Coming at you this week with another full body dumbbell workout! You know the drill, all you need is a set of dumbbells, a large enough space, and work ethic. And, if you have a pet, a place to stow it away so that it won’t randomly come up and lick your face mid-set. Unless, of course you have a cat — they don’t lick, they attack.
Today’s workout will challenge your cardiovascular system, help build muscle, and test your fortitude. I will be breaking down the steps for each exercise found in the (above) workout video to help give you an understanding of how to effectively perform them.
Bonus: For those of you who workout because you’re training in preparation for statistically unlikely life events, I’ve even included an Easter egg — how to potentially survive an abominable snowman attack
Benefits of a Full Body Dumbbell Workout
There are so many benefits of a full body workout. In fact, I remember the first time I ever tried a full body dumbbell workout. I was set to meet a friend, and oh my goodness, we were both just so tired, and we also, like, didn’t have much time on our hands, so I…Here’s that part where I test your attention span and write out my life story before supplying you with the how to information you actually came for.
Food bloggers have a monopoly on filling articles with useless personal details about how their revolutionary recipes have changed their life. I wouldn’t dare try and steal their proverbial thunder. Instead, I’ll just spend a couple paragraphs teasing them…
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here’s the workout I promised.
Quick note: a Block is essentially a circuit. Perform each exercise within the following Blocks without resting in between the exercises.
Block One: 4 rounds (rest time: 30-60 seconds)
12x DB Front Squat (Modify regular squat)
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Grab a pair of dumbbells, curl them up to your shoulder, resting one of the dumbbell heads on the front delt.
- Keeping your body upright and your upper arms parallel to the floor, brace your abs and lower your body until your thighs are a little past parallel with the floor
- Pause at the bottom
- Drive your heels into the floor to return back to the starting position.
12x Push-up to DB Row (Modify on knees)
- Place a pair of dumbbells on the ground, slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
- Set yourself in a pushup position with hands on dumbbells.
- Don’t fall, or let the dumbbells slip out from under you.
- Lower your body to the floor, pause, then complete 1 push up.
- Once you’re back in the starting position, row the dumbbell on one side to the side of your ribs by pulling the dumbbell upwards.
- Pause, then lower the dumbbell back down, and repeat the same movement with your other arm.
40 second Jumping Jacks (Modify step outs)
- Jump your legs out while clapping your hands
- Jump on back to shoulder width stance
- Continue this process, like a dancing star
- Oh, what a shining fitness specimen you are!
Block Two: 4 rounds (rest time: 30-60 seconds)
12x DB Reverse Lunge Alternating Shoulder Press (modify without weight)
- Stand with both feet shoulder width apart and hold a dumbbell in one hand raised above your shoulder.
- Step back with one leg into a reverse lunge on the same side that you press the dumbbell over your head as you descend into the lunge.
- Stand back up into the starting position and lower the dumbbell back down to your shoulder and repeat on the other side
12x DB Chest Fly w. Glute Bridge (modify without glute bridge)
- Lie flat on your back, with dumbbells held in hands and on your chest.
- Come into a glute bridge.
- Lift arms up above the chest so they’re extended but not locked out. There should be a slight bend at your elbow, and your palms and dumbbells should be facing each other.
- Slowly lower dumbbells in an arc motion until they’re in line with the chest.
- It’s basically a decline dumbbell fly, but harder.
- Exhale and slowly press the dumbbells up in the same arc motion.
40 second Mountain Climbers (modify slow down the climbers)
- Get into a plank position, making sure to distribute your weight evenly between your hands and your toes.
- Your hands should be about shoulder-width apart, back flat, abs engaged, and head in alignment.
- Pull your right knee into your chest as far as you can.
- Switch legs, pulling one knee out and bringing the other knee in.
- Keep your hips down, run your knees in and out as far and as fast as you can. Alternate inhaling and exhaling with each leg change.
- Imagine you’re running away, up a mountain side, from the abominable snowman. This visualization technique is critical for fat burning as it will greatly kick up your adrenaline (anxiety), and as a result, your heart rate. Burn those calories, yo.
- Disclaimer: if you ever find yourself trying to outrun an abominable snowman, this exercise instruction is not in any way claiming that your mountain climber practice will give you the agility needed to survive. More likely than not, you won’t survive such an encounter. Be realistic, it’s an abominable snowman. That beast is OP AF.
Block Three: 4 rounds (rest time: 30-60 seconds)
12x DB Lateral Lunge (Modify without weight)
- Grab one dumbbell and bring it up so it’s top plate is level with your clavicle. You can let it rest in your palms or pyramid cradle it, whatever’s most comfortable for your wrists
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart and arms fully extended at your sides.
- Push your chest out and take a large step to the side with one leg, lowering your rear knee toward the ground while keeping your front shin as vertical as possible. Use the wide leg to push yourself back to the starting position.
12x DB Pullover v Ups (Modify without weight)
- Lie on your back on the floor
- Grab the dumbbell with both hands holding only one end and hold it above your chest similar to if you were doing a press.
- Front his position, slowly bring your legs up while performing a crunch to create a V with your body.
- Return to starting position
- With your elbows tucked at about 45 degrees to your torso, slowly bring your arms back behind your head until the bottom plate of the dumbbell touches the floor (don’t rest it there though)
- Bring the dumbbell back over your head while contracting your chest muscles and pretend that you’re pushing your hands together while also slightly internally rotating your shoulders. The dumbbell should end up directly above your chest as it was during the starting position.
- That’s one repetition.
40 second Butt Kicks (Modify slow it down)
- Sort of like running in place.
- Ending with this exercise will seriously kick your butt. Zing.
Full Body Dumbbell Workout
Block 1: 4 rounds (Rest time: 30-60 seconds)
- 12x DB Front Squat (Modify regular squat)
- 12x Push-up to DB Row (Modify on knees)
- 40 second Jumping Jacks (Modify step outs)
Block 2: 4 rounds (Rest time: 30-60 seconds)
- 12x DB Reverse Lunge Alternating Shoulder Press (modify without weight)
- 12x DB Chest Fly w. Glute Bridge (modify without glute bridge)
- 40 second Mountain Climbers (modify slow down the climbers)
Block 3: 4 rounds (Rest time: 30-60 seconds)
- 12x DB Lateral Lunge (Modify without weight)
- 12x DB Pullover v Ups (Modify without weight)
- 40 second Butt Kicks (Modify slow it down)
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