Essential Dumbbell Exercises CrossFit Athletes Must Master

CrossFit dumbbell exercises are a great way to augment and compliment the movements and stimulus of the (generally) more favoured barbell exercises. When it comes to mobility and strength, they are also a tremendously useful tool for spotlighting and revealing weaknesses.

Each of the following CrossFit dumbbell exercises will work your body and movement mechanics in a slightly different way, and are all exceptionally important movements to master if you want to be the best athlete that you can be. 

CrossFit Dumbbell Exercises


CrossFit Seminar Staff member Julie Foucher demonstrates the Dumbbell Overhead Walking Lunge – here we are adding two elements of instabiility – first holding the weight overhead and second, using dumbells instead of barbells.

Barbells do create more stability and allow one arm to compensate for the other, while dumbells force each arm to hold up it’s fair share of the weight.


  • Hold dumbbells at full arm extension
  • Maintain lockout throughout movement
  • One leg steps forward
  • Keep heel of forward leg down
  • Raise heel of back leg
  • Lower torso until back knee touches the ground
  • Forward leg shin remains relatively vertical
  • Complete at full hip and knee extension
  • Opposite leg begins next step
  • Can be performed with 1 or 2 dumbbells

CrossFit Dumbbell exercisesSource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc
A variation of the dumbbell overhead walking lunge


10 Rounds for Time

  • 3 Devil Presses (2×55/35 lb)
  • 22 Alternating Dumbbell Lunges
  • 19 Air Squats

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