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15 Full Body CrossFit Dumbbell Workouts

CrossFit Dumbbell Workouts are a great way to expose weaknesses in your movement, mobility and unilateral strength. Enhance your performance now.

CrossFit Dumbbell Workouts are a great way to expose weaknesses in your movement, mobility and unilateral strength. Add the following workouts into your training program and become a better athlete.

CrossFit Dumbbell Workouts

The 2017 CrossFit Open saw the return of dumbbells and Regionals from the same year featured them heavily, having no barbell exercises at all.

There is a strong emphasis on dumbbells within CrossFit, so make sure to master these exercises now, as I’m sure you will start to find them more often in your own programming. CrossFit dumbbell workouts also allow you to train all the planes of movement that your body works through. This is tremendously important and will allow you to significantly improve your mobility and strength throughout a variety of different movements.

THE SAGITTAL PLANE

Think about the exercises you do. Squats, thrusters, deadlifts, clean and jerks, pull-ups, handstand push-ups; in all these movements the weight is transferred up and down along a straight line. All these movements occur along the sagittal plane. The sagittal plane divides the body into two symmetrical halves – left and right.

THE CORONAL PLANE

The plane that divides the body into front and back is called the coronal plane. Movements along this plane are sideways movements, such as lateral lunges.

THE TRANSVERSE PLANE

The final and most disregarded plane is the transverse plane, which divides the body into top and bottom halves. We move along this plane when we twist and turn our bodies, like when we look around before crossing the street.

Transverse movements are predominant in sports such as tennis, golf, rugby and gymnastics, the movements of CrossFit almost exclusively happen along the sagittal plane. Whether your goal is general fitness, functional strength, or athletic achievement, you should train along all planes.

CrossFit Dumbbell Workouts are a great way to build strength, muscle and power.

Unilateral Training: Dumbbells are among the most potent and versatile pieces of equipment you can train with. When you use dumbbells instead of a barbell, you’re working on unilateral movement rather than bilateral movement. That is, your hands/arms have to move independently and freely from one another, eliciting a powerful neurological response that’ll get you stronger and fitter.

The barbell is good at hiding your weaknesses, too. But the dumbbells? They show no mercy. They highlight where your deficiencies are in strength, stability, and mobility.

Physiological Benefits: Dumbbells are also great at diagnosing and treating imbalances. For instance, you may find that on the eighth repetition of a Strict Dumbbell Shoulder Press, your right arm is fine, but your left arm won’t budge.

That shows you that you’ve got a strength imbalance – your right side is stronger than your left. The good news is that the more you train with dumbbells, the more balance you’ll bring to your body. The more balanced you are as an athlete, the less likely you are to get injured over time.

CrossFit Dumbbell Workouts

1. TUMILSON

8 Rounds For Time
200 meter Run
11 Dumbbell Burpee Deadlifts (2×60/40 lb)

2. CrossFit Dumbbell Workouts – NICK

12 Rounds For Time
10 Dumbbell Hang Squat Cleans (2×45/35 lb)
6 Handstand Push-Ups on Dumbbells

3. CrossFit Dumbbell Workouts – HELTON

3 Rounds For Time
800 meter Run
30 Dumbbell Squat Cleans (2×50/35 lb)
30 Burpees

4. CrossFit Dumbbell Workouts – PAINSTORM XV

7 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 throughout (pick your own weight)
With a running clock, as fast as possible perform 7 rounds of the prescribed work in the order written. This workout was originally intended to be a “choose your own weight” adventure. If you’re looking for an Rx weight consider 35/25 lb.

One man maker consists of a dumbbell push-up, two renegade rows (one per arm), and a squat clean thruster.

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of Dumbbell Swings is completed.

Tips and Strategy

Settle in for a long workout (intermediate athletes should finish in 50-90 minutes) by picking a pace that you can maintain for that amount of time. In other words, don’t do the first 10 Man Makers unbroken. Do one, rest a second, do another, etc. For the rest of the movements, break up the reps into very manageable sets. Go slower than you think you need to for round one. See if you can hold that pace for the next 6 rounds.

