CrossFit dumbbell workouts are a fantastic alternative to classic WODs for a couple of reasons.
- You can do them just about anywhere
- The dumbbell movements change things up in your workout.
The more you do something, the easier it becomes. So, adding new equipment to your WOD will give your body a new challenge and prevent your muscles from getting to comfortable with your regular routine.
When you add dumbbell movements to your workout, you should perform them at high intensity. You also need to remember to choose the right amount of weight.
If the movements are too easy when doing them as prescribed, increase the weight. On the other hand, if you are struggling after a few reps, then lower the weight.
Here are 13 CrossFit dumbbell workouts that will challenge all of your major muscle groups and leave you in a pool of sweat. Some of them have fun names with various exercises, while others are simply AMRAP or done for time.
Table of Contents
- What Dumbbells Should I Use?
- 13 CrossFit Dumbbell Workouts You Can Do Without a Gym
- 1. Freight Train (Beginner Dumbbell CrossFit Workout)
- 2. Helton
- 3. Swole-Tel (Four-Part Dumbbell Workout)
- 4. Painstorm XV
- 5. 20-Minute AMRAP (Dumbbell Cleans)
- 6. 20-Minute AMRAP #2
- 7. A Killer Seven Rounds (All Dumbbells)
- 8. Multiples of Seven
- 9. Burpees & Snatches
- 10. 12-Minute AMRAP
- 11. Ten Rounds
- 12. Four Rounds
- 13. Regionals 12.3
- CrossFit Dumbbell WODs Conclusion
What Dumbbells Should I Use?
It’s gonna be really tough to do any of these dumbbell workouts… if you don’t have any dumbbells. And I know buying dumbbells sounds like a real headache because they always introduce a few problems:
- Dumbbells can be expensive
- You have to get more than one pair if you plan on getting stronger
- They take up room and you need to find a place store them
I used to have all the same complaints about personal dumbbells until I discovered the Bowflex SelectTech 552 Dumbbells. They’re an adjustable dumbbell set that can go up to 52.5 lbs and they store inside themselves (*mind blown*).
Really, it’s nice to have a single set of dumbbells that’s compact and can accommodate your strength progression as you get stronger.
And the reviews are very good compared against other adjustable dumbbell sets.
13 CrossFit Dumbbell Workouts You Can Do Without a Gym
1. Freight Train (Beginner Dumbbell CrossFit Workout)
Here’s a simple CrossFit dumbbell workout that beginners should be able to tackle.
Three rounds for time:
- 10 Dumbbell Thrusters (2×50 lbs.)
- 15 Burpees
- 30 Air Squats
Dumbbell thrusters are a compound exercise that combines a squat with a shoulder press. They will not only strengthen your entire body, but they will also improve your aerobic fitness, stamina, and endurance. Remember to keep your chest up, your core engaged, and your hips back. And, don’t forget to change up the weight, if needed.
Three rounds for time:
- Run 800 meters
- 30 Dumbbell Squat Cleans (2×50 lbs.)
- 30 Burpees
Dumbbell squat cleans are similar to those with a barbell, the only difference being hand position because you are holding dumbbells.
Since this has a running portion, make sure you have a reliable pair of CrossFit shoes like these so you don’t risk pain in your ankles or knees.
3. Swole-Tel (Four-Part Dumbbell Workout)
This is a four-part dumbbell workout that lasts a total of twelve minutes, with each part lasting just three minutes. EMOM stands for Every Minute On the Minute, and AMRAP means As Many Rounds As Possible.
EMOM 3 minutes:
- 15 Dumbbell Rows (2×30 lbs.)
- 10 Push-Ups
EMOM 3 minutes:
- 10 Dumbbell Rows (2×40 lbs.)
- 10 Push-Ups
EMOM 3 minutes:
- 5 Dumbbell Rows (2×45 lbs.)
- 10 Push-Ups
AMRAP in 3 minutes:
- Dumbbell Rows (2×30 lbs.)
Perform the entire workout with a running clock, with no rest between sections. Your score is the total number of dumbbell rows completed in the final 3-minute AMRAP section of the workout.
The dumbbell row is an upper body back exercise that can increase overall strength and back muscle mass, increase arm strength and hypertrophy, and improve pulling performance.
