5-Day Full Body Dumbbell Workout Plan

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Have you ever tried a full-body dumbbell workout? Whether you have a limited home gym setup or are simply looking for a more functional routine, you can effectively train your whole body using only dumbbells. Dumbbells are one of the best pieces of gym equipment and offer several benefits to machines or barbells. It’s possible to add serious muscle mass with a full-body dumbbell workout using standard dumbbell exercises and a little creativity.

In this article, we will give you a five-day split full-body dumbbell workout and all the tips you need to trigger muscle growth. We will also show you a one-day full-body dumbbell workout to burn calories and get you ripped. So, regardless of your goal, there is a dumbbell workout for you!

Table of Contents

  • Full Body Dumbbell Workout 5-Day Split
  • Fat-Burning Full Body Workout
  • Benefits of Using Dumbbells
  • Programming Tips
  • FAQs

Want to get right to the workout? Click here for a spreadsheet you can take with you on the go.

Full Body 5-Day Workout Split

The first option is a 5-day split program designed to shred those muscle fibers and build muscle with dumbbells. Feel free to adjust the reps as long as they fall in the suggested range.

Day 1: Upper Body (Strength) 5×5, or 4×6

Dumbbell Bench Press: 5 sets x 5 reps

dumbbell bench press

  1. Pick a pair of dumbbells and lie down on a flat bench keeping your feet flat on the ground.
  2. Position the dumbbells in line with your chest so that your arms form a large U-shape and your palms face forward.
  3. Press the dumbbells upwards by extending your arms and bringing them towards your center line so they lightly touch.
  4. Slowly lower the weight to bring the dumbbells down to your chest or slightly past, with your upper arms parallel to the floor.
  5. Repeat for 4-7 reps.

Incline Dumbbell Row: 5 sets x 5 reps

incline dumbbell row

  1. Place a pair of dumbbells under the head of a 30- or 45-degree bench.
  2. Lie face down on the bench so your arms hang down to the dumbbells.
  3. Grab the dumbbells with a neutral grip (palms toward each other). Keep your elbows close to your body and slightly bent throughout.
  4. Row the dumbbells upwards towards your ribs by pulling your shoulders back.
  5. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top to feel the contraction.
  6. Slowly lower the dumbbells as far as possible without locking your elbows.
  7. Repeat for reps 4-8 reps.

Dumbbell Overhead Press: 5 sets x 5 reps

dumbbell shoulder press

  1. Sit on a bench with your back flat and feet shoulder-width apart planted on the floor.
  2. Grip a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level with your palms facing outward. Your elbows should be at around a 90-degree angle.
  3. Exhale and slowly push the dumbbells overhead, extending your arms up without locking your elbows.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbells down to the original position.
  5. Repeat for reps 4-8 reps.

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row: 5 sets x 5 reps

one arm dumbbell row

  1. Grab a single dumbbell in your right hand with your palm facing inward.
  2. Place your left arm on a bench or sturdy surface for support.
  3. Bend your knees slightly, hinge your hips forward, and keep your back straight so your torso is parallel to the ground.
  4. Keep your arm close to your body and slowly retract your shoulder blade to pull the dumbbell towards your hip.
  5. Your elbow will move back behind your body upwards to pull the weight.
  6. Slowly lower the dumbbell back down on the same path.
  7. Finish the reps with the right arm before doing the left arm.
  8. Repeat for reps.

Day 2: Lower Body (Strength) – Quad Focus

Dumbbell Squat: 4 sets x 10, 8, 6, 4 or 5×5

dumbbell squat

  1. Start standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed slightly outward. Grab dumbbells with each hand.
  2. Drop your hips down to a squat position so your upper legs are slightly below parallel. The dumbbells should almost touch the ground.
  3. With your eyes forward, chest up, and core engaged, explode through your heels to return to the original position.
  4. Repeat for 4-8 reps.

