DUMBBELL full body work-in
Model: Tiara Brooks
Workout by: Nichelle Laus
Photos by: Dave Laus
HAIR & MAKEUP: TWO CHICKS AND SOME LIPSTICK
Even more than usual, we have a really good reason to keep moving. Exercise not only helps us maintain strong immune systems, it boosts our mood, improves sleep, and benefits mental health.
Even a little bit of exercise is better than none at all. Start small and focus on activities you enjoy doing.
There’s really nothing you can’t do with dumbbells and since workout equipment is scarce these days, we’ve come up with a killer workout using only one pair of ‘bells!
YOU CAN DO THIS WORKOUT IN ONE
OF TWO WAYS:
IN STRAIGHT SETS
(completing 2-4 sets of 8-12 reps of
one exercise) before moving on to the next one
AS A CIRCUIT
(doing 8-12 reps of each exercise, moving back to back to back).
Both are effective, but the circuits are more cardiovascular based whereas the straight sets allow you to focus on strength and recovery.
DB OVERHEAD TRICEP EXTENSION
Stand with legs about hip-width apart, with a tight core, and squeeze your glutes.
Make a ‘basket’ with your hands, holding just one head of the dumbbell in both palms – upper arms pointing straight up.
Raise the dumbbell with both hands until your arms are close to being fully extended, and slowly lower it back after a short pause.
Keep your upper arms by your ears the whole time.
DB AB CRUNCHES
Grab a dumbbell and sit on the floor.
Hold the weight against your chest and lie on your back. Bend your knees at a 90-degree angle, and keep your feet firmly planted on the floor.
While holding the weight, slowly contract your core and raise your upper body toward your knees until your forearms touch your thighs. Your hips and feet should remain on the floor.
Hold this position for 1-2 seconds, and then lower back to the starting position.
DB UPRIGHT ROW
(SHOULDERS, UPPER BACK)
Stand straight up (shoulders back and down, chest up) with a dumbbell in each hand and your palms facing your thighs.
Keeping the weights as close to your body as possible, pull the dumbbells up toward your chest.
Your elbows should be outside your shoulders (flared out) during the movement, and always remain higher than the level of your wrist.
When the dumbbells are at chest height, pause for a short second, then lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
DB BENT OVER ROWS
(MIDDLE BACK, BICEPS)
With a dumbbell in each hand, bend over at about a 45-degree angle (no farther). Keep your spine neutral and your head looking about 6’ in front of you throughout the exercise.
Lift the weights/your arms diagonally towards your belly; think of pulling the string on a lawn-mower. Do not move your head throughout the exercise. Remain bent over until all repetitions are complete.
Lower the weights in a controlled manner, and start again.
(GLUTES, HAMSTRINGS, QUADS)
Stand with legs hip-distance apart, toes pointed forward, back straight and a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your sides. Take a big step forward, keeping your upper body as straight as possible.
Bend both knees, lowering your body and back knee toward the floor. For safety, keep your front knee in line with your ankle.
Press up, and straighten your legs to the starting position. Complete all reps on one side and then switch.
DB FRONT SQUATS
(QUADS, HAMSTRINGS, GLUTES)
Stand with one head of the dumbbells on your shoulders so the side of each dumbbell rests on top of each shoulder. Flare your elbows outward,
Position feet about shoulder width apart and squat down by bending hips back while allowing knees to bend forward.
Keeping your back straight and knees pointed in the same direction as feet, lower yourself until thighs are just past parallel to floor. Extend knees and hips until legs are straight. Return and repeat.
DB CHEST PRESS
Grab dumbbells with an overhand grip and lie flat on your back. Bend knees with feet firmly planted on the floor.
Extend elbows to a 90-degree position, triceps resting on the floor, while holding dumbbells above your chest.
Exhale and brace core while simultaneously extending dumbbells toward ceiling. Pause, and retract back to the starting position.
DB HAMMER CURL
Stand straight up (shoulders back and down, chest up) with a dumbbell in each hand and your palms facing each other.
With arms at your sides, curl your arms up while keeping your elbows locked in by your ribs.
Squeeze at the top, and slowly lower the dumbbells back down.
Nichelle Laus is the owner of Optimum Training Centre in Toronto, Ontario. A fitness and cover model, figure and bikini competitor, competition preparation and transformation coach for Team Laus, she is a certified personal trainer and kickboxing and kettlebell instructor. Nichelle is also a motivational speaker and a proud mom of 4 young boys.