You don't have to go to the gym to get a workout that burns out and builds up your muscles. To get seriously strong and slim, you only need a set of dumbbells – and these six creative dumbbell exercises. Each one adds a fun, challenging element to your typical free weight routine, be it with exercises you've never tried before, or with a change in pace that puts your strength to the test.
Choose your goal, choose one of these barbell workouts, warm up properly, and then go hard. Your strength training at home has just been improved. Note: If the training does not indicate a specific break, take a breather if necessary
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The most creative dumbbell workouts to build muscle and burn fat at home
1. The composite whole body dumbbell workout
"When I think about training with limited equipment, I think how I can get more for my money," said Kelvin Gary, C.P.T., CEO and owner of Body Space Fitness in New York City. To get more out of every movement, Gary combines movements to increase intensity and bring different muscle groups together. Here is his training that does just that.
Manual: Do 3-4 sets x 8-10 repetitions
- Staggered Jump Squat: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell with your arm outstretched in your right hand. Step back with your right foot and lift your heel off the floor while crouching until your knees are bent 90 degrees. Run through your feet and explode off the floor. Jump as high as you can. Land as gently as possible and make sure you have the barbell by your side at all times without bending or collapsing on your torso. Reset the raised heel each time. Repeat for repetitions and then switch sides.
- Lunge and press: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a barbell at shoulder height with your elbows bent. Take a sideways step to the left, bend your knee and fold at the hip, keeping your right leg straight. Push through your left foot to stand while pushing the barbell over your right hand. Put the barbell back on your right shoulder and repeat the process for repetitions. Then switch sides.
- Single-leg RDL range and range: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell with your arm outstretched in your right hand. Lift your right foot slightly off the floor. Perform a one-legged Romanian deadlift (RDL) by slightly bending your left knee, articulating on your left hip, and reaching the barbell with your right hand toward your left foot. Reach as far as you can while keeping your chest proud and your spine neutral. From here, pull your right elbow towards your rib cage to row the barbell, and then stretch your left knee and hip to stand. Repeat for repetitions and then switch sides.
- Renegade Row With Leg Lift: Get into a high plank position with your right hand and a barbell. Hold a strong plank upright and row the barbell to your chest as you lift your left foot off the floor. (Try to keep your hips steady by snapping the core in.) Put your hand and foot down again. Repeat for repetitions and then switch sides.
- Situp to Seated Twist: Lie flat on your back with your legs straight and hold a barbell to your chest with both hands. Do a situp, bend at the hips and knees, lift your legs and torso off the floor. Do a Russian turn with the barbell (turn to either side) and then lower it back to the floor. To repeat.
- Wood chips from low to high: Stand with your feet apart. Hold a barbell in both hands and bring it to the outside of the right knee, the left heel from the floor and the left knee to the right knee. Get up by running your right leg and hold the barbell briefly at your chest. Then turn to the left and change the foot position so that the right heel is raised and the right knee is facing the left knee. At the same time, push the barbell over your left shoulder. Bring the dumbbell back to the center with both feet forward before returning it to the right knee. Repeat for repetitions and then switch sides.
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