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Dumbbell Figure 8 Exercise

Dumbbell figure 8’s is an exercise designed to strengthen and develop your thighs, booty (glutes), hamstrings, hips and lower back. I personally love this exercise because it also activates my cardiovascular system for added fat burning results. If you have a hard time squatting or have difficulty with any type of deep knee bends or flexion the dumbbell figure 8 is a great substitute that will target the same muscles as the squat. 

The most important part of the dumbbell figure 8 is the fluid, up and down motion of how you pass the dumbbell around your legs (in a dumbbell figure 8). It may take a few tries but I’m confident that as you used to the movement you will come to enjoy the dumbbell figure 8 (watch the video at the end of this tutorial).  

Start Position

Right Leg

Left Leg

Position for the dumbbell figure 8

Place a dumbbell between your feet. You will want to space your feet 2 to 3 feet apart (enough space to allow you to pass the dumbbell between your legs). Stand straight, retract your shoulder blades and keep your back straight. Keep your head level and eyes looking forward. Bend at the knees and pick up the dumbbell with both hands. Keep your knees bent.

How to perform the dumbbell figure 8

Using a figure 8 motion; pass the dumbbell between your legs from your right hand to your left hand between your legs. You will want to use a “bouncing motion” to pass the weight between your knees. One figure 8 is equal to one repetition.  


Breathe in as you pass the dumbbell from your left hand to your right and breathe out as you pass it back to your left hand.  

Important points for the dumbbell figure 8

·         Remember to keep your back straight. Don’t round your back and bend at your knees.   

·         Try not to look down at your feet as this will cause you to lose your balance. Try and pick a spot on the wall that’s level with your eye sight and start at it for the duration of the figure 8 movement.

·         Concentrate on the “up and down” movement and keep that as fluid as possible.

Video for the dumbbell figure 8

Over his 30 plus years of experience, Blake Bissaillion has worked with nationally ranked body builders, power lifters and fitness professionals. In this time he has picked up volumes of applied knowledge that he openly shares with his clients. Mr. Bissaillion’s objective is to help as many beginners to weight training and fitness to achieve their weight loss and fitness goals while getting into their best possible shape. Mr. Bissaillion owns and operates Belly Be Gone, a fitness company that offers fitness and nutritional guidance and products.

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