Need a quick strength-training workout at home? We’ve got you covered with this dumbbell total-body routine.
If you don’t have dumbbells, use wine bottles (be careful not to drop them!), milk jugs or water bottles filled with water or sand, soup cans or whatever you have at home. If you can’t find dumbbells in stores, check online garage sales on Facebook or Craig’s List.
Follow these guidelines for this dumbbell total-body routine:
- Warm up for 3-5 minutes with marches, knee lifts, hamstring curls, bodyweight squats and lunges, side taps, jumping jacks and more.
- If you have more than one set of dumbbells, use heavier weights for lower-body, chest, back and biceps exercises, and lighter weights for shoulders and triceps. Start heavier if you don’t know what weight to use, and drop lower if necessary.
- Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions until muscles are fatigued. If the last few reps don’t feel challenging, use heavier weights. For upper-body exercises, you may be able to double up the weights in one hand, and move one arm at a time.
- Keep rest minimal between sets.
- Vary your workouts for best results.
Dumbbell Total-Body Routine
- Squat – Holding dumbbells on shoulders or hips, lower hips back and down, with weight in heels and chest lifted.
- Rear lunge – Holding dumbbells on shoulders or hips, step back wide with your right leg and drop into a lunge, with torso tall over hips, then return to feet together. Repeat with left leg.
- Deadlift – With feet about hip-width apart and arms hanging in front of legs, hinge from hips with a flat back, and return to upright.
- Renegade row – In plank position while holding dumbbells, pull right arm back, retracting shoulder blade and with elbow close to body. Return to floor and repeat with left arm. Modification: drop to knees.
- Push-up – No dumbbells necessary for this classic exercise. Perform on toes or knees, with hands a bit wider than shoulders.
- Hip thrust – Lying on back, with feet hip-width apart and one or two dumbbells resting on lap, lift hips and squeeze glutes. Lower slightly (not all the way to the floor) and repeat.
- Chest fly – Lying on back, hold dumbbells together with arms extended over chest. Open arms wide to side with slight bend in elbows, then close together.
- Biceps curl – Standing with feet slightly apart, soft knees, arms at sides and elbows close to body, curl arms up to bring dumbbells to chest; then lower.
- Overhead press – Standing with feet slightly apart, soft knees and arms at sides, press arms overhead with palms facing forward or inside. Lower to shoulders and repeat.
- Lateral raise — Standing with feet slightly apart, soft knees and arms at sides, raise arms out wide to shoulder height with slight bend in elbows; lower.
- Triceps kickback – Hinge from hips with flat back and core engaged, with arms bent so dumbbells are close to chest/armpits. Extend both arms straight back and contract triceps, keeping elbows close to torso.
- Russian twist – Seated with knees bent and holding one dumbbell, lean back slightly with straight spine and twist torso right to left, bringing dumbbell by hips.
- Double-leg stretch – Lying on back, bend knees over hips and hold one dumbbell at shins, with abs scooped and head and neck lifted. Extend legs straight out and lift dumbbell overhead; then return to shins. Modification: don’t use dumbbell.
- Superman – Lying on belly with legs extended and arms overhead (no dumbbell here), lift arms and legs, hold, and lower. Modification: lift one arm and opposite leg.