    Dumbbell Step-Ups: 4 sets x 5-8 reps

    dumbbell step ups

    1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms by your side.
    2. Stand facing towards a bench or elevated surface. Step up onto the bench with one foot until your entire foot is on the bench.
    3. Push through the heel of the front foot (elevated) to lift your body onto the bench.
    4. Slowly step back down to the floor.
    5. Do all reps for one leg, then repeat for the other leg.

      Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squats – 4 sets x 8-12 reps

      dumbbell bulgarian split squat

      1. Stand about 2-3 feet in front of a bench or elevated platform with a dumbbell in each hand.
      2. Place one foot behind you on the bench so your shoelaces are resting on the bench and your toe is pointing down.
      3. Lower your body straight down by bending your front knee as you keep your back leg secured on the bench. Your front thigh should be parallel to the ground.
      4. Keep your front knee in line with your ankle, and make sure it does not extend past your toes.
      5. Press through the heel of your front foot to return to the beginning position.
      6. Repeat for 8-12 reps.

        Tip: Try a longer stance to emphasize the hamstrings and a shorter stance to focus on the quads.

        Standing Calf Raises – 4 sets x 12-15 reps

        standing dumbbell calf raise

        1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your feet flat on the ground.
        2. Grab a dumbbell in each hand.
        3. Slowly push your heels off the ground as high as possible. To get an even better stretch, try standing on something slightly elevated.
        4. Slowly lower back down to the ground.
        5. Repeat for 12-15 reps.

        Day 3: Push (Hypertrophy)

        Incline Dumbbell Bench Press: 4 sets x 8-15 reps

        incline dumbbell press

        1. This is a similar movement as day 1, except the bench is placed at a 30- or 45-degree angle to emphasize the upper chest.
        2. Push straight up keeping in line with your chin and squeeze your upper chest at the top of the movement.
        3. Repeat for 15, 12, 10, and 8 reps, increasing weight each set.

        Arnold Press: 4 sets x 8-15 reps

        arnold press

        1. Sit on a bench (or stand) with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grab a pair of dumbbells.
        2. Hold the dumbbells in front of you, around shoulder height, with your palms facing in, like you’re at the top of a biceps curl.
        3. Slowly extend your arms straight upwards above your head like a shoulder press, but rotate your wrists as you lift so your palms are facing away from you at the top of the movement.
        4. Slowly lower the dumbbells down to starting height while rotating your wrists back to the original position with palms facing towards you.
        5. Repeat for 8-15 reps.

        Dumbbell Fly: 3 sets x 10-15 reps

        dumbbell fly

        1. Lay on a flat bench, feet flat on the floor, with one dumbbell in each hand.
        2. For the starting position, extend your arms into the air with a slight elbow bend, holding the weights so your palms face each other.
        3. Slowly lower the weights to your side, like a letter T, with your arms slightly bent.
        4. Open your arms as wide as possible and focus on stretching the chest muscles.
        5. Squeeze your muscles and focus on the chest contraction as you slowly bring the dumbbells back to the starting position.
        6. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

        Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 3 sets x 10-15 reps

        dumbbell lateral raise

        1. Stand straight with feet hip-width apart, holding the dumbbells with a neutral grip at your sides.
        2. Raise your arms laterally outward, maintaining a slight bending in the elbow. Bring the weights up to shoulder level or slightly past.
        3. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the beginning position,
        4. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

        Lying Dumbbell Tricep Extension: 3 sets x 10-15 reps

        lying dumbbell triceps extension

        1. Lie on a flat bench with your back fully supported and your feet flat on the ground.
        2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing inward (towards your head), and extend your arms straight up towards the ceiling.
        3. With your elbows close to your body, bend your elbows to lower the dumbbells towards your shoulders until they are parallel to the ground.
        4. Press the dumbbells back up to the starting position by extending your elbows and squeezing your triceps.
        5. Be sure to keep your arms steady throughout the exercise.
        6. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

        Day 4: Pull (Hypertrophy)

