Weakness Destroying Dumbbell Workouts for CrossFit Athletes (Beginner and Scaled Options Included)

Dumbbell workouts should be an essential part of every crossfitter’s training program. They are an excellent tool for uncovering weaknesses in strength, stability and mobility.

Choose one of the dumbbell workouts from the following and then tag a CrossFit friend to try it with you.

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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)

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

Dumbbell Workouts – 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 workoutsSource: Stevie D Photography
crossfit athletes with dumbbells

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

CrossFit Open Workout 18.2

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 reps for time of:
Dumbbell squats
Bar-facing burpees

Women use 35-lb. dumbbells

Men use 50-lb. dumbbells

Workout 18.2a

1-rep-max clean

Time cap: 12 minutes to complete 18.2 AND 18.2a

Scaling

Rx’d: (Ages 16-54)
Men use 50-lb. dumbbells
Women use 35-lb. dumbbells

Scaled: (Ages 16-54)
Men use 35-lb. dumbbells, stepping burpees allowed
Women use 20-lb. dumbbells, stepping burpees allowed

Teenagers 14-15:
Boys use 35-lb. dumbbells
Girls use 20-lb. dumbbells

Scaled Teenagers 14-15:
Boys use 20-lb. dumbbells, stepping burpees allowed
Girls use 10-lb. dumbbells, stepping burpees allowed

Masters 55+:

Men use 35-lb. dumbbells
Women use 20-lb. dumbbells

Scaled Masters 55+:

Men use 20-lb. dumbbells, jump over empty barbell, stepping burpees allowed
Women use 10-lb. dumbbells, jump over empty barbell, stepping burpees allowed

DUMBBELL WORKOUTS – PAIN STORM 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)

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.

Have fun…

SWISS ALPINE BATTLE 18.1

  • For Time
  • 12 Dumbbell Deadlifts (2 x 22.5/15 kg)
  • 9 Dumbbell Hang Power Cleans (2 x 22.5/15 kg)
  • 6 Dumbbell Shoulder-to-Overheads (2 x 22.5/15 kg)

Time Cap: 10 minutes

This is a dumbbell variation of the barbell Hero workout “D.T.”

The workout starts with the athlete standing, not touching the two dumbbells. At the call of 3-2-1-Go, the athlete picks up the two dumbbells from the floor and performs 12
deadlifts. After finishing 12 repetitions the athlete continues with 9 dumbbell hang cleans. The last part of each round is 6 dumbbell shoulder-to-overheads. To finish the workout in the 10-minute time cap the athlete has to perform 5 full rounds.

Scoring: 

The score is the time the athlete takes to complete this workout. The score needs to be entered separately for each athlete. If at the end of the 10 minutes the workout is not finished, each missing repetition counts as a second penalty on top of the 10 minutes. For instance, if an athlete completes 4 rounds and 3 deadlifts, his score is 10:24 (24 reps missing to finish: 9 DL, 9HPC, 6 STOH). There is no tie-break.

Scaling:

  • Men use 15 or 12 kg DB
  • Women use 10 or 8 kg DB

R116 PARTNER WORKOUT

For Time (with a Partner)

  • 200 meter Dumbbell Carry (2×15/10 kg, each)*
  • 116 Dumbbell Push Presses (2×15/10 kg, each)
  • 116 Dumbbell Power Cleans (2×15/10 kg, each)
  • 116 Burpees Over Partner (total)
  • 200 meter Dumbbell Carry (2×15/10 kg, each)*

*5 Dumbbell Front Squats (2×15/10 kg) every time the dumbbells touch the ground

dumbell workoutsSource: CrossFit Inc / Josh Bridges

One partner works at a time. Partners may switch as needed. Partners walk/run together during the Dumbbell Carry, but only one partner may carry the dumbbells at a time. If the dumbbells touch the ground during the Dumbbell Carry, one partner must complete 5 penalty Front Squats before continuing.

