Stability Burn: A Dumbbell Workout

After you’ve been lifting weights for awhile it can be easy to focus on barbells and heavy lifts. But a dumbbell workout can shift which muscles bear the most activation within the same muscle group! What does that mean? It means that utilizing barbells and dumbbells in your training can help you build well-rounded muscles – no pun intended!

That’s why this Wednesday, our workout of the week is dumbbell and stability focused!

The best part? Today’s dumbbell workout will take you less than 25 minutes!

Let’s get started!


Dumbbell Step-Up: 3 x 10 each leg

For this exercise you’ll need to grab a pair of dumbbells and a bench. Face the bench with your dumbbells in hand and step up onto the bench with your right leg. Make sure your leg fully extends before bringing your feet together. Then, with control, step back down (backwards) with your left leg.

Repeat for 10 reps, then perform on the other side. 

**Rest between sets: 2-3 min.**

Superset 1

To perform a super set, simply perform the first round of exercise 1, then immediately move on to exercise 2 before taking your rest period. 

Dumbbell Seated Shoulder Press: 3 x 12

Four our first superset of this dumbbell workout, you’ll be performing Shoulder Presses and Deadbugs back to back! Get ready to feel that core stabilize!

For this exercise take a seat on a bench and set it up so you have back support. Grab a pair of dumbbells (*note, you will be lifting these overhead.) Sitting on the bench plant your feet and brace your core. Lift the weights so your arms are making a right angle, elbows level with your armpit-this is your starting position. On an exhale, press the weights overhead keeping your shoulders down. With control, lower the weights back to the starting position. Concerned about your form? Check out these tips for Should Presses!

Repeat for 10 reps, then immediate move on to Deadbugs!

Deadbugs:  3 x 20

Lie on your back on the floor, or a mat, if that’s more comfortable for you. Then, gently bend your knees placing your feet about a foot from your glutes. Next make sure your entire spine is maintaining contact with the floor by firmly exhaling out into the front, back, and both sides of your body– and don’t forget to engage your pelvic floor! Maintain this neutral spine while lifting your shoulders off of the floor by reaching your arms straight up toward the ceiling and lift your legs up, bending your knees so your shins are parallel to the ceiling. Now, move your right arm so it’s parallel with your ear. At the same time extend the left leg so it’s parallel to the floor. Return to center and switch sides. 

Repeat for 20 reps. 

**Rest between sets: 2-3min, then return to Dumbbell Seated Shoulder Press.**

dead bugs

Superset 2

Plank Walkout:  3 x 12

The next superset in our dumbbell workout begins with a plank walk out. For this exercise begin standing with your feet hip width apart. Simply roll down through your spine to the floor. Then, walk your hands out to a plank position and walk them back. Keep your core engaged this entire time- no arched  or curved backs!

Repeat for twelve reps, then immediately move on to Dumbbell Glute Bridges.

Dumbbell Glute Bridge: 3 x 20

Lay on your back with your knees bent, heels just out of reach of your fingertips. Place a dumbbell on your hips. (If this is painful wrap a towel or barbell pad around the weight). Then, squeezing your glutes, curl  your pelvis toward the ceiling. Make sure to keep your knees stable and not to arch your lower back!

Repeat for 20 reps.

**Rest between sets: 2-3 min., then return to plank walk outs.**

Lateral Band walks: 2 x 20

Finally we’ve reached the end of our dumbbell workout and, ironically, we are not using dumbbells! However these lateral band walks will get those abductors firing like nobody’s business! 

Place the band just above your ankles. Pressing your legs outward to ensure your knees don’t cave in, take small controlled steps to the side.

Repeat for 2o reps and switch legs. 

**Rest between sets: 1-2min**

And just like like you’ve finished this week’s dumbbell workout! You should be feeling strong and stable after that workout! Annnnndd maybe a little sweaty!




personal training for dancers



This dumbbell workout is just the tip of the iceberg of what Dancers Who Lift has to offer. Not only do we provide free, weekly workouts and tons more information on the Dancers Who Lift blog, but we offer one on one personal training through the Embodied Artist Academy and we offer personalized training through our Body Mechanics program. Check out our instagram @dancerswholift or email us at for more information.  Or click the banner above for our Black Friday Special!

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