Happy New Year!
When traveling over the holiday season, or for work and vacation, it's tough to find a gym that's fully equipped. More than likely you'll have a couple of dumbbells and a cardio machine.
You're in luck. There are countless exercises that can be done with just a pair of dumbbells! Below are some of my all time favorites to hit each muscle group. Pair these together for a great total body workout.
To do these, lie on your back and put your heels together with your knees flared out. Place a dumbbell comfortably on your hips (not on the bone). Next, press through your heels and thrust your hips up, squeezing your outer glutes at the top. Perform 20 reps for 3 sets total.
Single Arm Rows
To do this move, grab a bench and kneel with one knee on top and the other foot on the ground beside the bench. Place a dumbbell in the opposite hand of the leg that is on the bench. Make sure your back is flat. Let the dumbbell hang and pull your elbow back towards your hip keeping your elbow in the entire time. Slightly arch your back as you pull and lower the dumbbell to the starting position. Repeat for 15 reps and then switch arms. 3 sets each arm.
This is a killer total body move to work your core, back, chest, quads, and more! Use light dumbbells to start with. You do not need a ton of weight to do these correctly. Get into a pushup position with your hands on two dumbbells. Spread your feet to help with stability. Keep your core tight and pull one dumbbell towards your hip alternating on each side. The key here is to not rock your hips too much. Try to keep your hips tight and feel the burn!
These are killer! You'll feel these a lot in your core as well as your legs. Start by holding a dumbbell close to your chest and spread your feet wide, toes pointed out. Keep your chest up and back straight - do not arch your back too much! Squat down until your hamstrings are almost touching your calves. Do not let knees pass your toes. Tighten abs and come up. Keep knees out and wide. Perform 8-12 reps. 4 sets total.
Dumbbell Chest Press
Start by lying flat on a bench, and press the dumbbells up so that your arms are directly over your shoulders and your palms are up. Keep your abs pulled in and feet on the floor. Perform 12-15 reps for 3 sets total. Try increasing weight each set!