How to use one dumbbell in a full body workout

Editor’s observe: Dana Santas, higher generally known as “Navigation maker,” is a licensed power and conditioning specialist and mind-body coach in skilled sports activities, and is the writer of “Sensible Options for Again Ache Reduction.”


While you consider exercising with dumbbells, you most likely think about utilizing a set of two, one in every hand. There are lots of workouts you are able to do with two dumbbells, however as a power and conditioning coach, I can inform you that there are simply as many — if no more — you are able to do with only one. In truth, you possibly can successfully prepare your whole physique with a single dumbbell in about 10 minutes.

Beneath, I’ve outlined 5 workouts you are able to do in sequence to strengthen your legs, hips, arms, shoulders, and core. Learn the detailed descriptions of every train to study concerning the cues and any modifications wanted, subsequent Comply with together with me within the video above Whereas I take you thru each exercise.

It is vital that you just select a manageable weight with a view to carry out all repetitions nicely. This implies avoiding shifting your physique in ways in which compensate for muscle fatigue or weak spot within the space you are attempting to work, corresponding to doing biceps curls whereas swinging your again whereas lifting a weight with a push out of your again muscle groups.

Compensations can result in harm, so that you need to keep away from that! To study extra about choosing the proper weight, watch this video.

In case you are new to exercising or are again after a break, make sure to calm down once more. Take a look at my collection On methods to restart your exercise for a protected and efficient path again to health Make coaching an pleasing a part of your life-style.

Necessary observe: Earlier than beginning any new train program, seek the advice of your doctor. Cease instantly in case you really feel ache.

Do eight to 10 repetitions of every train on either side of your physique except in any other case indicated for workouts that don’t alternate sides. Whereas doing the train, attempt respiration by your nostril and both by your mouth or nostrils – no matter is most snug for you.

Respiration by your nostril will present probably the most oxygen and enhance your endurance.

You’ll be able to study extra about efficient respiration methods right here Watch this video And Learn this collection To breathe higher.

Stand along with your ft hip-width aside. Maintain a dumbbell in each palms at chest stage, with every hand hugging one finish of the burden.

Angle your ft barely outward, opening your hips at an angle that is snug so that you can squat.

Angle your feet slightly outward to open your hips at a comfortable angle for you to squat.

Inhale after which maintain inhale as you squat all the way down to a stage the place your hips are aligned barely beneath your knees (if this isn’t attainable, see modification beneath).

Exhale as you push off your ft and return to a standing place.

Attempt to maintain your weight evenly distributed by your ft, legs, and thighs.

Tips on how to modify: If a deep squat is troublesome, use a low chair or sturdy field as a base for squatting and squatting gently with every rep.

Maintain a dumbbell in your proper hand by your aspect whereas standing in your left leg.

Inhale after which maintain the inhale as you cease on the hips to bend midway as you lengthen your proper leg behind you in order that your chest and again leg kind a protracted line parallel to the ground.

Maintain a soft bend in both legs if the back of your leg is too tight to straighten either or both legs.

Stabilizing your standing leg, exhale whereas utilizing your hips and torso to deliver your physique again to an upright standing place.

Repeat on the other aspect.

Tips on how to modify: If the again of your leg is just too tight to straighten both or each legs, keep a gentle bend in each legs. To assist with stability, you are able to do this with out weight whereas holding on to the aspect of a wall.

Get right into a plank place along with your ft barely wider than hip-width aside to assist stability the burden and motion as you carry the dumbbells to create a single-arm rowing movement.

Maintain the dumbbell on the ground along with your proper hand. Exhale as you carry the burden by bending your elbow and hugging it in opposition to your ribcage in a rowing movement.

Inhale as you straighten your arm and convey the burden again to the ground whereas nonetheless holding it in your hand.

Keep your feet slightly hip-width apart to help balance the weight and movement when lifting the dumbbells.

Settle by your core to keep away from arching your decrease again.

Repeat the workouts on the fitting aspect earlier than switching to the left aspect.

Tips on how to modify: Carry out this train from a fundamental palms and knees place the place you might be in a four-legged place.

Stand with a dumbbell in your proper hand, raised to shoulder peak, resting frivolously in your shoulder in what’s known as a “rack” place.

Place your left hand in your hip and step your left leg sideways to the left, along with your left leg bent like a half-squat and your proper leg straight.

Each ft proceed to level straight ahead as you push off your left leg and return to a standing place.

Then, press the dumbbells above your head and return them to a rack place over your shoulder.

Do all of your reps on one side before switching dumbbells to the opposite hand.

Every repetition takes two breaths: inhale from standing, holding the inhale as you carry out a lateral lunge, then exhale as you push again as much as standing. Inhale once more as you stand, then exhale as you push the burden over your head.

Do all your reps on one aspect earlier than switching dumbbells to the other hand and a lateral lunge on the opposite aspect.

Tips on how to modify: If the stress over the top is an excessive amount of, you possibly can shake it off.

Sit on the ground along with your knees bent, touching collectively, and your ft flat on the ground, too.

Maintain a weight on every finish, at your chest, as you probably did the squat.

Exhale and twist to the fitting, reducing your arms to make the burden contact the ground on the aspect of your physique.

Inhale again to middle, then exhale and repeat to the left aspect.

Try to keep your knees and feet together when doing curls and push-ups.

Attempt to maintain your knees pressed collectively all through the whole set of workouts to assist stabilize your hips and torso so that you just rotate from the center of your again — not your decrease again.

Because you’re alternating the motion aspect to aspect, as a substitute of doing two units of 8 to 10 reps on either side, you may do an alternating set of 16 to twenty reps.

Tips on how to modify: If it is too onerous to maintain your knees collectively, press them between them on a folded towel or yoga block.

If a single dumbbell is just too heavy for this train now, do not use it till you get stronger; As a substitute, clench your fingers right into a double fist which you can faucet on the ground as you rotate.

Relying in your present health stage and the way these workouts really feel, one spherical of this sequence ought to take about eight to 12 minutes to finish. By no means rush: all the time deal with kind. For finest outcomes, repeat this circuit two to a few instances per exercise, two to a few instances per week.

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