We all know barbells are great. After all, there's nothing like loading up a bunch of steel and conquering a new personal best in the deadlift. But when push comes to press, dumbbells offer a lot more versatility. They don't need much space, and you can find them anywhere, from the dinkiest hotel fitness center to your uncle's garage.
With just a few pairs of weights, this dumbbell-only routine will hit the major muscle groups in your body, and in only 30 minutes a day.
Why It Works
Dumbbells allow you to train one side of your body at a time, which is great for curing any strength imbalances you've developed. And because each limb moves independently, your core has to brace harder to prevent you from tipping to one side. Hello, six-pack!
Frequency: Do this workout three times per week, in the following sequence, resting at least a day between each session.
Time Needed: 30 minutes
How to Do It: Perform as straight sets, completing all the prescribed sets for one exercise before moving on to the next. On all one-handed (or one-legged) moves, repeat with opposite limb. That's one set.
1 Floor Press
2 Renegade Row
3 Goblet Squat
4 Single-Leg Deadlift
5 One-Arm Push Press
6 One-Arm Bentover Row
7 One-Arm Swing
8 Get Up Situp
1. Floor Press
Sets: 3 Reps: 10
Lie on your back. Allow your triceps to rest on the floor with your elbows close to your sides and wrists facing each other. Press the weights straight up.
2. One-Arm Bent-Over Row
Sets: 3 Reps: 15 (each side)
Hold a dumbbell in one hand and step forward with the opposite leg. Bend at the hips until your torso is approximately 45 degrees to the floor. Row the weight to your side.
3. Get-Up Situp
Sets: 2 Reps: 5 on each side
Lie on your back on the floor, squeezing a dumbbell between your feet and holding another one over your chest. Keeping the tension in your legs, perform a situp, moving the weight directly overhead.
4. Renegade Row
Sets: 3 Reps: 10 (each side)
With a dumbbell in each hand, get into pushup position with your feet wide. Shift your weight to your left side and row the right-hand dumbbell to your side. Repeat on the opposite side.
5. Goblet Squat
Sets: 3 Reps: 15
Hold dumbbell by one of the weighted ends with both hands and stand with your feet wide apart and pointed 45 degrees outward. Hold the weight at chest level. With your back in its natural arch, squat as deeply as you can.
6. One-Arm Push Press
Sets: 3 Reps: 15 (each side)
Hold dumbbell in one hand at shoulder level with your palm facing forward. Bend your knees to gather momentum and then explosively press the weight straight overhead.
7. Single-Leg Deadlift
Sets: 3 Reps: 8 (each side)
Place two dumbbells on the floor in front of you and stand on one leg with the other pointing behind you. Pick up each weight, then extend your hips to stand straight up on the support leg.
8. One-Arm Swing
Sets: 3-5 Reps: 15-20 (each side)
With a dumbbell in one hand, get into an athletic stance, with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend your hips and knees. Let the weight hang between your legs. Explosively extend your hips and knees to swing the weight up to eye level.