If you’re after a workout that does everything, a full body dumbbell workout may be for you. Whether you are exercising just to get fit, or working out to get lean for summer, dumbbells are for you. They are the easiest pieces of equipment to use to get a stronger body. If you can incorporate a full body dumbbell workout into your exercise routine, you will find yourself losing weight and getting stronger quicker. You can do these exercises as a full session, or add them into your existing workout routine. The best thing about working out with dumbbells is that they don’t have to take up a whole lot of time. Start out with just 10 minutes with a small set of weights and just work your way up.
Exercises To Do As Part of a Full Body Dumbbell Workout
There are a stack of great full body dumbbell workout routines available, or you can ask one of our personal trainers to design one for you. There are so many variations that you will never get bored – just find a new exercise to replace or add in. Anyone can use dumbbells, from beginner level to advanced, and can be adapted for men and women. Exercises incorporated are typically:
- Press: Lifting the dumbbells from the floor to the ceiling in one smooth movement.
- Squat: Keeping your back straight and head tall, squatting to the floor whilst holding your dumbbells to each side.
- Lunge: Stepping forward and dropping knee to the ground.
- Plank: Keep your body straight, adding in arm lifts or push-ups.
These exercises are flexible enough for any level of strength. If you regularly exercise and want to start incorporating weights, start just with 5 kg dumbbells (or even lighter with 2 kg if you find this too difficult). Begin with 10 reps and build up to 15 reps as you get stronger. Remember that good, clean lifting is always desirable. Use a mirror if that helps to keep your posture in check or check your technique with one of our personal trainers, If your movements are getting wobbly or jerky, stop. Don’t continue with your reps and move onto the next exercise. That is your body telling you it needs a rest. If you continue, your risk of injury increases.
Start with 15 minutes of light cardio (on a bike, treadmill, walk, steps, skipping etc) to warm up. Complete three to five exercises as a circuit: do a set each without a rest in between, and don’t let go of your weights. Once you’ve completed each set, have a rest for a minute or two and repeat again for a total of three times.
Remember to rest!
If you are doing 20-30 minutes of a full body dumbbell workout, make sure you rest at least two days between to allow your body to recover and ensure you don’t injure yourself. Find a full body dumbbell workout routine that challenges yourself to begin with and stick to it twice a week for a couple weeks, then you can start adding weights or increase reps to continue challenging yourself every time. And don’t forget, if you need some help we at AJ’s are always keen to lend you a hand – just ask!
Example Full Body Dumbbell Workout
1. Clean and Press
Place the dumbbells on the floor in front of you and bend down to grab them while keeping your back flat and chest up. explosively extend your hips, shrug, and clean the weights up to shoulder level. Press them overhead. do 6–8 reps.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand. squat as low as possible without rounding your lower back. Perform 12–15 reps.
3. Romanian Deadlift
Hold the dumbbells in front of your thighs with your feet hip-width apart. Push your hips back and bend forward until you feel you can’t keep the arch in your lower back (it’s ok to let your knees bend a little). extend your hips to come back up. Perform 12–15 reps.
4. Two-hand Dumbbell Row
Bend forward at the hips as you did in the romanian deadlift and then row both weights to your sides. keep your eyes focused on the floor in front of you. Perform 4–6 reps.
Place a set of dumbbells parallel to each other on the floor at shoulder width. Get into pushup position holding the weights (as shown at left). Perform pushups with your hands in a neutral grip. do as many reps as you can.
Example Full Body Dumbbell Workout Two
Plank and Rotate
Begin in a plank position holding a five-pound dumbbell in each hand, keeping your wrists stiff to protect the joints. Open your feet a little wider than hip distance. Lift your left hand to the ceiling, twisting through your entire torso. Your pelvis will rotate, but keep it level. Bring your left hand back to the floor, and repeat this action on the other side to complete one rep.
Stand on your left leg, and lift your right knee up until it is level with your hip. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, raise your arms out to the side until your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Maintaining a strong sense of balance, rotate your upper arms forward to bring your fists to the floor; then rotate the upper arm backward to bring the fists up. Do not lower or raise your upper arms; keep them parallel to the floor. This completes one rep. Do 10 to 15 reps, then switch legs lifting the left leg up, and stand on the right foot for another 10 to 15 reps to complete the set.
Squat, Curl, and Press
Stand with your feet directly under your hips holding a dumbbell in each hand. Sit back into your squat, keeping the weight in your heels, bringing your thighs parallel to the floor without letting your knees go beyond your toes. Push through your heels to return to standing while bringing the weights to your shoulders, performing a bicep curl. Stabilise your torso and keep your arms moving upward performing an overhead press with the palms facing out. Lower your arms back to your side to complete one rep.
Lying Chest Fly
Lie on your back with your hips and knees both at 90-degree angles. Using your low abs, press your lower back into the mat. Raise your arms toward the ceiling, palms facing each other, keeping the elbow joint slightly bent. Keeping your torso stable, open your arms out to the side until your elbows are about two inches from the floor. Raise your arms back to the ceiling, bringing the weights together over your chest. This completes one rep.
Lying Overhead Reach
Lie on your back with your hips and knees both at 90-degree angles, using your low abs to press your lower back into the mat. Raise your arms toward the ceiling, keeping the elbow joint slightly bent. Reach your arms overhead, bringing the dumbbells to tap the dumbbells on the floor above your head. Do not let your back arch away from the floor as your lower the weights. Raise your arms back to the starting position to complete one rep.
Seated Russian Twist
Sit with your heels about two feet from your butt, holding a dumbbell at your chest. Keeping your back straight, lean your entire torso back a few inches. You should feel your abs working to keep you upright. Without rounding your spine, rotate your ribcage to the left, then return to centre to twist to the right. This completes one rep.
Reverse Lunge and Press
Stand with your feet together, holding the weights at your shoulders with your palms facing out. Step your left foot back coming into a lunge, making 90-degree angles with your front and back knee. Push off your left foot, bringing your left knee forward so it is even with your left hip while raising your arms above your head. Do this motion with control. Without touching the floor with your left foot, step back into the lunge to start your second rep.
Plank and Straight-Arm Kickback
Start in a plank position holding a dumbbell in each hand. Open your feet wider than hip width for a stronger base of support. Lift your left arm behind you as high as you can. Bring the left arm back into plank to complete one rep.
Stand with feet a little wider than your hips, with toes pointed slightly outward, holding one dumbbell in both hands. Sit back to squat, keeping the weight in your heels and your chest lifted. The bottom of the dumbbell should lightly tap the floor. Push through your heels to return to standing to complete one rep.
Of course, you can mix and match from either full body dumbbell workout to suit your own needs. If you’d like to begin, and you’re not sure where to start, come and have a chat to us now. We’d love to get to get your started on your journey towards fitness and good health!
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