These 7 Double-Duty Dumbbell Exercises Work Your Arms and Back

Fitness

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When it comes to upper-body day vs lower-body day at the gym, everyone has a favorite, right? But whether you look forward to squats and deadlifts or push-ups and bicep curls, the key to a balanced, healthy body is to incorporate a mix of both in your routine. So if you’re finding yourself returning to the same few upper-body moves over and over, or you’re skipping your biceps, triceps, shoulders, traps, and lats, we’ve got just the thing for you: a list of dumbbell arm and back exercises that can help refresh any tired upper-body day routine.

This list of dumbbell exercises focuses specifically on your arms and back muscles — but this is not an upper-body dumbbell workout, so don’t make the mistake of doing all these moves at once. If you want to put some of these exercises to the test, select three to five moves from this list and combine them into a dumbbell back workout or upper-body workout. Alternatively, you can mix them with lower-body strength moves to create a total-body routine. Either way, try to do three sets of 10 to 12 reps of each exercise.

It’ll all be worth it: strengthening your upper body will make everyday tasks easier, like lifting a heavy box onto a high shelf or carrying multiple bags of groceries at one time, which can, in turn, prevent injury. Keep reading to learn how to do these dumbbell arm and back exercises. (And one note: some of the pictures shown depict our models using a resistance band, but we describe how to swap out that piece of equipment for a dumbbell instead.)

— Additional reporting by Mirel Zaman

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