        Single-Arm Dumbbell Row: 4 sets x 15, 12, 10, 10 reps

        1. Same exercise as day 1, but use a lighter weight for more reps. Start with a lighter weight and increase each set.

        Dumbbell Prone Row: 3 sets x 10-15 reps

        prone dumbbell row

        1. The DB Prone Row is essentially the same exercise as the incline dumbbell row on day 1, except the bench is flattened instead of at an incline. This creates a more direct horizontal pull than the angled pull from the incline bench.
        2. Not every gym has an extra tall bench like this, the same effect can be accomplished by putting a bench on top of two plyo boxes.
        3. Lay down flat on a bench in the prone position and grab one dumbbell in each hand.
        4. Squeeze the lats, retract your shoulders, and flex the elbows (roughly a 30-degree angle) to row the weights upwards toward the bench.
        5. Your upper arms should be just above your back at the top of the concentric part of the lift.
        6. Slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the original position.
        7. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

        Renegade Row: 3 sets x 10-15 reps

        renegade row

        1. Grab two dumbbells and get into a plank/push-up position with your hands on the dumbbells.
        2. Keep your legs straight and feet slightly wider than hip-width.
        3. Pull one dumbbell towards your ribs with a rowing motion in the plank position, keeping your elbow close to your body.
        4. Slowly lower the dumbbell back down to return to the plank position, then repeat the movement for the opposite arm.
        5. Alternate between arms until you complete all reps for each side.

        Bent Over Reverse Fly (Rear Delt): 4 sets x 10-15 reps

        rear delt dumbbell fly

        1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, dumbbell in each hand.
        2. Hinge forward at your hips to bend your upper body until it is almost parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight, chest up, and knees slightly bent. Your arms should hang straight down beneath your shoulders, with your palms facing each other.
        3. With your elbows slightly bent, exhale and lift both dumbbells out to the sides until your arms parallel the ground.
        4. Inhale and lower the dumbbells in a controlled manner back to the beginning position.
        5. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

          Seated Dumbbell Curls: 3 sets x 10-15 reps

          seated biceps curls

          1. Sit on a bench/chair with your back firmly against the back and feet flat on the ground.
          2. Grab each dumbbell with an underhand grip (palms out) and let your arms hang straight down.
          3. With your elbows tight to your body, exhale and slowly curl the dumbbells towards your shoulders by bending your elbows.
          4. Squeeze your biceps at the top of the lift to maximize the contraction.
          5. Inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position in a controlled manner.
          6. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

          Day 5: Legs (Hypertrophy) – Hamstring Focus

          Romanian Dumbbell Deadlift – 4 sets x 8-12 reps

          dumbbell romanian deadlift

          1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your thighs, palms facing your body.
          2. Hinge at your hips and slowly lower the dumbbells, keeping them close to your legs while keeping your back flat and chest up. The weights should pass below your knees but not touch the ground.
          3. Keep your knees bent and spine neutral, and avoid rounding your back during the lift. Your back should be flat, your chest up, your core tight, and your shoulders pulled back.
          4. Activate your hamstrings and glutes to raise your torso to the beginning position.
          5. Squeeze your glutes to fully extend your hips at the top of the lift.
          6. Repeat for 8-12 reps. You don’t want to go much higher than eight reps because the back muscles will fatigue before your legs, which can lead to injury.

          Tip: Try single-leg if your dumbbells are too light.

          Dumbbell Front Squat – 4 sets x 8-15 reps

          dumbbell front squat

          1. Stand tall with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width.
          2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height, palms facing each other. Rest the bottoms of the dumbbells on the front of your shoulders.
          3. With your chest up and your shoulders pulled back, slowly bend at the hips and knees to lower yourself, like sitting down on a chair. Try to go until your thighs are parallel to the ground or beyond.
          4. Keep your elbows lifted to prevent the dumbbells from dropping.
          5. Push through your heels, then extend your hips and knees to stand back up.
          6. Repeat for 8-15 reps.

          Tip: This exercise is great for people with bad knees, as it places less force on the knees than regular squats. Goblet squats are a great alternative if this movement feels too awkward.

