Dumbbells. Whether it be adjustable dumbbells, hex dumbbells, or any old dumbbell set you've had in case of emergency (like the last year and a half), I personally love them, and why wouldn't you? They're extremely unforgiving, isolating weaknesses between sides, requiring additional stability, and the versatility they offer is hard to compete against, all the while being pretty safe when you think about it.
How many people have you seen pinned under a dumbbell? They allow for space to learn new movements while having the confidence that if you're caught in an unsafe position, you can just drop your dumbbells and get out of dodge (even if you freak your pet out at home).
They're also great for fast-paced circuits as all you need is a dumbbell set (adjustable dumbbells would be even better) and maybe a bench, which is what we're going to go through today.
This full-body dumbbell workout will hit every part of your body in a way that'll effectively build strength without compromising form. You'll burn a hefty amount of calories too, which is perfect if you're looking to add some definition and let's be honest, that's pretty much all of us.
We're going to repeat exercises 1-6 for four rounds, aiming for 8-15 reps to really blast the major muscle groups.
You'll rest 3-5 mins before heading into your next round.
This may seem like a lot of time, but if you've run through all six exercises without resting, this should just be enough to crack on again unless you're Matt Fraser. So strap in, and let's get it done.
Heel Elevated Dumbbell Front Squats
This little beauty is perfect for blasting the legs, and with the weight being front-loaded and having the heels elevated, it's an ideal exercise for those struggling with ankle mobility and tight hips. The extra range created from the elevated heels forces the knees forward, making the quads work even harder, which means more muscle!
Jumping straight into some chest work we have renegade rows.
Excellent for the chest and core. You want to keep the dumbbells heavy enough to elicit core stability but not so heavy you're struggling to stay on your toes every time you come up for a row. I'd start out with a 5kg dumbbell set on these till you get the hang of them.
Named after the famous Austrian Oak, we've got an excellent shoulder builder. Really focus on controlled movements here as it's pretty easy to let the dumbbells drift forward when transitioning to the front.
Bent Over Rows
You may have seen these done one side at a time over a bench, but today we're going to do both sides at once to keep that heart rate up and burn some extra calories! A heavy set of hex dumbbells or chucking your adjustable dumbbell set onto its highest setting will be ideal for this one. Avoid assistance from your lower back and let those shoulder blades fall forward before pinning them back and rowing. You should feel a burn between the shoulders before you feel them in your biceps. No better way to wring out every last drop of gains than to finish off with a superset of 3 rounds with no rest periods, 12-15 reps on these!
Keep those elbows in check while doing the skull crushers. It's easy to let the elbows stray to the sides.
You can superset these with exercise 6 for a real challenge.
Superset - Do one exercise straight after the other before having a rest.
Cross Body Hammer Curls
Be sure not to "shrug" the weight and let your shoulders come up. Keep them down and locked in, and let the biceps do the work for a juicy set of pythons!
Well, there you have it, folks a full-body dumbbell workout that'll have you drenched in sweat and strengthening every major muscle group in the body full of that sweet pump we all crave!