The following dumbbell-only workout is ideal for women who want to shape and sculpt their bodies and/or burn a LOT of fat. 

The all-dumbbell exercises below are best performed when a woman has a variety of weights from which to choose. So if a woman has access to a gym, this dumbbell-only routine will be that much more effective.

Women’s All Dumbbell Workout



Bent-over dumbbell row.

Flat chest press.

Incline chest press.

Seated overhead press.

Seated skull crusher.

Standing dumbbell curl.

A woman needs only these eight exercises for a fantastic dumbbell-only routine for slashing body fat and reshaping the physique.

Let’s go through each one of these exercises: how to perform one repetition. The women’s best all dumbbell workout should use weights heavy enough for 8-15 repetitions max.

Squat. Hold weights in both hands, arms straight at sides, feet at least shoulder width apart.

Lower into a squat (thighs parallel to floor or deeper) while keeping an arch in the lower back; do not round back. Keep chest up, face straight ahead. Then stand.

A variation is to hold the dumbbells at shoulder height throughout the movement, as depicted below.


Deadlift. Place weights on floor and stand before them. Bend legs just enough to reach the weights with an overhand grip, keeping arch in lower back.

Now straighten, holding weights in front of you, bringing back upright. This exercise can also be done with an underhand grip.

Bent-over dumbbell row. Place weight on floor by bench. Left hand and knee on bench, bend over, lower back arched, and pick dumbbell off floor with right hand.

Source: George Stepanek

Pull towards chest, driving elbow towards ceiling, then lower but don’t let the weight touch the floor.

Flat chest press. Lie on bench with weights in hands, feet on bench. Press weights over chest. Lower with control.

Shutterstock/Catalin Petolea

Incline chest press. Sit on equipment, bringing weights to thighs. Hoist to shoulder level, then press overhead. Lower with control. Palms can be facing forward or facing each other.

Seated overhead press. Have a seat with back supported upright. Press dumbbells overhead.

Shutterstock/ Syda Productions

Seated skull crusher. Sit on bench, one dumbbell in lap, hands wrapped around it so that it’s vertical.

Raise above head with both arms, straightening them. Keeping upper arms straight, bend only at elbow and bring weight behind head. Keeping upper arms straight, bring weight back above head.

Standing or seated dumbbell curl. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, arms at sides, palms facing forward, dumbbell in each hand. Or have a seat on a weightlifting bench with back support.

Keeping upper arms vertical, move only elbow joint and lift weights to that forearms are past parallel, keeping elbows on side of body but not touching body. Lower with control.

This all dumbbell routine for women hits all the major muscle groups, including the core (deadlift and squat).

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.



Top image: Shutterstock/ESB Professional