begin your fitness journey, no matter how small.

If you’re still not sure how to begin your fitness journey, a skilled personal trainer from Kalev Fitness Solution can guide you through your journey. We are a fitness center in Vancouver that offers executive gym membership, personal training, corporate fitness services, and more. At Kalev Fitness Solution, we help people become fit, but if you give us a chance, we’ll change your life. Contact us today to get started!