Run More Awesome

40 Minutes and 7 Exercises to a Stronger Body

It snowed again last night (hopefully for the last time this year), and I didn’t make it in for Tone to the Max this morning, so I put together the full-body dumbbell workout below and did it while watching The Biggest Loser tonight. I did 3 sets of 12 reps (weights varying from 5 to 20 pounds—though I probably could have done a little more). If anyone gives it a try, let me know what you think!

Unilateral Romanian Deadlift: Grab a 5- to 10-pound dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet together, arms at your sides. Extend your right leg behind you and lean forward from your waist until your torso is parallel with the floor and your arms are hanging straight down. Your body should form a straight line from your head to the heel of your right foot. Pause, then drive your left heel into the floor for balance as you raise your torso back to start. Works hamstrings, core, and glutes.

Push & Row: Grab 5-pound dumbbells and assume a modified pushup position: arms straight, knees on floor, ankles crossed (or assume a regular pushup position: arms straight, legs straight, toes on floor). Bend your elbows and lower your chest until upper arms are parallel to the floor. Press back up, immediately pulling the left weight to your chest. Return to start and continue alternating arms for a full set. Works upper back, shoulders, core, chest, and arms.

Sumo Deadlift: Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with your feet about 3 feet apart, toes turned out slightly. Let the dumbbells hang in front of your legs with your arms straight and palms facing your body. Keep your back straight and eyes focused straight ahead, and in one motion, lower your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor and lean forward slightly from your hips. Squeeze your glutes and return to start. Works lower body.

Weighted Punch: Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a 3- to 5-pound weight in each hand, fists in front of your face, palms facing each other. Without moving your left fist, punch your right fist in front and slightly across your body without locking your elbow. Quickly pull your right fist back to the starting position as your simultaneously punch with your left fist. Continue alternating for 60 seconds; start slowly and gradually increase speed until you’re moving as fast as you can. Works shoulders and biceps.

Dumbbell Reverse Lunge & Curl: Grab a pair of dumbbells and hold them at your sides. Step back about 3 feet with your right leg, simultaneously curling the dumbbells toward your shoulders as you lower your hips until your left knee is bent 90 degrees and your right knee is a few inches from the floor. Push back up and lower the dumbbells. Repeat, stepping back with your left leg. That’s one rep. Works quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, and biceps.

Dumbbell Push Press: Grab a pair of 8- to 10-pound dumbbells and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Position the dumbbells about 12 inches above your shoulders, palms facing each other. Quickly lower your hips into a quarter squat. Immediately straighten your legs and use that momentum to press the weights straight up with explosive force. Pause, lower, and repeat. Works triceps, shoulders, and core.

Side Double Crunch: Lie balanced on your right buttock, with legs straight but not locked, arms straight, palms up. Simultaneously crunch your legs and torso together, bending your knees toward your chest while still balancing on your right buttock. Return to start and repeat for all reps, then switch sides and repeat to complete one set. Works lower abs, upper abs, and obliques.

P.S. These workouts are from old issues of Women’s Health and Fitness (I tear out the exercises, cut them up, and glue stick them to index cards, so who knows which issues they’re from).