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Keep it simple with dumbbells

If you are looking for a quick exercise session to fit into a busy schedule, then this dumbbell work out might be just what you are looking for. 

Using just a pair of dumbbells and 10 exercises, you can really hit all parts of your body in a 30 minute session.

Perform 10 repetitions of each exercise back-to-back, with little to no break in between. If it is a one-sided exercise like a single arm press, do 10 on one side, then 10 on the other. 

Once you have finished all 10 exercises, take a 90 second active recovery by jogging on the spot or doing star jumps or burpees and then repeat the sequence. Do a total of three rounds.

Here are the 10 exercises:

Static lateral lunge – stand with feet apart with one dumbbell held in two hands in front of you. Take the dumbbell to the left, reaching to just besides your left ankle, bending your right leg. Then take it across to the other side in one smooth movement. Repeat 10 times.

Single arm press – kneel with your right knee touching the floor, your left leg out in front, with your left knee at a right angle. With the dumbbell in your right hand, start at your shoulder and then push upwards in a sharp vertical movement. Lower to the shoulder under control. Repeat 10 times, then swap sides, kneeling on your left leg. 

Goblet squat – with feet hip width apart, hold the dumbbell in both hands at your chest. Lower your body until your knees form right angles, then power back up to standing.

Dead bug – lay on the floor, with your back flat to the mat. Start with your knees in the air at at right angles to your body and your arms straight up in the air. Extend your left leg fully and reach your right arm until it is straight out behind you. Bring your arms and leg back in and repeat with your left arm and right leg. Continue this until you have done 20 reps in total (10 for each side).

Overhead extension – kneel on the floor, hold the dumbbell behind your head, with both hands holding it. Extend your arms until the dumbbell is vertically above your head. Lower under control. 

Weighted March – holding a dumbbell in each hand, with your arms by your side. March on the spot, lifting your legs alternately as high as you can. 

Romanian Deadlift – stand with your feet hip width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and, keeping your legs almost straight (with a slight bend at the knees) lower the dumbbells almost to touch the floor. Slowly straighten back up and as you finish the move just push your hips forward slightly until you feel your glutes flex.

Single arm row – move into a static lunge position, with your left leg forward and right leg back. Hold a dumbbell in your right hand. Pull the dumbbell up to your right shoulder, hold for a second and then lower with control. Do 10 reps before shifting so your right leg is forward and the dumbbell is in your left hand. 

Single leg deadlift – stand with your arms raised above your head and your feet hip width apart. Now bend at the waist in a hinge-like motion, keeping your arms in a straight line and lift your left leg out behind you. Lift your left leg as high as you can and then lower to the ground before repeating. 

Chest press – lay on the floor with your back flat to the mat. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, resting by your shoulders. Push straight up so the dumbbells are straight above you in the air. Lower under control.

This exercise sequence can be done at home or in the gym. All you need is a pair of dumbbells and either a yoga mat or somewhere comfortable for the floor based exercises. 

For any advice on these or any other exercise, please talk to our personal trainers. You will find them in the Outlooks Gym or Free Weights gym. 

If this article has inspired you and you are looking for more dumbbell exercises, check out this article in Men’s Health magazine.