Working out with dumbbells is a great way to build strength, but did you know that you can effectively train your entire body with just a single one? You’ll learn more about it in this post.
Tips for Preparing Your Workout
Before we dive into the exercises, it’s important to keep in mind a few tips to prepare for the workout:
First, choose a weight that’s manageable for you to perform all the reps without sacrificing your form. Moving your body in ways that compensate for muscle fatigue or weakness in the area you are trying to work can lead to injuries.
If you’re a newbie or you haven’t been working out for quite some time, it’s crucial to ease back into it.
Lastly, before beginning any new exercise program, consult your doctor to make sure there are no underlying problems that could endanger you. Also, stop working out immediately if you experience pain.
Now that we have gotten that out of the way, here are the exercises you can do using only a single dumbbell:
1. Goblet Squat
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Then hold the dumbbell at chest level (use both hands to hold each end of the dumbbell).
- Next, point your feet outwards slightly. Your hips should be at a position that will allow you to squat without difficulty.
- Inhale as you squat down until your hips align slightly below your knees.
- Exhale as you return to a standing position. Be sure to keep your core active.
Modification: If you can’t do a deep squat, use a low chair as your base to squat down and sit on lightly as you do each rep.
2. Balancing Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift
- Use your right hand to hold the dumbbell at your side.
- Stand on your left leg.
- Inhale as you hinge from your hips to bend over halfway.
- Extend your right leg until it’s parallel to the floor.
- Maintain your balance with your standing leg.
- Then exhale as you return to standing position.
- Repeat with the other leg.
Modification: Keep a soft bend on both legs if your leg feels too tight. You can also hold the side of a wall to maintain your balance.
3. Plank with Alternating Row
- Start with a plank position.
- Keep both feet hip-width apart.
- Hold the dumbbell on the floor with your right hand.
- Lift the dumbbell by bending your elbow and follow a rowing motion.
- Straighten your arm and return the weight to the floor.
- Repeat on the other side.
Modification: You can do this exercise from a basic hands-and-knees position instead of a plank.
4. Russian Twist
- Sit on the floor with your knees bent.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor.
- Hold the dumbbell with both hands.
- Engage your core as you lean back and lift your feet off the floor.
- Make a v-shape with your legs and torso.
- Twist your body to the right and touch the dumbbell to the floor.
- Twist to center and then to the left to touch the dumbbell to the floor.
Modification: If lifting your feet off the ground is difficult, keep your heels on the ground.
You can do these workouts at home, in the office or at Bally Total Fitness.