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At Home Dumbbell Routine

eahreneeeahrenee Member Posts: 134 Member Member Posts: 134 Member
I am interested in working out at home just becasue it is much more convenient for me, but I am having a hard time finding a good beginner work out routine. I am a little intimidated by some that I have seen online, because I am not able to do some of the excersizes - like push ups or renagade (I have pretty weak upper body)

Should I just start one of these programs, and just attempt the excersizes I am not able to do (fake it till I make it) or are there other excersizes I can do in place of those?

I have dumbbells, and a bowflex at home (I want to be able to track my progress which is hard to do on a bow flex, I think)
I also have a barbell and weights, but have heard that to squats, I should have a squat rack -it's not in the budget right now.
I'm currently looking at the below excersize 3 times a week, and adding cardio on off days.

Any advise is greatly appreciated.


  • VoicedJoy22VoicedJoy22 Member Posts: 15 Member Member Posts: 15 Member
    That's a very doable workout for a beginner with a couple of small modifications. Push-up and renegade rows can be done from the knee until you build up the arm/core strength to do them from the toe. just make sure your midsection stays straight and you're not sticking your butt up in the air.

    If you're doing squats with dumbbells or just a bar bell, you probably will not need a squat rack. Get form down with those first. Just make sure your butt is getting low and your knees don't go past your toes.

    Good luck developing a routine! Go get it!
    edited February 2020
  • jeagogojeagogo Member, Premium Posts: 194 Member Member, Premium Posts: 194 Member
    Adapting moves to what you are currently capable is perfectly fine - you want to aim to generally target the same muscle groups with whatever substitution you are using so you can safely build up the strength to do the final version of the move.

    For push ups I recommend starting against a wall, counter, or chair so you are taking some of the weight off (this is better than knee push ups since you'll better engage your core by keeping a straight line from shoulders to feet). As you get stronger start taking the push ups closer to the ground.
    Renegade rows can be replaced with bent over rows until you are comfortable holding a plank. Once your core gets stronger you can take them to the ground. Maybe work on some static plank holds on top of the modified push ups and rows so you can work on building strength there. Or if you have a stable elevated surface to do a plank against and set the weights you can do a raised variation like with the push up variation I mentioned. You don't need to be gripping on the dumbbell itself while holding the plank (I generally don't because it's uncomfortable); you can just set the weight down and go onto your flat hand if that is easier.

    As a beginner you can get away with just bodyweight or dumbbell squats. You still want to aim for progression, but since you'll reach a limit to how much you can increase weight using only dumbbells you'll need to progress in reps. It will still help you grow muscle.
  • feisty_bucketfeisty_bucket Member Posts: 1,033 Member Member Posts: 1,033 Member
    OP: that routine looks fine. I'd do that, but the problem with dumbbell-only workouts is there's no way to do a pulldown movement with them. Fortunately, you've got a Bowflex so you can add a pulldown to the routine.

    With that combo, you should be able to do everything you need to do.
    edited February 2020
  • eahreneeeahrenee Member Posts: 134 Member Member Posts: 134 Member
    Wow, thanks for all the info! I love how supportive and informative everyone is on MFP.

    I did my first full workout this evening, and it was great. i will definitely add a pull down workout with the Bowflex.
  • SnifterPugSnifterPug Member Posts: 715 Member Member Posts: 715 Member
    What is a Bowflex? I looked online but found a company that sells all manner of gym/fitness equipment and machines.
  • jseams1234jseams1234 Member Posts: 1,197 Member Member Posts: 1,197 Member
    SnifterPug wrote: »
    What is a Bowflex? I looked online but found a company that sells all manner of gym/fitness equipment and machines.

    It's a type of cable machine with a bench attached that uses long flexible rods that bend like a bow (bow and arrow) to provide resistance. The problem with a bowflex is that the resistance is progressive during a movement. Very light at the start of the movement and very heavy at the top. You can't get consistent tension.
    edited February 2020
  • eahreneeeahrenee Member Posts: 134 Member Member Posts: 134 Member
    SnifterPug wrote: »
    What is a Bowflex? I looked online but found a company that sells all manner of gym/fitness equipment and machines.

    This is basically what I have, except I don't have the leg attachment.

  • riffraff2112riffraff2112 Member Posts: 1,755 Member Member Posts: 1,755 Member
    You can have a great workout with dumbbells. The workout provided is decent, and there is some simple replacements for ones you struggle with. The key is to hit the major muscle groups and I can't think of too many muscles that are tough to isolate with the equipment you already have. I have listed several that target the main muscle groups. Certainly don't need to do them all but they are all staples of most workout routines. none of them require anything more than body-weight, some decent dumbbells and perhaps a bench (and your bow-flex)
    Chest - dumbbell press, dumbbell fly's, push-ups
    Back - dumbbell rows, bowflex pulldowns, bow-flex rows, rear-delt fly's, deadlift (also hits legs, shoulders), chin-ups
    Shoulder - overhead press, upright rows, lat raises, front raises
    legs - squats and lunges (add weight if too easy)
    abs - dozens of good ab exercises needing nothing but the floor or a seat
    arms - dumbbell curls, dips, tricept kickbacks, skull crushers, bow-flex curls

    I am not too familiar with the bow-flex, other than what I saw on the commercials that used to run all the time. But from my recollection, it was possible to hit pretty much every major muscle with that machine alone wasn't it?
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