          Dumbbell Walking Lunges: 4 sets x 8-15 reps

          dumbbell walking lunge

          1. Stand tall with your feet together, holding a dumbbell in each hand by your sides.
          2. Step forward with your right foot so your heel hits the ground first.
          3. Lower your body by bending both knees until your front thigh is parallel to the ground and your back knee is just above the floor.
          4. Lower your body straight down. Make sure your front knee is in line with your ankle and doesn’t go past your toes. Both of your legs should form a 90-degree angle at the knee.
          5. Push through the heel of your front foot to straighten your front leg and return to a standing position.
          6. Repeat for the left leg, alternating until all reps are finished.
          7. Repeat for 8-15 reps.

          Tip: Take long strides to emphasize the hamstrings and create a greater range of motion for the hips/glutes.

          Dumbbell Leg Curl – 3 sets x 10-15 reps

          dumbbell leg curl

          1. Lie on a flat bench with your legs extended and your toes pointing towards the floor.
          2. Place a dumbbell between your feet, gripping it securely with your feet.
          3. Keep your hips pressed into the bench to maintain proper spine alignment.
          4. Use your hamstrings to lift the dumbbell towards your glutes, keeping your knees close together and your feet flexed.
          5. Be sure not to arch the lower back – squeeze the glutes and contract your core to keep the focus on the hamstrings.
          6. Slowly lower the dumbbell back to the original position, extending your knees and straightening your legs.
          7. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

          Dumbbell Hip Thrust – 3 sets x 10-15 reps

          dumbbell hip thrust

          1. Sit on the ground with your upper back against a bench or elevated surface and feet flat on the ground, hip-width apart.
          2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand on your hips, ensuring they’re secure and stable.
          3. Press through the heels of your feet and squeeze your glutes to thrust your hips toward the ceiling.
          4. Drive your hips upward until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knee.
          5. Slowly lower your hips back down towards the ground to the original position.
          6. Repeat for 10-15 reps.

          Tip: Try a lower bench and experiment with positions until you find a comfortable one. Your lower leg should be roughly perpendicular to the floor.

          Fat-Burning Full-Body Dumbbell Workout

          While the first workout plan is designed to build muscle, this full-body workout is designed to burn calories. Full-body workouts are commonly used in the CrossFit world and circuit training programs as a way to burn calories and sculpt lean muscle. This full-body workout uses exercises from above that are combined to train everything in one day. Since full-body workouts are extremely draining, you should limit yourself to twice a week, with a minimum of 72 hours of rest between.

          You should use a weight that you can comfortably complete for ten reps. Limit rest time to 90 seconds between sets. Unlike a circuit routine, you should complete all three sets for each exercise before moving on to the next exercise.


          • 5 minutes of dynamic stretching
          • 5 minutes of light walking

          Workout: 3 sets x 10 reps each exercise

          • Dumbbell Deadlift
          • Dumbbell Goblet Squat
          • Dumbbell Bench Press
          • Dumbbell Overhead Presses
          • Dumbbell Lunges with Bicep Curl
          • Renegade Row


          • 5 minutes of static stretching
          • 5 minutes of light walking

          Programming The Workout Plan

          For the bodybuilder/strength training workout, we will use a five-day split, but not the one you’re thinking about. This workout will be split as follows:

          • Upper Body (Strength)
          • Lower Body (Strength) – Quad Focus
          • Rest
          • Push (Hypertrophy)
          • Pull (Hypertrophy)
          • Legs (Hypertrophy) – Hamstring Focus
          • Rest

          While most people do split workouts that are divided by specific muscle groups (chest, back, arms, etc.), the scientific evidence shows that training each muscle group twice weekly is ideal for maximum growth.¹ To learn more about this, check out our articleWhy You Should Train Each Muscle Group Twice A Week.

          It’s important to have a thorough warm-up for these workouts because dumbbells activate so many accessory muscles to maintain stability. Try doing dynamic stretches (active movements) and a few minutes of light cardio to warm up properly.

