Build Muscle With This Full-Body Dumbbell Workout

Dumbbells may have a stupid name, but if you use them smartly they can be your secret weapon in adding lean mass to all your major muscle groups. The beauty of this five-move dumbbell circuit is that it’s both easy to follow and quick to do. And because it only requires a single dumbbell, which you might have knocking about your home, you don’t even need to brace the winter weather to get your workout in the bag.

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All five moves in the circuit are challenging, working multiple muscle groups at once and raising your heart rate, because that’s the only way to build new muscle and burn belly fat so you make big changes to your body in the shortest possible time. Do this circuit three times a week, or once a week for a high-intensity session as part of a wider training plan.

Power Up

This workout has five dumbbell exercises that you perform in order in a circuit. You only rest – for two minutes – at the end of the final exercise. You’ll do four circuits in total. To make this workout as effective as possible, follow the form guides closely to ensure your muscles work hard. That’s the key to breaking down the maximum number of muscle fibres so that they grow back bigger and stronger. Pick a weight that allows you to perform all the exercises with perfect form (you may need a lighter one for move 4) and keep your abs engaged for the duration of the entire circuit.

1 Squat To Upright Row

Reps 12 each side Rest 0sec

How Hold the weight in one hand and squat down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Stand up and row the dumbbell up, leading with your elbow. Lower back into the squat.

Why This compound lift works your legs, lower back, abs, shoulders and traps.

2 Woodchop

Reps 12 each side Rest 0sec

How Hold the dumbbell in both hands, then squat down and take the weight out to one side. Stand up and raise the weight across your body until it’s above your head.

Why Another multi-muscle move that targets your legs, core and shoulders.

3 Romanian Deadlift to Overhead Press

Reps 12 each side Rest 0sec

How Hold the weight in one hand. Bend at the hips and lower it down your standing leg. Stand up and row the weight up to shoulder height, then press it directly overhead.

Why This lift hits your hamstrings and glutes, as well as your core and shoulders.

4 Overhead Pass

Reps 12 each side Rest 0sec

How Hold the weight up in one hand. Lower it to one side until your arm is parallel to the floor. Raise it to the top, then pass it to your other hand and lower it to the other side.

Why This move is harder than it looks because your shoulders work overtime to manage the weight.

5 Seated Russian Twist

Reps 12 each side Rest 2min

How Sit holding the weight in both hands with your torso upright and feet off the floor. Rotate the weight to one side then rotate back into the middle then out to the other side. Keep your heels off the floor for the duration of the set to keep your lower abs engaged, making them work far harder.

Why This will work your deep-lying core muscles as well as your upper, lower and side abs.

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