This Strength Circuit Will Hit Your Entire Body With Just One Dumbbell

Don’t have a ton of strength-training equipment at your disposal? No worries. Now we have an ideal single-dumbbell exercise that may hearth up your complete physique with only a single weight. It’s a stable routine to have in your arsenal of at-home strength workouts because it requires minimal tools, hits just about all your main muscle teams, and could be simply scaled up or all the way down to totally different health ranges.

Earlier than we get into the exercise, although, let’s discuss what makes a high quality full-body routine and how one can get an appropriately difficult exercise with only one dumbbell—regardless of its weight.

A great full-body exercise incorporates workouts that hit main motion patterns, together with squatting, hinging, pushing, pulling, planking, and rotating.

“Ensuring that you just’re shifting your physique by way of all the main motion patterns might help be certain that all the main muscle teams are coated,” ACSM-certified private coach Asher Freeman, creator of the Nonnormative Body Club in Philadelphia, tells SELF.

By specializing in motion patterns, you’re additionally extra prone to embody strikes that have you ever working by way of a number of planes of movement, reasonably than only one. A lot of us are likely to dwell within the sagittal aircraft of movement, which includes ahead and backward motion, or the flexing or extending of joints, like in a squat. However by remembering to get rotation in there (a transverse aircraft movement), you may higher enhance your practical motion. That is essential as a result of it could possibly assist you to make sure you’re not creating energy imbalance or furthering imbalances you have already got.

Should you solely have one dumbbell, there are lots of ways to increase the intensity so the transfer challenges you, even when the burden’s lighter than what you’d usually use for sure workouts. Because you don’t have the choice of including extra weight to extend the issue, one easy trick is to extend the amount by including extra reps or units, Freeman says. You can too make issues really feel tougher by lowering the velocity at which you carry out reps, or pausing on the hardest level of the train (like on the backside of a squat, as an illustration) to extend the time that your muscle mass are beneath rigidity.

On the flip facet, you may scale down the depth of a single-dumbbell exercise by doing fewer reps or units, swapping out difficult strikes for extra beginner-friendly choices, ditching your dumbbell and doing strikes with simply your body weight, or lowering the stability problem of a motion.

The next single-dumbbell exercise, which Freeman created for SELF, targets your complete physique and consists of a number of choices for each modifications and progressions. You are able to do this five-move routine as often as each different day, Freeman says—simply be certain that to take a relaxation day in between. If you’re doing different energy coaching along with this routine, be sure to house out your exercises in order that they’re not on back-to-back days. 

Additionally essential: If this exercise is a part of a brand new or ramped-up health routine, it’s possible you’ll really feel sore for the next 72 hours. That’s completely OK, Freeman says. If, nevertheless, your delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) lasts greater than 72 hours or is so extreme that you’re unable to go about your each day life, then that’s an indication you went just a little too laborious, during which case it is best to dial again the depth of this exercise going ahead till your physique adjusts.

Last item. Earlier than you soar into this exercise, be certain that to heat up your physique first so that you don’t begin with chilly muscle mass or joints, which may improve your threat of harm. Right here’s a five-move routine that may get the job achieved.

Prepared to significantly problem your complete physique with a single-dumbbell exercise? Preserve scrolling for every part you should learn about this simple-yet-super-effective routine.

The Exercise

What you want: A moderate-weight dumbbell. The right weight for you’ll rely in your health degree and different elements, however as a place to begin Freeman recommends between 10–15 kilos. (After all, you should use no matter dumbbell you will have—you simply must tweak the reps accordingly!)


  • Single-Arm Chest Press
  • Goblet Squat
  • Bench-Supported Single-Arm Row
  • Single-Leg Deadlift
  • Russian Twist


  • Full every transfer for the designated variety of reps, resting as wanted between workouts. When you’ve achieved all 5 strikes, relaxation for no less than 60 seconds. Full two to 3 rounds complete.
  • Fast heads-up: Since this exercise includes only one dumbbell, the rep vary goes to differ train to train. Be able to do extra reps of strikes that work bigger muscle teams (just like the squat) and fewer reps of strikes that work smaller muscle teams (just like the chest press).

Dumbbells We Like:

Amazon Fundamentals Hex Dumbbell

The textured, contoured deal with makes this 10-pound dumbbell straightforward to make use of, and its hexagonal form means you do not have to fret about any rolling.

Amazon Neoprene Dumbbells (Set of two)

Because of the neoprene coating, these 12-pound dumbbells are straightforward to grip and really feel comfy to deal with, whether or not you are urgent or pulling.

Demoing the strikes under are Erica Gibbons (GIF 1), a California-based private coach and graduate scholar changing into licensed as a wedding and household therapist; Francine Delgado-Lugo (GIF 2), cofounder of FORM Fitness Brooklyn; Rachel Denis (GIF 3), a powerlifter who competes with USA Powerlifting; Jeanette Eng (GIF 4), a NASM-certified private coach and actress primarily based in New York Metropolis; and Heather Boddy (GIF 5), a gaggle health teacher and creator of the Geeknasium exercise program.

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