Keep the home-workout bandwagon rolling on with this one-dumbbell workout for full-body muscle
Build lean muscle with this single-kit session
Several important lessons emerged from the chaos of 2020. It’s not wise to drink coffee before wearing a face mask, for example, and more importantly, you don’t need a gym full of kit to stay in shape. You might have known that already, of course, but sometimes it takes a once-ina-lifetime global pandemic to jog the memory. With this single-dumbbell workout – as seen on his CrockFit training app – cover model Alex Crockford confirms the fact that you can get a solid full-body workout in with nothing but basic equipment to hand. The exercises are ordered to tax the biggest muscles in your legs first, before your back, chest, shoulders and abs get in on the action. The result is a full-body session to fire up your metabolism and get the endorphins flowing.
1. GOBLET SQUAT
Hold the dumbbell in two hands at chest height under your chin. Break from the hips and keep your knees outside your big toes throughout the movement.
Take three seconds in the eccentric phase of the squat, and one second to return to standing.
On the way up, think about pushing the floor away from you and squeeze your glutes.
2. FRONT-LOADED REVERSE LUNGE
Hold the dumbbell in one hand, over your shoulder. Stand with your feet slightly apart and ensure your back is upright.
Step back into a lunge, bending your back leg so that your back knee nearly touches the floor.
Keep your torso upright throughout, with core braced for stability.
Push off the back foot to return to the start. Complete all reps on one side before switching.
3. DB SWING
Stand holding a dumbbell in both hands, with legs slightly wider than hip-distance apart and toes pointed slightly out.
Drop into a half squat, bringing the dumbbell between your legs and keeping your spine straight.
Keep your chest open and shoulders pulled back.
As the dumbbell swings between your legs, drive through your hips and squeeze your glutes to swing it back up to around chest height.
If you have a bench, lie on that; if not, lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your hips pressed up to the ceiling.
Hold the dumbbell over your chest.
Keep your arms long and begin to lower the weight over your head, towards the floor.
Pause when you feel a good stretch in your pecs and lats, then brace your core to bring the dumbbell back to the start.
5. RENEGADE ROW
Start in a press-up position with one hand gripping the dumbbell. Perform a press-up, taking advantage of the increased range of motion, then row the dumbbell up to your side, leading with your elbow and minimising torso rotation. Lower the weight back to the floor, roll the dumbbell across to the other arm and repeat the movement on the other side. That’s one rep.
6. SINGLE-ARM BENT-OVER ROW
Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward from the hips, keeping your back slightly concave and your shoulder blades retracted throughout. Hold the dumbbell in one hand just outside one leg.
Squeeze your lat to pull the weight up to your lower sternum, then lower with control.
Complete all reps on one side, then switch.
7. SINGLE-ARM CHEST PRESS
Unless you have a bench, find a stable position lying with your back on the floor – shoulders pinned down.
Hold a dumbbell in one hand above your chest.
Lower with control until your tricep hits the floor, then press back up, feeling the contraction in your pec.
Complete all reps on one side, then switch.
8. SINGLE-ARM SHOULDER PRESS
Stand tall, with the dumbbell held at shoulder height – elbows flared out. From here, press the dumbbell up into the air, keeping your palm facing forward. Pause briefly at the top, before slowly returning to the start. Complete all your reps on one side, then switch.
9. CRUSH-GRIP CHEST PRESS
Lie on your back, with a dumbbell clasped in both hands in the middle of your chest.
Squeeze your pecs as hard as you can and press the weight up until arms are extended.
Maintaining tension throughout, return the dumbbell to your chest.
10. RUSSIAN TWIST
Sit on the floor with your back straight and knees bent at 45˚.
Hold the dumbbell in both hands to one side of your body. Twist your torso to one side.
Then twist your torso to the opposite side, using your abs to control the momentum.
That’s one rep.