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Dumbbell Squat and Press
This is another great combo for adding some endurance into your workout.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, or slightly wider, with your toes slightly pointing outwards. Make sure your spine is in a straight, neutral position. Make sure your weight is through your heels. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, cleaned up to shoulder height.
- Squeeze your leg and core muscles as you lower your body downwards. Lower yourself until your butt is an inch or two off the ground. Hold for 1-2 seconds.
- Explode upwards, squeezing your leg and core muscles as you raise yourself up. Push that momentum up through your arms to press the dumbbells above your head. This is one rep.
Dumbbell Bent Over Row
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand.
- Bend forward, keeping your spine in a neutral position.
- Tense your core and both lats, raising the dumbbells up towards your torso, holding at the top for 2-3 seconds.
- Slowly lower the dumbbells back down. This is one rep.
Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curl
Hammer curls are a great variation on the standard biceps curl. They are performed in the same way but you don’t rotate your wrists. The dumbbell remains side on for the entire movement.
Hammer curls work out the three muscles in your biceps in a different way to normal curls, making them a good option to also use.
Lunge Dumbbell Shoulder Press
This variation on the lunge uses its momentum to perform a shoulder press.
- Stand with your feet hip width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, cleaned up to shoulder height.
- Step forward with one leg, lowering down on the other until your knee touches (or almost touches) the floor. Your front foot should be directly below your knee.
- Tense your abs and explode back off of your front foot, using your momentum to raise your knee upwards and to press the dumbbells up above your head.
- Lower your leg back to your initial position. This is one rep.
- Repeat with the other leg.
Push-ups are a bodyweight staple exercise. They are great for working your chest and triceps.
- Place your hands shoulder width apart on the floor, making sure your hands are directly below your shoulders.
- Straighten your back and legs, standing on the balls of your feet.
- Slowly lower yourself down, bending your arms until your one or two inches above the ground. Make sure not to flare your elbows out too much. At most your elbows should be out at a 45 degree angle to your body.
- Tense your chest and triceps, pushing yourself back up. This is one rep.
Deadlifts are another keystone exercise that you really should master. They’re also the exercise in which you’ll likely lift the most weight, so they’re fun!
- Place a barbell in front of you, and stand behind it with your shins touching the bar, with your feet hip width apart. Keep facing directly in front of you for the entire movement.
- Lower yourself down, grabbing the bar just wider than your feet. Either have your palms facing backwards, or have one forwards and one backwards. This reverse grip helps prevent the bar from rolling, which may be an issue as you lift heavier weights.
- Whilst holding the bar, squeeze your shoulder blade together and tighten your core. It is essential that you keep your spine in a straight, neutral position. Do not bend it when performing a deadlift. The deadlift is quite a straightforward movement, the difficulty comes in because you can easily injure your lower back if you’re not careful.
- Squeeze your legs and power up through your heels. Raise the barbell against your shins, keeping it close to your centre.
- As the bar raises to the level of your knees, move them back to continue lifting the bar up to your thighs. Squeezing your glutes at the top of the movement, but not leaning backwards (this is bar form).
- Slowly lower the bar back down again, pushing your knees forwards as the bar passes lower than them. This is one rep.
Tricep Overhead Press
This is a great exercise for hitting your triceps and getting rid of bingo wings! This can cause quick tricep growth, spreading any fat out and adding definition to your arms.
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, holding one dumbbell in your two hands in front of you.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand, raising them above your head.
- Bend your arms, lowering the dumbbells behind your head.
- Tense your core and your triceps, slowly straightening your arms until the dumbbells are raised straight above your head. This is one rep.
For heavier weights:
- Lift the dumbbell, placing it on your shoulder.
- Adjust your grip of the dumbbell so your palms face upwards and you grip the handle of the dumbbell in the gap between your two hands. Your fingers should grip the top weight on the dumbbell.
- Tense your core and your triceps, slowly straightening your arms and pressing the dumbbell upwards until it’s raised straight above your head. This is one rep.
A great variation on the forward lunge that will help hit additional small muscle groups.
This is performed in a very similar way to a standard lunge.
- Stand with your feet hip width apart. Place your hands on your hips.
- Step backwards with one leg, lowering down on the other until your knee touches (or almost touches) the floor. Your front foot should be directly below your knee.
- Push back off of your back foot and raise up to your initial position. This is one rep.
- Repeat with the other leg.