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5. MAKIMBA

15-10-5 Reps for Time
Dumbbell Thrusters (2×10 lb)
Air Squats
Burpees

6. PAINSTORM XXI

For time
30 Burpees
30 Deadlifts
30 Burpees
30 Cleans
30 Burpees
30 Strict Presses
30 Burpees
30 Push Presses
30 Burpees
30 Jerks
30 Burpees
30 Swings
30 Burpees
30 Sumo Deadlift HIgh-Pulls
30 Burpees
30 Snatches (Left Hand)
30 Burpees
30 Snatches (Right Hand)
30 Burpees
30 Man Makers
Use one pair of Dumbbells (55/35 lb) throughout
Use the same pair of dumbbells throughout. Originally the WOD was designed as “choose your own weight.” If you’re looking for an Rx weight consider 50/35 lb.

One man maker consists of a dumbbell push-up, two renegade rows (one per arm), and a squat clean thruster.

Score is the time on the clock when the last repetition of Man Makers is completed.

Movement Standards

Most of the weighted movements (Deadlifts, Cleans, Strict Presses, Push Presses, Jerks, Sumo Deadlift High-Pulls, and Man Makers) are intended to be done with two Dumbbells.

As in most CrossFit workouts, olympic lifts (Cleans & Snatches) are power (not squat) unless otherwise stated.

Snatches are with a single Dumbbell, one arm at a time.

Dumbbell Swings are an uncommon movement and this workout (which is from 2007) does not explicitly state whether the swings should be single- or double-dumbbell swings. But double Swings would be awkward, so we assume it’s single Dumbbell Swings. We also assume the swings are Russian style (to eye height) instead of American (overhead), which is safer since dumbbells don’t have handles for swings.

7. CrossFit Dumbbell Workouts – WADE

5 Rounds For Time
11 One-Arm Dumbbell Power Snatches (50/35 lb)
12 One-Arm Dumbbell Thrusters (50/35 lb)
11 Weighted Pull-Ups (50/35 lb dumbbell)
Alternate arms on each snatch and thruster

8. CrossFit Dumbbell Workouts – SWOLE-TEL

Four Parts in 12 minutes
EMOM for 3 minutes:
15 Dumbbell Rows (2×30 lb)
10 Push-Ups
EMOM for 3 minutes:
10 Dumbbell Rows (2×40 lb)
10 Push-Ups
EMOM for 3 minutes:
5 Dumbbell Rows (2×45 lb)
10 Push-Ups
Then, AMRAP in 3 minutes:
Dumbbell Rows (2×30 lb)
Perform the entire workout with a running clock. No rest between sections. Score is total number of dumbbell rows completed in the final 3-minute AMRAP section of the workout.

9. CrossFit Dumbbell Workouts – HOTEL HELL

For Time
100 Dumbbell Hang Clean Thrusters (2×35/25 lb)
5 Burpees to start, and at the top of each minute
Start with 5 burpees. Then complete as many hang squat clean thrusters (aka: “hang clusters”) as possible until the minute is up. Repeat until 100 total are completed.

Score is the time on the clock when the last thruster is completed. If athlete does not finish score is number of rounds and reps completed.

Dumbbell-WorkoutsSource: Photos courtesy of CrossFit Inc

10. CrossFit Dumbbell Workouts – JOSEPH MARCHBANKS JR.

For Time
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Reps of:
Alternating Dumbbell Snatches (75/45 lb)
Handstand Push-Ups
With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work in the order written. Perform 10 Alternating Dumbbell Snatches and 10 Handstand Push-Ups before moving on to 9 Alternating Dumbbell Snatches and 9 Handstand Push-Ups and so on.

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of handstand push-ups is completed.

11. STEPHEN RUSSELL

For Time
100 Dumbbell Squat Cleans (2×35/25 lb)
3 Burpees at the top of each minute
Perform 3 burpees every minute on the minute, including at the start of the workout, until 100 squat cleans are completed.

