Hi there! How’s your week going so far?
If you’re feeling a little meh, or if you might need a little motivation to get you moving right now, I hope that this post gets you started. Today I invite you to shake some of the stress out with me with this total body strength circuit. You’d be surprised how much a workout can change your mood, and I think we could all use the boost right now during quarantine!
Do this circuit wherever you feel the most comfortable. All you need to complete it is a set of medium dumbbells, and maybe a set of heavier ones for a few moves – if you’d like. It targets all of the major muscle groups and took me about 40 minutes to complete three rounds.
I’ve been picturing all of my at-home workouts in our dining room, which is ironically the most space we have available in our apartment. If you have access to the outdoors with a patio or backyard, however, feel free to take it out there if it’s not too hot out. Just remember to stay hydrated and soak in the fresh air … it’ll do the body good!
Here’s to taking everything one day at a time and using what we have available until we can get back to the gym. And have fun!
Just like any workout, please make sure you’re cleared by a doctor to complete a new exercises, listen to your body, and rest between exercises or whenever it’s truly needed.
Notice that there’s a cardio bonus at the end! Check out my Tabata Training playlist that makes it easy to follow the :20 work, :10 rest pattern for the bonus exercise. The coach in all of the songs does the counting for you. (Love that!)
Now let’s get on to the cues and demos …
(make sure to catch the video demonstrations on social, too!)
• weighted sit-ups
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.
Complete for 12-15 reps. Hold a weight for extra resistance and more of a challenge!
• squat with overhead press rotations
Start standing with your feet hip-width apart and your toes slightly pointed out. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, bring them up to your shoulders and sit back into a squat position until your thighs are parallel with the ground.
To perform the press with rotation, drive through your heels to a standing position and raise your left arm toward the ceiling while rotating your torso towards the right. You should lift your left heel to pivot and keep your abs engaged. Pause briefly, then come back to the center squat position.
Repeat the press with rotation to the other side, so your right arm is extending and your torso is rotating to the left. This is one rep. Repeat for a total of 12 reps on each side.
• sumo deadlifts (medium to heavy)
This is a variation to a traditional dead lift or straight leg deadlift, as your feet are pointed outward. Start standing with your feet wide, knees bent slightly, and toes out. Your arms should be straight down in front of your pelvis, with a dumbbell hanging vertically in each hand.
Press your tailbone back, keeping back flat and head in line with tailbone as you hinge from the hips and lower dumbbells down to a couple of inches above the floor. Drive through legs and squeeze the glutes to come back to the starting position.
Repeat for 12-15 reps.
• bridge chest presses (medium to heavy)
Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart. Squeeze your glutes and lift your lower body into a floor bridge position. Keep your abs engaged. You can perform the presses here, or add more lower body work by lifting your heels up and squeezing your knees together for a hold with your knees together. If that is too much, you can always keep your feet on the floor.
Holding the position you’ve settled into, perform a chest press by straightening your arms, bringing the weights together and directly above your shoulders.
Lower the arms back to the starting position and repeat for 12-15 reps. Keep activating the glutes throughout the set, then slowly lower your hips to return.
• renegade rows
Grab your dumbbells and get on the floor in a straight plank position while gripping the weights. Contract your abs and keep your core tight.
Keep your body in a straight line from your head to your toes without dropping your middle or arching your back. Slightly shift your weight to the right and do a left row. Keep your elbow tight almost brushing it against your side. Return back to plank position, then repeat on the other side. This is one rep. Repeat alternating the rows for a total of 12 reps.
Concentrate on trying to keep you hips steady and avoid rocking as much as possible. Instead, shift in a slow and controlled approach and only move as much as necessary. You can widen the space between your toes or drop to your knees to modify.
• single dumbbell shoulder raises
Start standing with your feet about shoulder width apart, holding a dumbbell with both hands. Keep your knees slightly bent and core engaged.
Raise the dumbbell forward and upward until your arms are in line with your shoulders. Pause briefly.
Lower and repeat for 12-15 reps.
• cross body hammer curls
Start standing shoulder-width apart holding dumbbells with straight arms, palms facing your body.
Cross the right arm over the chest and curl towards the left shoulder.
Return to starting position and then repeat on other side.
This is one rep. Keep your knees slightly bent, your abs engaged, and try not to let your body swing with the movement. Repeat for 12-15 reps each.
• front to back lunges
The weight is optional here, and it will add more of a challenge and resistance for the exercise. Start standing tall with your hands on your hips and feet under your hips. For more resistance, either hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing you, or one bigger weight in front of your chest.
Step forward with your right leg, and lower your body until both knees form a 90 degree angle in a forward lunge. Press down into the right heel to push back to the starting position.
(The starting position is not pictured. You should be standing with your feet together, hip-width apart.)
Next, step backward with your right leg, and lower your body until both knees form a 90 degree angle in a reverse lunge.
Push yourself back to the starting position by pressing into the floor. This is one rep. Repeat for 12 reps on each side. You can always drop the weights and perform the exercise with your hands on your hips.
Complete a forward lunge, stop in the middle, complete a reverse lunge, stop in the middle. If you’d like an extra challenge, go from forward to back, only if you have steady control and correct form.
• mountain climbers
Start in a straight arm plank position on the hands and toes. Bend your right knee in towards your chest, resting your foot on the floor. Jump up and switch your feet in the air, bringing the left foot in and push the right foot back. You can slow this movement down by taking the jump out and slowly bringing each knee in, then returning to the starting position in an alternating pattern. You can add a challenge if you’re wearing socks by keeping the balls of your feet on the ground and sliding them to mimic the motion of using sliding discs or gliders. This really gets the leg muscles!
Alternate your feet as fast (and safely) as you can for a pattern of :20 work/:10 rest, 8x.
I hope you enjoy the workout if you give it a try!
More LIL At-Home Dumbbell Workouts:
- Indoor/Outdoor At-Home Strength Circuit
- Back To Basics At-Home Dumbbell Workout
- Dumbbell Tabata Strength Workout
- Stability & Strength Workout (With Dumbbells and Gliders)
And more on the Fitness Page.
Questions of the Day
• What is your favorite part of the body to work out?
• What has been one positive of your week so far?
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.