Challenge Yourself With This 5-Move, Full-Body Dumbbell Workout
No gym? No problem. Rock through this five-move minimal kit workout for big results
Sure, you may be back to the gym; but with numbers limited, social distancing in full effect and kit-sharing still off of the cards, getting a good workout in can be a challenge in and of itself.
With that in mind, break the emergency glass on this strength-building, calorie sapping full-body dumbbell blast on the days when all you can get your hands on is a few bells and a quiet corner.
You’re going to be working in a ladder format, perform five movements back to back, resting only as necessary to maintain good form, but breaking up any sets that you can’t complete unbroken. Perform each round’s reps in descending order, beginning with 10 reps of each movement, followed by nine of each, then eight, working your way down the ladder to one final rep per exercise.
- Dumbbell floor or bench press x 10-1
Hit the floor or grab a bench if one’s available. Lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the ground. Press the weights above you, locking out your elbows (A). Lower them slowly until your upper arms are resting on the floor (B), close to your body, pause here before explosively pressing back up.
2. Dumbbell Front Rack Squat x 10-1
After your final press, clean your dumbbells onto your shoulders and take a deep breath (A). Now, drive your hips back and sink down into a squat, your thighs parallel to the floor (B). Drive upward, and go again.
3. Dumbbell deadlift x 10-1
Drop your dumbbells to the floor just outside your feet, hinge down and grip them with a flat back and neutral spine (A). Engage your lats and stand upright, ‘pushing the ground away’ with your feet, squeezing your glutes at the top (B). Your arms should be hanging straight throughout this movement, think of them as hooks.
4. Renegade row x 10-1 (left+right= 1 rep)
After your last deadlift drop down into a strong plank position with your hands on your dumbbells (A). Shifting your weight onto your left hand, row the right dumbbell towards your hip (B). Pause briefly, then lower back to the ground, repeat on the opposite side for a total of 10 reps.
5. Press-up on dumbbell x 10-1
Immediately following your last row, remain in your plank position with hands on your bells (A). With a controlled tempo, flex at the elbow, lowering your body until your chest touches the floor (B). Push back up explosively until your elbows are fully extended. (If you only have one ‘bell, perform regular push-ups)
Test Your Whole Body With This 3-Move Kettlebell Workout
Ready to grind through three exercises and 630 reps? Step this way
In this full-body kettlebell workout, you'll be using a triple threat of total body movements and a tactical ‘ladder’ rep scheme, taking you to the edge of your capacities and holding you there for a calorie-sapping, muscle-building hit. The best part? It only requires one piece of kit: a medium to heavy kettlebell.
You’re going to perform three exercises back-to-back, resting only as necessary to maintain good form, but breaking up any sets that you can’t complete unbroken. Perform each round's reps in descending order, beginning with 20 reps of each movement, followed by 19 of each, then 18; working your way down the ladder to one, ending in a muscle searing crescendo of 630 total reps. Let's get started.
Kettlebell Swing x 20-1 Reps
The first movement will focus on strengthening your posterior chain. With the kettlebell between your legs, hinge at your hips, swinging the weight backward (A). Drive your hips forward, explosively swinging the bell up to your eye line (B). Let the momentum take you back down and into rep two. Repeat.
Kettlebell Goblet Squat x 20-1 Reps
Next up- the legs. Standing tall, hold the weight close to your chest (A). Sink your hips and drop into a squat (B); at the bottom, your elbows should be almost between your knees. Drive back up, tensing your glutes. The weight might be pressed against your chest, but it’s crucial you keep breathing.
The final movement puts your chest and triceps to work. Assume a press-up position, but grip the kettlebell in your left hand. Perform a press-up (A). When both arms are extended, walk your hands laterally until your right hand is on the weight. Now, do another press-up (B). Repeat, alternating sides each rep.
Take on This Loaded Carry 'Chipper' Workout for a Heavy-duty Fat-burn
Got a set of heavy weights and 20m spare? Take a run at this
Loaded carries are the Swiss Army Knife of fitness movements: they build muscle, sear through calories, up your stamina and increase your athleticism like no other movement.
Once upon a time seen as a specialist move you watch the giant of ‘World’s Strongest Man’ perform every year at Christmas, the Farmers Carry is now widely accepted as an incredibly effective tool for strength and conditioning, to be employed by all men, whatever their goal.
This challenge combines carries and a vicious bodyweight circuit, to hit your physique from both ends. Grab the heaviest dumbbells, kettlebells or farmer's handles you can get to grips with, mark out a 20m runway and take this one for a walk…
Perform five rounds of the following circuit as quickly as possible. The reps for the bodyweight movements reduce each round, but you’re going to attack them in a ‘chipper’ format, working your way through all reps of each movement, before moving on to the next, resting only as necessary to maintain good form.
Farmers Carry x 40m
Grip your handles or dumbbells and with a flat back and braced core, stand upright (A) Let your arms hang freely at your sides, take a deep breath into your core and begin a fast, deliberate march (B) When you reach the 20m mark, get your composure, turn around without letting the weights run amuck and head back. Try not to drop the weights, but if you do, pick up from where you left off as quickly as possible.
Burpees x 30, 25, 20, 15, 10
Drop your handles and assume a press-up position (A). Lower your chest to the ground, pause then push away explosively, (B) hop your legs back in and jump into the air explosively. Land and repeat.
Push-ups x 30, 25, 20, 15, 10
After your last burpee, drop back into your plank position with hands below shoulders (A). With a controlled tempo, flex at the elbow, lowering your body until your chest touches the floor (B). Push back up explosively until your elbows are fully extended.
Prisoner Squats x 30, 25, 20, 15, 10
Stand with your torso upright and your hands on your head (A), drop your hips back to sink into a deep squat (B). Hold for a second, before pressing through your heels to stand up, repeat.