12. CrossFit Dumbbell Workouts – MARK WHITFORD

4 Rounds for Time
15 Dumbbell Thrusters (2×40/20 lb)
50 meter Dumbbell Overhead Walking Lunges (2×40/20 lb)
With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work in the order written for 4 rounds.

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of Walking Lunges is completed.

13. CrossFit Dumbbell Workouts for Time – FAST AND HEAVY

For Time, Fast and Heavy
21 Dumbbell Thrusters
400 meter Run
18 Dumbbell Thrusters
400 meter Run
15 Dumbbell Thrusters
400 meter Run
Typically CrossFit workouts prescribe a weight, but in this case, the weight is athlete’s choice. The athlete should choose a dumbbell that, as the name says, is heavy but that they can still move fast. Score is dumbbell weight used and total time to complete.

Scaling

As stated, pick dumbbells that are relatively heavy for you yet still allow you to complete each round of thrusters in very few sets. This workout should be treated like a sprint, so run hard and try to avoid resting until it is over. Intermediate athletes can perform this workout as prescribed, just with lighter dumbbells. Newer athletes can reduce the reps and shorten the runs.

Beginner Option
For time, fast and heavy:
15 dumbbell thrusters
Run 200 meters
12 dumbbell thrusters
Run 200 meters
9 dumbbell thrusters
Run 200 meters

14. WESTY’S 10,000

For Time
100 Double Dumbbell Ground-to-Overhead (2×50/35 lb)
Wear a Weight Vest or Ruck (70/50 lb)
Athlete may either Power Snatch or Power Clean-and-Jerk the Dumbbells. Partition the work as needed.

Note that the prescribed weight of the Weight Vest or Ruck Pack for this workout is significantly heavier than a typical Weight Vest.

Scaling

Intermediate
100 Double Dumbbell Ground-to-Overhead (2×35/25 lb)
Wear a weight vest (20/14 lb)

Beginner
75 Double Dumbbell Ground-to-Overhead (25/15 lb)

15. TTTTD7

For Time
50 Alternating Dumbbell Power Snatches (50/35 lb)
100 foot Single Arm Overhead Dumbbell Walking Lunges (50/35 lb)
40 Dumbbell Overhead Squats (50/35 lb, alternate every 10 reps)
75 foot Single Arm Overhead Dumbbell Walking Lunges (50/35 lb)
30 Dumbbell Hang Clean-and-Jerks (50/35 lb, alternate every 5 reps)
50 foot Single Arm Overhead Dumbbell Walking Lunges (50/35 lb)
20 Alternating Dumbbell Squat Cleans (50/35 lb)
25 foot Single Arm Overhead Dumbbell Walking Lunges (50/35 lb)
10 Alternating Dumbbell Squat Snatches (50/35 lb)
With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work in the order written.

Score is the time on the clock when the last repetition of Alternating Dumbbell Squat Snatches is completed.

Scaling

Dumbbell load for all movements
Lunges with bodyweight
Dumbbell Overhead Squats: front squat/goblet squat
Dumbbell Squat Snatch: power snatch
Dumbbell Squat Clean: front squat

Movement Standards

Dumbbell Power Snatch: DB touches the ground and locks out fully overhead. Can switch the DB however you’d like (overhead, in front of face, at hip level, on ground). Both heads of the DB must touch the ground on every rep. It does not have to be simultaneously, but the both must touch.

Overhead Lunge: 25 foot increments. 1 DB is held overhead in a full lockout position and must switch arms every 25.

Dumbbell Overhead Squats: DB held overhead, squat must pass through parallel and stand to fully locked out. Must switch arms every 10 reps.

Dumbbell Hang Clean-and-Jerk: DB must start at the hang position, touch the shoulder on the clean, and then and in the lockout position. Must switch arms every 5 reps.

Dumbbell Squat Clean: Both heads of the DB must touch the ground, come into a rack position, pass through a full squat to extension, alternate every rep.

Dumbbell Squat Snatch: DB touches the ground and locks out fully overhead and athlete passes through parallel in the squat. Can switch the DB however you’d like (overhead, in front of face, at hip level, on ground). Both heads of the DB must touch the ground on every rep. Must alternate arms every rep.

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