          After the warm-up, all workouts should (unless you are doing a pre-exhaust) start with compound exercises that work for multiple muscle groups. When training multiple muscle groups on the same day (which we will be), you should always start with large muscle groups then move on to the smaller muscle groups or accessory muscles.

          The first two workouts (upper body and lower body) are strength training days and target all the major muscle groups. These two workouts use a lower volume with high intensity to increase muscle strength. The goal is to lift as much weight as possible while maintaining correct form.

          The second half of the split, the hypertrophy days, use higher volume to build muscle and create a pump. This workout is designed scientifically to increase volume and manage fatigue. Simply put, you need to increase the volume over time to continue to make gains. The goal is to perform 10-20 weekly sets per muscle group.

          If you do have access to more than dumbbells, you should check out our SFS Hypertrophy Program.

          If you’re looking for a comprehensive strength program, you’re in luck we are extremely proud of our SFS Strength Program.

          Benefits of Using Dumbbells

          While you may be doubting the effectiveness of a full-body dumbbell workout, there are actually several benefits. Some of the top benefits of dumbbells include:

          1. Core Activation

          One major benefit of using dumbbells compared to other workout equipment is they keep the core engaged. Most dumbbell exercises activate the core and other stabilizer muscles in a way that machines can’t.

          2. Greater Range of Motion

          Another major advantage of using dumbbells is the greater range of motion they allow. The dumbbell bench press is one of several examples where you can get a far greater stretch compared to a machine or barbell. With a barbell bench press, your chest gets in the way – with dumbbells, you can go as far as you can stretch. A greater range of motion will improve gains, mobility, and flexibility.

          3. Improved Balance

          Lifting with dumbbells requires balance and coordination. You may not realize it, but your body works extra hard to keep everything stable during free-weight exercises.

          4. Fix Muscle Imbalance

          Dumbbells ensure you lift the same amount to help prevent muscle imbalances. With machines or barbell exercises, your body often overcompensates for a lacking muscle group by using other body parts or momentum. This can lead to muscle imbalances, whereas dumbbells correct this.

          5. More Versatile

          We understand that not everyone has access to full gyms with unlimited equipment. If you are working out at home or traveling, dumbbells can be used for countless exercises that target every muscle group.


          What should I do if my dumbbells are too light for my strength level?

          If you only have light dumbbells, you can try increasing the number of reps or superset with other exercises. For leg exercises, you can also do higher reps to failure or do the exercises with one leg rather than two.

          Can you get big from a full-body workout using only dumbbells?

          Yes! You may have to get creative if you have limited weight options, but you can train every muscle group just as effectively with dumbbells.

          Is it possible to train the lower body muscles with a dumbbell workout?

          Yes, there are several excellent exercises that can help build muscle in the legs and lower body. Exercises like the single-leg deadlift, goblet squat, lunges, or front squat can all be done using dumbbells.


          As long as you do the exercises correctly and follow an effective routine, full-body dumbbell workouts can be just as effective as an entire gym. Nearly every exercise can be performed with just dumbbells; it just requires extra balance and a little creativity. If you have a limited amount of dumbbells to work with that you’ve outgrown, try doing higher reps or train to failure to ensure a good workout. You can also play around with various hand positions or angles to make things more challenging.

          If you are a beginner and wish to try this routine, simply cut back a few sets or reps if you are struggling. A personal trainer can be helpful to show you proper form and keep you motivated.

          If you want more dumbbell workout options, check out our article,The Ultimate Upper Body Dumbbell Workout. If you are sold on this concept and are in the market for a new set of dumbbells for the home gym, check out our article9 Best Dumbbell Sets (2024 Edition).


          1. Schoenfeld, Brad J., et al. “Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Sports Medicine, vol. 46, no. 11, 21 Apr. 2016, pp. 1689–1697, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27102172/, https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-016-0543-8.

          #5Day #Full #Body #Dumbbell #Workout #Plan

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