Think an effective workout requires a gym full of kit? This session, featuring just one pair of dumbbells, shows you otherwise.
How to: The following exercises are to be done back to back, with no rest between each move. Perform 10 reps of each exercise and rest for 60-90 secs once the whole circuit is complete. Repeat the whole thing 3-5 times.
Muscles worked: glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, core, traps, rhomboids, lats
- Stand tall with soft knees, shoulders back and a pair of dumbbells at your side.
- Press your hips back, keep your chest up and slowly lower the dumbbells towards the ground.
- Once the dumbbells are midway down your shin, pause, squeeze your glutes and return to the starting position.
1b. Dumbbell Press-Up
Muscles worked: pecs, triceps, delts, core
- Begin in a press-up position, with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width and your hands gripping the dumbbells in a neutral position.
- Now, perform a deep press-up while keeping your hips level.
- Press yourself back up to the top and go again.
1c. Windscreen Wipers
Muscles worked: abs, obliques, pecs, triceps, delts, lats
- Lie on your back with your arms extended, a dumbbell in each hand and your feet together.
- Keeping your arms straight throughout, lift your legs up then move them towards your right hand.
- Return your feet to the ground and immediately lift them back up to your left hand. That’s one rep.
Muscles worked: quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, delts, traps, triceps
- Hold a pair of dumbbells on your shoulders, with your hands in a neutral position.
- Do a deep squat, keeping your back in good alignment.
- Drive up through your heels and punch the weights straight up in the air.
- Drop down into the next squat and repeat the process.
1e. Alternating Reverse Lunges
Muscles worked: quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, core
- With a pair of dumbbells at your side, take a big step backwards until your knee lightly grazes the floor.
- Keeping your shoulders back, return to the starting position and go again on the other leg. That’s one rep.
1f. Bent-Over Row
Muscles worked: core, lats, rhomboids, posterior delts, erectors, biceps
- Holding the weights in front of you, bend your knees, press your hips back, keep your chest up and your shoulders down. This is your starting position.
- Row the weights up to your side, turning your hands as you go and keeping your elbows tucking in.
- Pause at the top, then return to the start.
1e. Dumbbell Swing
Muscles worked: glutes, quads, hamstrings, core
- Holding the dumbbells close together, hinge your hips backwards, then snap them forwards.
- Allow the weights to swing up to about shoulder level and then fall back down into the next swing.
- Keep your posture in check throughout the move and make sure you’re not lifting the weights with your arms. All the momentum should come from your hips.
1f. Power High Pull
Muscles worked: traps, delts, biceps, quads, glutes, calves, core
- Begin with your hips back and chest up, holding a pair of dumbbells just above your knees.
- Drive your hips forward, come up onto your toes and drag the weights up in the air, pausing briefly at the top of the move with elbows wide.
- Return to the start position and go again.
Words: Luke Grainger, online PT and weight-loss coach, @mrlukegrainger