Can't go to the gym but keen on keeping and/or earning the gains using dumbbells? We have a home workout for you that will do all that and more. You can use this quick dumbbell full body workout to build muscle and bulk up quickly or to lose belly fat, it's as versatile as it is effective.
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Home workouts can be super convenient to build muscle, but you have to be a bit smarter with them as you have less equipment to work out with. Not everyone has the best home gym equipment in their garage or basement. We feel your pain. For you, this 15-minute dumbbell full body workout might just be the best way to work out at home.
Obviously, you'll need the best dumbbells you can lay your hands on – play on words – for this full body workout. However, the best resistance bands would also work. Resistance bands are versatile pieces of home gym equipment and you can also use them to add extra resistance to your dumbbell workouts too. And also your bodyweight workouts.
Although it is possible that some of you want to do this 15-minute dumbbell full body workout to lose belly fat, we can assume that at least a portion of people reading this now will want to gain weight and muscle mass. If the latter is the case, you might want to pay more attention to your diet and especially your protein intake.
There are a variety of ways you can increase protein intake and only one of them is to drink the best protein powder shakes. you can – and should – also source protein from other sources by consuming fish, nuts, leafy green vegetables etc. Having the best protein bars and best jerky are also a convenient way to top up protein levels.
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I know, almost a $100 for a single 20 lbs dumbbell is not cheap, but considering that you can't buy any of these anywhere, it's not too bad. 20 lbs is great weight for single handed exercises and should you get a pair, you could do the whole this workout with them.
Before the workout, make sure you spend at least a few minutes warming up. You want to stretch and warm up the muscles before you load them up with heavy weights. If you have resistance bands at hand, pick the lighter ones and do some biceps curls, overhead extensions, lateral raises and reverse flys to warm up the upper body.
To warm up the lower body and to bring the heart rate up a bit, we recommend doing some burpees, jumping jacks, air squats and alternating reverse lunges. Once you are all warmed up, give yourself another 30-60 seconds and start the workout. Make sure you have some water ready for the workout too.
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15-minute dumbbell full body workout
This 15-minute dumbbell full body workout consists of three sets of five exercises. We recommend doing it in the tabata way: you perform each exercise for 40 seconds then have a 20 second break in between the two exercises. At the end of the set, have 60-120 seconds rest and do it all over again. Repeat the three times in total.
You can also do this workout the EMOM way: in this version, do 15 goblet squats, 10 floor presses, 8 overhead presses, 10 bent over rows and 10 renegade rows (5 on each side). You have one minute to perform each exercise and if you have some time left of the minute, you can spend it with resting.
In depth: how to squat properly
Let's start this workout with the glutes and quadriceps. Air squats – when you don't use any weights during squats – are great as they are but adding some extra resistance in the form of a dumbbell or two can result in quicker leg gains. Feel free to do this exercise using one dumbbell (hold it in front of your chest) or a pair of dumbbells (holding them on the side, next to your shoulders).
The best kettlebells would also work well doing goblet squats.
In depth: how to bench press
Admittedly, even the best weight benches take up valuable real estate in our homes so many people opt in for not having one. Not to worry, you can still work on the pecs by doing floor presses instead. As expected, you will have to lay down on the floor to do floor presses so if you have hard floors, we recommend using the best yoga mats for some comfort.
In depth: how to do overhead presses
A perfect complimentary exercise to the floor press, the overhead press works the (delts) shoulders and triceps. You can perform this sat down, that variety is often called shoulder press, or stood up, the latter which we recommend as that works the core more than the former.
Bent over row
In depth: how to do bent over rows
Let's move onto the back and biceps. Bent over rows strengthen both and also help you loosen up those hamstrings since you will be performing this exercise – you guessed it! – bent over. Keep your spine neutral and your shoulders open throughout the exercise.
In depth: how to do renegade rows
Renegade rows will also work the biceps and the back but also the core, making this exercise an excellent semi-full body move. Adding an extra push up in-between rows is optional, although that would make this the absolute most brutal finisher for this workout.