CROSSFIT OPEN WORKOUT 17.1

For time:
10 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
20 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
30 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
40 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs
50 dumbbell snatches
15 burpee box jump-overs

  • Men use 50-lb. dumbbell and 24-in. box
  • Women use 35-lb. dumbbell and 20-in. box

Time cap: 20 minutes

CrossFit Athlete dumbbell snatchSource: Stevie D Photography

Scaling

Rx’d: (Ages 16-54)

Men use 50-lb. dumbbell and 24-in. box
Women use 35-lb. dumbbell and 20-in. box

Teenagers 14-15:
Boys use 35-lb. dumbbell and 24-in. box
Girls use 20-lb. dumbbell and 20-in. box

Masters 55+:
Men use 35-lb. dumbbell and 24-in. box, step-ups OK
Women use 20-lb. dumbbell and 20-in. box, step-ups OK

Scaled: (Ages 16-54)
Men use 35-lb. dumbbell and 20-in. box, step-ups OK
Women use 20-lb. dumbbell and 20-in. box, step-ups OK

Scaled Teenagers 14-15:
Boys use 20-lb. dumbbell and 24-in. box, step-ups OK
Girls use 10-lb. dumbbell and 20-in. box, step-ups OK

Scaled Masters 55+:
Men use 20-lb. dumbbell and 20-in. box, step-ups OK
Women use 10-lb. dumbbell and 20-in. box, step-ups OK

DUMBBELL WORKOUTS – 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.

Katelin Van Zyl CrossFit mom

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

ONE ARM BANDIT

3 Rounds for Time

  • 10 Left-Arm Dumbbell Snatches (50/35 lb)
  • 10 Left-Arm Dumbbell Overhead Lunges (50/35 lb)
  • 10 Right-Arm Dumbbell Snatches (50/35 lb)
  • 10 Right-Arm Dumbbell Overhead Lunges (50/35 lb)
  • 10 Left-Arm Dumbbell Power Cleans (50/35 lb)
  • 10 Left-Arm Dumbbell Front Squats (50/35 lb)
  • 10 Right-Arm Dumbbell Power Cleans (50/35 lb)
  • 10 Right-Arm Dumbbell Front Squats (50/35 lb)

Overhead lunges are written as the total number of steps, not steps per leg. Dumbbell must be held in one hand for front squats.

Marcus-FillySource: Marcus Filly

Scaling

3 Rounds for Time

10 Left-Arm Dumbbell Snatches (35/20 lb)
10 Left-Arm Dumbbell Suitcase Lunges (35/20 lb)
10 Right-Arm Dumbbell Snatches (35/20 lb)
10 Right-Arm Dumbbell Suitcase Lunges (35/20 lb)
10 Left-Arm Dumbbell Power Cleans (35/20 lb)
10 Left-Arm Dumbbell Front Squats (35/20 lb)
10 Right-Arm Dumbbell Power Cleans (35/20 lb)
10 Right-Arm Dumbbell Front Squats (35/20 lb)

DUMBBELL WORKOUTS – WHY SUFFER ALONE?

2 Rounds for Time

  • 20 Dumbbell Squats (2×40/25 lb)
  • 30 Burpees
  • 200 meter Run
  • 20 Dumbbell Push Presses (2×40/25 lb)
  • 15 Lateral Jumps Over Dumbbells
  • 200 meter Run
  • 20 Dumbbell Lunges (2×40/25 lb)
  • 20 Dumbbell Power Cleans (2×40/25 lb)
  • 200 meter Run

With a running clock, perform the work in the order written. Finish one movement before moving to the next.

Score is the total time it takes for the team to complete the two rounds.

CrosFit Open 20.1 workout

Scaling

Beginner
2 Rounds for Time (with a Partner)
20 Dumbbell Squats (2×40/25 lb)
30 Burpees
200 meter Run
20 Dumbbell Push Presses (2×40/25 lb)
15 Lateral Jumps Over Dumbbells
200 meter Run
20 Dumbbell Lunges (2×40/25 lb)
20 Dumbbell Power Cleans (2×40/25 lb)
200 meter Run

One partner works at a time. Share the work between the partners and perform the work in the order written – for two rounds.

POPEYE

  • 3 Rounds Without Breaking
  • 30 Curls (2×25/15 lb)
  • 30 Strict Presses (2×25/15 lb)
  • 30 Lateral Raises (2×25/15 lb)
  • 30 Hammer Curls (2×25/15 lb)
  • 30 Upright Rows (2×25/15 lb)
  • 30 Push Presses (2×25/15 lb)
  • 30 Curls (2×25/15 lb)
  • 1 minute Rest

Increase weight each round. See how heavy you can go. No Time limit once the round has begun.

Once you start the first set of 30, you can’t put the weights down or rest them on any surface. You can stop moving and hold the weights in your hand, but you can not let go of the Dumbbells.

Once you complete a full round, rest for 1 minute, then pick them back up and go again. This time, you have the option to increase the weight.

Start light, don’t burn out. Rest before you burn up too quickly. The hard part will be the grip so play it smart.

Scaling

Dumbbell workouts.

Intermediate: Use 20/10 lb dumbbell weights.

Beginner: Use 20/10 lb dumbbell weights. Reduce repetitions to 21 reps.

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