Hello, hello! I hope you all have a had a great morning so far.
Mine has been a productive one, and I’m feeling great after a killer strength training workout that took place with the sunrise today. If you’re looking for a challenging set of circuits that hit every major muscle group, grab a light, medium, and heavy set of dumbbells and try this one!
This workout is broken up into three different circuits. Complete the first one in its entirety before going to the next, rest, then move onto the next circuit.
I went high on the reps in the first circuit because they are all bodyweight exercises. If you complete each exercise as directed, you will do 90 reps of each! Please feel free to modify.
(Modified example: in reps of 20, 16, 12, 6, 2 … which gets you to up to 56 reps.)
It took me around 40 minutes to complete this workout at a steady pace. I wasn’t rushing, but I wasn’t taking my time, either. Once you feel comfortable with all of the exercises, I challenge you to finish it in 45 (or less if you modified the reps)!
Your dumbbell weights might vary, but I like to classify the following:
light: 5-8 lbs.
medium: 10-12 lbs.
heavy: 15-20 lbs.
If you are newer to lifting, I suggest you start here:
light: 3-5 lbs.
medium: 8-10 lbs.
heavy: 12-15 lbs.
Get on the floor and position your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Raise up on your toes, or modify by dropping your knees. Keep your body in a straight line from your head to toes (or knees) without dropping your middle or arching your back.
Before you begin the push-up, contract your abs and keep your core tight. Think of pulling your belly button towards your spine, then lower and lift. If your form looks and feels correct, try to straighten your legs for more of a challenge!
Get on the floor in a sit-up position: back and feet flat on the floor, with your knees bent to a ninety degree angle. Cross your arms over your chest. This is your starting position.
Tighten your glutes and hamstrings as you sit up, then slowly roll back to the starting position.
Start with your feet a bit wider than your shoulders and your hands behind your head with your elbows wide. Stand tall, then come down into a squat position with your thighs slightly higher then your knees.
Pause for a moment, then return to your starting position.
• biceps curl to overhead presses (medium)
Start standing with your feet hip width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing forward. Bend your elbows and bring the weights to your shoulders to perform a biceps curl. Keeping your core tight, press and straighten your arms overhead while rotating your palms to face out to perform a shoulder (overhead) press.
Bend the elbows to return back to the top of the biceps curl position, then lower.
(The palms face in, then out, then back in again.) This is one rep.
• skull crushers (or lying triceps extensions) (light – medium)
Lie flat on your mat with your knees bent (or flat on a bench if you have access to one) and a dumbbell in each hand. Lift your arms to an extended 90-degree angle from your body and the floor. Your palms should be neutral (facing in) and the elbows should be straight.
This is your starting position.
Keeping your elbows tucked in and directly over your shoulders, slowly lower the weight until the dumbbells are near your ears. Keep them in line and don’t let them touch each other (or your head!). Using the triceps, bring the weight back up to the starting position. This is one rep.
• rows (medium – heavy)
Start with your feet hip width apart, holding dumbbells in front of you and sit back in your hips. Bend over at a 45 degree angle and make sure to keep your back neutral or even slightly arched (not rounded) with your core engaged. Keep your chest up, your shoulders pressed down and away from your ears, and your chin lifted.
With your palms facing your body, engage your abs and squeeze your shoulder blades together as you bring the weights towards your torso. Keep your elbows pointed upward! Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position to complete one rep.
• deadlifts (or single leg deadlifts) (medium – heavy)
Start in a standing position with your feet under your hips. Holding two dumbbells by your sides, keep your arms straight and your knees slightly bent. Slowly hinge forward (bend at your hip joint – not your waist!) and lower the weights as far as you can without rounding or arching the back. Keep your shoulders pressed down and look forward, not directly at the ground.
As you lower, bring the dumbbells in front of your body and close to your legs. Squeeze your glutes and keep your core tight to pull yourself up quicker then you bent down.
• side plank pulses
Start by lying on your side and stack your feet on top of each other. Position your elbow directly under your shoulder. Lift your hips and torso off of the ground while keping the abs and glutes contracted. Place your hand on your hip.
Holding a side elbow plank, begin to lower and lift your hips in a small pulsing motion for 10-12 reps. Rest, then complete on the other side. You can modify this exercise by bending the bottom knee or intensify it by raising your top leg a few inches off of the other.
• lateral lunges (medium)
Start standing tall with a dumbbell in each hand. Step out to the right and shift your body weight over your right leg, squatting to a 90 degree angle at the knee. The objective is to try to get low enough to “sit down” (squat), keeping your back as upright as possible. Push off and bring your right leg back to the center and starting position.
This is one rep. Remember to keep your weight on your heels. Drop the dumbbells and hold out your arms in front of you to help with balance, if needed! You can alternate sides or do 10-12 reps on the right, then 10-12 reps on the left.
Here’s a tip for easy access to workouts I share on this blog:
» Right click the workout graphic above and click Pin It.
» Label it with the description you’d like, select a Board to save it to and press Pin It.
(A great pin description for this workout could be: “Hit every major muscle group with this 45 minute or less total body workout. All you need is a light, medium, and heavy set of dumbbells!”)
To save and print:
» Right click the workout graphic above and click Save Image As.
» Label it with .jpg at the end and save it to your computer desktop as an image file that you can easily open and print.
If you’re on your smart phone:
» Tap and hold your finger down on the graphic.
» Click Save Image or Save to Camera Roll.
Please let me know if you decide to give this workout a try, as feedback is always welcomed.
Have a great rest of the day, and I’ll see you back in the morning with Friday Favorites!
Questions of the Day
• When was the last time you picked up a set of dumbbells?
• What is one thing that you are looking forward to today?
Disclaimer: Although I am a certified personal trainer, I am not necessarily your personal trainer. The workouts I post are what work best for me, and might not be the right type of exercises for you. I always recommend consulting a doctor or health professional before making changes to your diet and/or fitness routine. <3
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