NO GYM? NO PROBLEM.
You can do this full-body strength training workout literally anywhere with the help of just a single dumbbell. Each exercise targets one of the following seven basic movement patterns:
- Horizonal Push
- Horizontal Pull
- Vertical Push
- Vertical Pull
Check out the full video here: Full Body Workout Using One Dumbbell
Common exercises: squats, lunges
Primary muscles used: quadriceps
Secondary muscles used: glutes, hamstrings
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the dumbbell close to but not touching your chest. Keep your shoulders down away from your ears and your core engaged. Lower your body toward the floor by bending your knees and sitting back into an imaginary chair. While keeping your chest proud, lower down until your quads are about parallel to the ground, then exhale and push up through the floor to return to standing. Make sure your knees stay in line with your toes the whole time.
Common exercises: deadlifts, glute bridges
Primary muscles used: glutes, hamstrings
Secondary muscles used: quads
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Keep your back flat, shoulder blades squeezed, and core engaged as you hinge from your hips to lower the dumbbell to the floor. Aim to keep 70-80% of your weight in your heels and to bring your torso closer to the ground than in the squat. Drive your hips forward on an exhale to return to standing.
3. HORIZONTAL PUSH
Common exercises: push up, chest press
Primary muscles used: pectoralis major, pectoralis minor
Secondary muscles used: anterior deltoid, triceps
Lay on your back on a bench. Start with a dumbbell in one hand and your arms perpendicular to the ground. While keeping your ribs pinned down and knuckles toward the ceiling, and wrist over elbow throughout the movement, lower the weight until your elbow is at shoulder level. Punch the weight back up toward the ceiling on an exhale.
4. HORIZONTAL PULL
Common exercises: row, rear delt fly
Primary muscles used: latissimus dorsi
Secondary muscles used: rhomboids, teres minor, rear deltoid, trapezius
Set up in a tripod position with your wrist under your shoulder, knee under your hip, and your other leg extended out to the side to create a strong base of support. Pull the dumbbell up towards your body in a "J" shape until your upper arm becomes parallel with the floor. Exhale through this part of the movement and imagine squeezing the back part of your armpit. Reverse the movement while keeping both shoulders square to the floor.
5. VERTICAL PUSH
Common exercises: overhead press
Primary muscles used: anterior and lateral deltoids
Secondary muscles used: pectoralis major and minor
Take a half kneeling position with both knees at 90 degrees. Keep your glutes squeezed and ribs pinned down as you punch your knuckles up toward the ceiling on an exhale. Fully extend your elbow and try to get your arm as close to perpendicular to the floor as your shoulder mobility will allow. Return to the starting position on an inhale.
6. VERTICAL PULL
Common exercises: pull ups, pull downs
Primary muscles used: latissimus dorsi
Secondary muscles used: biceps, teres major
Lay on your back on a bench. Start with a dumbbell in your hands and your arms perpendicular to the ground. While keeping your ribs pinned down and elbows straight but soft, let gravity pull the dumbell up over your head and toward the ground. Once your arms are parallel to the ground or have reached a comfortable end range, pull the dumbbell back to the starting position over your chest on an exhale. Imagine keeping your shoulder blades tucked in your back pockets throughout the movement.
Common exercises: plank, crunch, twist
Primary muscles used: transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, external/internal obliques
Secondary muscles used: quadratus lumborum
Lay on your back on a bench. Start with the dumbbell in both hands with arms perpendicular to the ground, and both legs up and knees bent at 90 degrees. Lower one leg down to touch your heel to the ground while keeping the middle part of your back pushed into the bench. Exhale to bring your leg back to the starting position. Alternate legs.