How to Use Just One Dumbbell to Work Your Entire Body

If you happen to’re quick on gear, that doesn’t imply it’s important to shelve your exercise: This one-dumbbell exercise exhibits you may work your entire body—you simply must make use of some strategic programming.

As an illustration, one-dumbbell exercises lend themselves to workouts the place only one facet of your physique is loaded with weight. Some of these strikes, referred to as unilateral workouts, are particularly nice at serving to you pinpoint and finally right any energy imbalances you’ve backward and forward.

Now, most of us have a point of imbalance backward and forward, that means one arm or leg is stronger than its counterpart. Whereas minor discrepancies could also be NBD, vital gaps can result in harm because the stronger facet can overstress itself by taking up an excessive amount of work for the weak facet. With unilateral strikes, you may grow to be conscious of imbalances and proper them if wanted, thus lowering your threat of harm and boosting your general energy.

Moreover, unilateral workouts are superior for challenging your core. “The core has to stabilize when one facet of your physique is loaded,” ACE-certified private coach Sivan Fagan, CPT, proprietor of Robust With Sivan, tells SELF. Core stabilization helps hold your physique upright and ensures it doesn’t tip over or fall to the facet.

With that in thoughts, Fagan created the under one-dumbbell exercise for SELF that’s loaded with unilateral workouts—in addition to one bilateral transfer, since there are additionally advantages to working either side of your physique on the similar time. Collectively, these 5 strikes will work your total physique and significantly hearth up your core.

This routine is meant to be carried out with a medium weight dumbbell (suppose 10 to twenty kilos), and because of this, the rep depend varies between the strikes. That’s as a result of once you’re working with only one weight, the suitable variety of reps will actually rely on which train you’re doing and the muscle teams it engages.

For instance, on this exercise, the weighted glute bridge has the very best variety of reps because it’s an train that hones in in your glutes, that are a super-strong muscle group that may deal with a variety of load, says Fagan. It’s additionally, like we talked about, the one bilateral transfer, which suggests either side of your physique are serving to to energy the transfer, thus rising the load you may tackle. The one-arm overhead press, alternatively, has a a lot decrease rep depend because it’s primarily a shoulder transfer, and your shoulders are a a lot smaller muscle group.

After all, the rep ranges offered under are simply pointers, says Fagan. If you happen to’re doing a transfer and really feel prefer it’s an excessive amount of in your muscle groups otherwise you’re feeling it in different areas of your physique, again off. “All the time be sure that your type is on level,” says Fagan. “Don’t sacrifice type for repetition.”

You are able to do this exercise two to 3 instances per week, as long as you pencil in a day of relaxation in between exercises so your muscle groups have time to recuperate. Additionally vital: Take a couple of minutes to heat up earlier than getting began so your physique is correctly primed for the work forward. Strikes like striders, 90/90 stretch, dynamic adductor stretch, frog stretch, open and closed guide, and pull-aparts can do the job, says Fagan.

The Exercise

What you want: A medium-weight dumbbell, between 10 to twenty kilos. When you have a wider vary of dumbbells obtainable, you could wish to have them readily available in case you want to scale sure strikes up or down. You’ll additionally want a exercise bench or different examine, raised floor for the bird-dog row.



  • Reverse lunge
  • Single-arm overhead press


  • Fowl canine row on bench
  • Weighted glute bridge
  • Plank pull-through


  • For the Superset, full every train for the prescribed variety of reps, going from one transfer to the following with out resting. Relaxation 1 minute after each are accomplished. Full 3 rounds complete.
  • For the Triset, full the prescribed variety of reps for every train with out resting between strikes. Relaxation 1 minute in spite of everything three are accomplished. Full 3 rounds complete.

Demoing the strikes under are Sarah Taylor (GIF 1), a licensed private coach and group health teacher in Toronto; Nathalie Huerta (GIF 2), coach on the Queer Health club in Oakland; Jowan Ortega (GIF 3), a private coach, sports activities efficiency coach, and associate at Form Fitness in Brooklyn; and Shauna Harrison (GIF 4-5), a Bay Space–primarily based coach, yogi, public well being tutorial, advocate, and columnist for SELF.

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