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Before you start lifting heavy weights and doing advanced exercises, it’s important you master the basic movements. Learning the basics will give your body time to adapt and will help you prevent injuring yourself. If you’re new to weightlifting, this beginner workout will help teach you the fundamentals.

The Beginner Dumbbell Workout

Before getting started, you need to get your muscles warm. Here’s a quick dynamic warmup you can follow. Grab a set of light/medium dumbbells (five to 10 pounds is a good starting point, but this guide on finding the right weight will help if you want to go heavier). If the exercise feels too easy, increase the weight. If your form is falling apart or it’s too hard to complete a set, lighten your weight.

Complete the designated sets and reps for each exercise before moving on to the following exercise. Be sure to rest in between each set so that your muscles have time to recover; your rest should be no longer than 60 seconds between each set.

  • Bicep curl: three sets of 12 reps
  • Single-arm row: three sets of 10 reps (each arm)
  • Overhead shoulder press: three sets of 10 reps
  • Dumbbell squat: three sets of 15 reps
  • Side lunge: three sets of 10 reps (each leg)
  • Romanian dead lift: three sets of 12 reps




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