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6 Best Free Weight Workouts to Build Upper-Body Strength


It would be best if you made dumbbell exercises a part of your weekly fitness routine. Dumbbells are essential for the strength training of the upper body. Dumbbells are relatively inexpensive and portable, which is great if you cannot go to the gym. By getting a few dumbbells, you will have all the tools required for a great home workout.

How to Do These Workouts?

You should follow the reps, sets, and rest instructions for each move to get the maximum benefit. Perform each workout once a week for a month and increase the amount you lift each week. Make sure to note how much you lift during each workout to track your progress and motivate yourself.

Best Free Weight Exercises

If you are starting to workout, reduce accordingly and work your way up. Here is a list of the six best dumbbell exercises for building muscles:

1. Bicep Curl

It is one of the most common exercises for upper body strength training. It targets the muscles of your biceps and triceps. Hold a dumbbell in each hand while standing upright and your arms hanging by your sides. Keep the elbows close to your torso with your palms facing outward. You should not move your upper arms while curling the weights upward to your shoulder level. Exhale as you contract your biceps.

2. Shoulder Press

It mainly focuses on two portions of the deltoid muscles. It targets other muscles such as the trapezius, triceps, and rotator cuff muscles. Stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand. The dumbbells should be almost level with your shoulders. You should slightly bend your arms with your palms facing towards your body. You should press upward and twist the wrists as you go so that your palms are facing forward when you reach the top. Lift the weights directly above your shoulders until your arms are straight.

3. One Arm Swing

This exercise targets the muscles of your shoulders. Hold a dumbbell between your legs and keep it at arm’s length. Get into the squat position. Swing the dumbbell through your legs as you lift yourself. Bring the dumbbell up to forehead level as you straighten your legs while keeping your arm straight.

4. Triceps Kickback

It targets the back of your arms. Stand upright while holding a dumbbell in each hand. You should slightly bend your knees with your palms facing inward. Keep your spine straight and tighten your core as you hinge at the waist. Continue this until your torso is almost parallel to the ground. The upper arms should be close to your body, head and spine in a straight line, and your chin slightly tucked in. Exhale as you straighten your elbows without moving your upper arms.

5. Lying Dumbbell Fly

It targets the mid-section of your chest. Lie down on the bench with your feet flat on the ground. Hold the dumbbells directly over your chest with your palms facing each other. Lower the free weights in an arc out to the sides as far as possible. Engage the pectoral muscles while returning to the starting position. Keep your elbows slightly bent and your back straight the entire time.

6. Bench Press

It strengthens your triceps and targets the muscles of your shoulder. Lie down on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your arms to the side of each shoulder with your palms facing upward. Straighten your elbows as you push the weights above your chest. Keep going until your arms are straight above your chest. Make sure that the weights do not touch each other. Lower the weights just past shoulder level.

The Takeaway

With wintertime upon us, this is the perfect time to build strength for spring. These exercises help you stay healthy and strong. Set goals for yourself and know that strength and mobility build up over time. Check yourself regularly and stay on track to achieve your goals.

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