DUMBBELL full body work-in

A little bit of exercise can go a long way.

Model: Tiara Brooks
Workout by: Nichelle Laus
Photos by: Dave Laus 
HAIR & MAKEUP: TWO CHICKS AND SOME LIPSTICK

Even more than usual, we have a really good reason to keep moving. Exercise not only helps us maintain strong immune systems, it boosts our mood, improves sleep, and benefits mental health. 

Even a little bit of exercise is better than none at all. Start small and focus on activities you enjoy doing.

There’s really nothing you can’t do with dumbbells and since workout equipment is scarce these days, we’ve come up with a killer workout using only one pair of ‘bells!

YOU CAN DO THIS WORKOUT IN ONE OF TWO WAYS:

IN STRAIGHT SETS

Completing 2-4 sets of 8-12 reps of one exercise before moving on to the next one.

AS A CIRCUIT

Doing 8-12 reps of each exercise, moving back to back to back.

Both are effective, but the circuits are more cardiovascular based whereas the straight sets allow you to focus on strength and recovery.

DB OVERHEAD TRICEP EXTENSION

(TRICEPS, SHOULDERS)

Standing with legs about hip-width apart, with a tight core.

Squeezing your glutes.

Making a ‘basket’ with your hands.

Holding just one head of the dumbbell in both palms.

Upper arms point straight up.

Raising the dumbbell with both hands until your arms are close to be fully extended.

Slowly lowering it back after a short pause.

Keeping your upper arms by your ears the whole time.

DB AB CRUNCHES 

(ABS)

Grabbing a dumbbell and sitting on the floor.

Holding the weight against your chest and lying on your back.

Bending your knees at a 90-degree angle.

Keeping your feet firmly planted on the floor.

While holding the weight, slowly contracting your core and raising your upper body toward your knees until your forearms touch your thighs.

Your hips and feet should remain on the floor.

Holding this position for 1-2 seconds, and then lowering back to the starting position.

DB UPRIGHT ROW

(SHOULDERS, UPPER BACK)

Standing straight up.

Shoulders back and down.

Chest up.

With a dumbbell in each hand and your palms facing your thighs.

Keeping the weights as close to your body as possible.

Pulling the dumbbells up toward your chest.

Your elbows should be outside your shoulders (flared out) during the movement.

Always remaining higher than the level of your wrist. 

When the dumbbells are at chest height, pausing for a short second.

Then lowering the dumbbells back to the starting position.

DB BENT OVER ROWS 

(MIDDLE BACK, BICEPS)

With a dumbbell in each hand, bending over at about a 45-degree angle (no farther).

Keeping your spine neutral and your head looking about 6’ in front of you throughout the exercise. 

Lifting the weights, your arms diagonally towards your belly; thinking of pulling the string on a lawn-mower.

Do not move your head throughout the exercise.

Remaining bending over until all repetitions are complete.

Lowering the weights in a controlled manner, and start again.

DB LUNGES 

(GLUTES, HAMSTRINGS, QUADS)

Standing with legs hip-distance apart.

Toes point forward, back straight and a dumbbell in each hand.

Palms face your sides.

Take a big step forward.

Keeping your upper body as straight as possible.

Bending both knees, lowering your body and back knee toward the floor.

For safety, keeping your front knee in line with your ankle.

Pressing up, and straighten your legs to the starting position.

Completing all reps on one side and then switching.

DB FRONT SQUATS 

(QUADS, HAMSTRINGS, GLUTES)

Standing with one head of the dumbbells on your shoulders so the side of each dumbbell rests on top of each shoulder.

Flaring your elbows outward.

Positioning feet about shoulder width apart and squatting down by bending hips back while allowing knees to bend forward. 

Keeping your back straight and knees pointed in the same direction as feet.

Lowering yourself until thighs are just past parallel to floor.

Extending knees and hips until legs are straight.

Returning and repeating.

DB CHEST PRESS

(CHEST)

Grabbing dumbbells with an overhand gripping and lying flat on your back.

Bending knees with feet firmly planted on the floor. 

Extending elbows to a 90-degree position, triceps rest on the floor, while holding dumbbells above your chest.

Exhaling and bracing core while simultaneously extending dumbbells toward ceiling.

Pausing and retracting back to the starting position.

DB HAMMER CURL 

(BICEPS)

Standing straight up.

Shoulders back and down.

Chest up.

With a dumbbell in each hand,

Your palms face each other.

With arms at your sides.

Curling your arms up while keeping your elbows locked in by your ribs.

Squeezing at the top.

Slowly lowering the dumbbells back down.

Author

  • Nichelle Laus is the owner of Optimum Training Centre in Toronto, Ontario. A fitness and cover model, figure and bikini competitor, competition preparation and transformation coach for Team Laus, she is a certified personal trainer and kickboxing and kettlebell instructor. Nichelle is also a motivational speaker and a proud mom of 4 young boys.

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