We all want a quick fix to get fit and strong, but dragging yourself to the gym to carry out a series of workouts can occasionally be at the bottom of our to-do list. Fortunately, you can work out easily at home and you don’t even need much equipment, as this single dumbbell full-body workout shows.
Posted to Instagram by André Carvalho, otherwise known as @the_naturalcoach, his single dumbbell workout consists of 5 movements to make up a set, to be performed for 3 sets, with 15-20 reps per exercise.
Translating his Portuguese caption, André says, “You can have an effective workout even with minimal equipment. Especially when you’re walking around and want to carry as little equipment as possible. There’s no excuse not to hit your goal.”
His single dumbbell full-body workout involves the following movements:
- Single Arm Squat to Press (both sides): Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and hold the dummbell in one hand using an underhand grip. Begin by holding it at your shoulder, as if you were at the top of a bicep curl. Squat down, ensuring your push your knees out and your core braced. Make sure you keep looking in front of you throughout the duration of the movement.
Once you’ve reached the bottom of your squat, return to a standing position. As you do so, push your arm up to raise the dumbbell above your head. As you do this, rotate your wrist so that you end with the dumbbell in the air in an overhand grip.
- Pullover Toe Touch: This one is a serious core burner. If you’ve performed a hollow hold before, this is an extension of that exercise. Lie down on your back with just your bum and lower back touching the ground. With your arms stretched out above your head, hold your single dumbbell at the ends with both hands. Next, bracing your core, you want to perform a V-sit style movement.
Bring your legs up in the air (keeping them straight) and bring the dumbbell over your head and raise your upper body enough so that you can stretch to reach your shin with the dumbbell. It will help to exhale as you perform this part of the movement, and inhale when you return to the starting position.
- Push Up to Row, Alternate: Get yourself into a push-up position with the dumbbell in one hand. Perform a dumbbell row whilst in this push-up position; bring the dumbbell towards your hip to engage your lats. Once you have returned the dumbbell to the floor, perform a push-up. Next, roll the dumbbell over to your other hand and complete the same two exercises again.
- Single Sided Press with Toe Touch: An upper body blaster, lie down on the floor and bend one knee. With your other leg, raise it into the air as high as you can. Hold the dumbbell with an overhand grip in the hand opposite to the leg that is in the air, with your elbow bent at 90-degrees as if you were going to perform a floor press.
Perform a floor press (pushing the dumbbell into the air) but as you do so, raise your upper body so you get the dumbbell to reach your foot that is in the air.
- Waiter’s Curl: Time to build those biceps. Kneel on the ground and hold the dumbbell using both hands. But, rather than grip it, just have them open and held under one end as this will help to better engage your arm muscles. Simply curl the dumbbell up to your chest for the required number of reps.
As to which weight of dumbbell you should use, it can be entirely down to you. Obviously, you don’t want to go so heavy that you can’t complete all reps for all sets, but you also want a weight that will challenge you. You may find you can change the weight depending on which exercise you’re performing.
As we’ve discussed before, using fitness trainer Paul Sklar as an example, using lighter weights can be just as effective as using heavy weights. He explains his reason for going lighter is that it can help improve the mind-muscle connection.
“Make the most out of any exercise you do, because each one may work a lot more than you think they do. When I use a weight like this, I take all sets to failure, understanding what failure is,” he said of his 3-movement dumbbell workout.
While, in the case of André’s single dumbbell workout, he has specified a required number of reps and sets, as opposed to training to failure, there is still much to be said of going lighter on the weight.