When doing the dumbbell rows, make sure you are in a lunge position and using both arms, these are not one-arm rows. Form is key when doing dumbbell rows, make sure to keep your core engaged and your back straight to avoid injury.
4. Painstorm XV
Unlike the other CrossFit dumbbell workouts, this one has a name that you won’t forget. (Proceed with caution)
Seven Rounds for Time
- 10 Man Makers
- 20 Dumbbell Deadlifts
- 30 Single-Arm Dumbbell Snatches (15 per side)
- 40 Single-Arm Overhead Lunges (20 per side)
- 50 Dumbbell Swings
Use one pair of dumbbells for the entire workout, and make sure to pick the proper weight.
5. 20-Minute AMRAP (Dumbbell Cleans)
- 400-Meter Run
- 20 Dumbbell Power Cleans (2×50 lbs.)
The Dumbbell Power Clean is very similar to the barbell clean – the only difference is that instead of dropping into the front rack squat position, you only need to drop part way to catch the dumbells.
6. 20-Minute AMRAP #2
- 15 Air squats
- 10 Dumbbell Push Presses (2×50 lbs.)
- 5 Dumbbell Power Snatches (2×50 lbs.)
7. A Killer Seven Rounds (All Dumbbells)
Seven rounds of the following movements, done for time:
- 14 Dumbbell Power Snatches (2×50 lbs.)
- 14 Dumbbell Goblet Squats (50 lbs.)
- 14 Dumbbell Overhead Squats (2×50 lbs.)
Dumbbell goblet squats are squats done while cradling the head of the dumbbell close to your chest with both hands. Overhead squats are exactly what you think, squats done while holding your arms straight up while each hand holds a dumbbell.
8. Multiples of Seven
This WOD is done for time and has four rounds. The rep progression for each round is 7-14-21-28, and you will need a pull-up bar along with your dumbbells to perform this WOD.
A really solid pull-up bar that you can use anywhere, including “at-home” is the ikonfitness Pull Up Bar.
- Dumbbell Overhead Squats (2×50 lbs.)
Toes to bar is a compound gymnastic movement that will tax your grip, shoulders, and core muscles. There are variations and a progression when it comes to the Toes-to-bar movement, so make sure you are doing this exercise at your fitness level.
9. Burpees & Snatches
This WOD is done for time, and alternates between burpees and Dumbbell snatches.
- 50 burpees
- 40 dumbbell snatches (50 lbs.)
- 30 burpees
- 20 dumbbell snatches (50 lbs.)
- 10 burpees
Dumbbell snatches are a total body workout, and if you have good form, you can go for the two-arm version. But, the one-arm version is fine, as long as you do all the reps on both sides.
10. 12-Minute AMRAP
Another total body WOD, this one has just two movements, but they are incredibly effective.
- 30 Dumbbell overhead squats (2×50 lbs.)
- 30 Push-Ups
11. Ten Rounds
This WOD is done for time, and features ten rounds of two movements:
- 10 Dumbbell squat cleans (2×50 lbs.)
- 10 Burpees over dumbbell
Burpees over dumbbell is simply doing a burpee while facing your dumbbells on the floor, then jumping over the dumbbells and doing the next burpee on the other side, also facing the dumbbells.
12. Four Rounds
Just like the Ten Rounds WOD, this one is done for time. However, it features four rounds of three movements.
- 16 Dumbbell Overhead Lunges (2×50 lbs.)
- 16 Pistol squats
- 16 Burpees
A pistol squat is a single-leg squat that combines strength and flexibility. There are progressions to this movement, so if you can’t do a pistol squat as prescribed, make sure to choose a progression movement that fits your fitness level.
13. Regionals 12.3
This WOD has four rounds and is done for time.
- 10 One-Arm Dumbbell Snatches (100 lbs.)
- 100-meter sprint
CrossFit Dumbbell WODs Conclusion
Using dumbbells can give you a lot of benefits that barbells don’t. They will increase your coordination and stability training. Plus, using the different equipment will get you stronger.
And remember, if you can’t make it to the gym… no problem!
Bust out these instense dumbbell WODs at home with a pair of adjustable dumbbells like the Bowflex SelectTech 552 model.
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