__ minute full body workout routine [dumbbells only]


This is a HIIT style full body workout routine with timed work:rest ratios! This means there is no counting of reps, it is just simply moving the entire duration of you “work” period and then resting for the allotted time. I love workouts like this because all you have to think about is your form and endurance. One thing you really need to focus on though is pushing yourself. Don’t give up or take breaks if you don’t need to. You want to PUSH all the way through and then rest for the short duration. This is going to ensure that your whole body, and heart, are working as hard we we want them to and only allowing for a specific amount of time for recovery. Recovery time is limited because it allows your heart rate to come down close to a resting state again before driving it make up to maximum capacity. Shorter rest periods = more muscle endurance = more muscle fibers recruited = more calories burned! Plus, this workout is also going to help you burn more calories all day because your body will spend more energy trying to recover form the intense workout!

This workout is going to be specifically tailored to you! Change up your work to rest ratios to fit the time that YOU have to workout! Shorter allotted time could be :20 on and :20 off, or :30 on and :15 off..but always complete 3 rounds! If you have more time to workout you can do :40 on and :20 off or :30 on and :30 off! Keep reading to try out this full body workout routine you can do at home with just a pair of dumbbells.

Full body workout routine with dumbbells

Work:Rest periods depend on you!

Options include:

:20 on and :10 off (12 minute workout)

:20 on and :20 off (16 minute workout)

:30 on and :15 off (18 minute workout)

:30 on and :30 0ff (24 minute workout)

:40 on and :20 off (24 minute workout)


• Squat and press

• Plank T’s

• Jerk and Overhead squat

• Alternating front/side raises

• Dumbbell jumping jacks

• Dumbbell glute kickback

• Single leg RDL with row

• Burpee with bicep curl

Dumbbell only workout video

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Full body exercise modifications and explanations

Squat and press

Form: Simply just a squat with an overhead press. Keep the dumbbells at your sides when you are squatting (as always, weight in heels and core tight/back flat) and then stand up and press dumbbells overhead! Make sure you are keeping your core tight and no back arching when pressing. ALWAYS complete the move and don’t rush it.

Modifications: You can always just use one dumbbell held with both hands if one in each hand is too heavy. Because the move is weighted you can adjust the intensity based no your weights.

Plank T’s

Form: This are difficult, so beware and modify where you need to. You only need 1 dumbbell for this exercise. Start in a pushup position. Grab your dumbbell with one hand and rotate to open up towards the ceiling (making a T with your arms, the arm in the air has the dumbbell in hand) and then return to pushup position and switch hands. Make sure you keep your core tight and a little bit of a wide foot stance to help with stability.

Modifications: If it is too hard, try doing it without weight or you can drop down to your knees. To make things harder you can increase the weight of the dumbbell (but making sure form is perfect).

Jerk and Overhead squat

Form: A jerk is just an overhead press, with the use of your legs to give yourself some extra momentum. Dumbbells start at your shoulders, slight bend/dip in the knees and then drive the dumbbells over your head. From there you want to lock out the elbows and do a squat with the dumbbells overhead. Squat should be strong with the weight in your heels and core tight (the dumbbells will want to pull you forward, but don’t let them). You want to also make sure the dumbbells stay locked over your head, if they try to move forward, just decrease the range of motion in your squat!

Modifications: Dropping down to 1 dumbbell held with both hands will make things easier. If you cannot squat with a weight over your head, simply do your jerk, set the weights down and perform a squat with your arms over your head. It is very important to have good mobility here in order to do it correctly. Again, making things harder is just a heavier weight.

Alternating front/side raises

Form: This exercise is going to work your shoulders. Dumbbell in each hand, first think about pulling your shoulders back and then setting your shoulder blades down. From here (one at a time) raise your dumbbell to the front and then back down (palm facing down) and then straight out to the side and down (palm facing down). Alternate arms. You want to think that the lower of the weight/movement is just as important as the raise!

Modifications: This one depends on the resistance of the weight.  Heavier weights = harder movement…obviously.

Dumbbell jumping jacks

Form:  Grab 1 dumbbell for this one. Holding it by the ends, perform jumping jacks. As your legs jump out to the sides, the dumbbell raises over your head! Keep your core tight and make sure you are fully completing each move, form is always more important than speed!

Modifications: Easier movement is doing it without the dumbbell, you can make it harder by holding 1 dumbbell in each hand, but make sure they are decently light because you do not want to injure your shoulders!

Dumbbell glute kickback

Form:  Start on all 4’s in a quadruped position. Place the dumbbell behind the knee of one leg, that is the leg you are going to start with. Keeping your core tight and back flat, kick your foot towards the ceiling (keeping knee bent) and return back to floor. You want to use your glutes to lift the leg/dumbbell up. Try not to shift your weight too much, and really focus on the squeeze at the top. I find it easier to flex the foot as you press towards the ceiling.

Modifications: If that is too hard, you can use a lighter dumbbell to perform the movement, or no dumbbell at all. Using a heavier dumbbell will make the movement harder.

Single leg RDL with row

Form: Balance, leg strength, back strength…all of it! This movement takes a lot of concentration, so take your time! One dumbbell in each hand, standing on one leg. Keep a slight bend in the knee of the standing leg as you bend forward (keeping your back flat and core tight), once you get to 90 degrees you want to row those dumbbells (keeping your elbows in and squeezing the shoulder blades together) and then return to standing. Alternate legs!

Modifications: You can do the movement without dumbbells to make it easier! Another option is instead of doing a single leg RDL, you can keep both feet on the ground and do a double leg RDL and then row when you get to 90 degrees. Heavier weights will increase the intensity of the movement!

Burpee with bicep curl

Form: Dumbbell in each hand: complete a burpee (dumbbells to the floor, jump back into pushup position, jump in and stand up) and then do a bicep curl when you stand up. Make sure you keep your core tight, back flat and you complete the movement…aka you jump into a full pushup position and not just part-way back with your butt in the air!

Modifications:  A few options to make it easier here….1. Complete without the dumbbells. 2. Take the jumps out and simply step back into pushup position and back in. 3. Elevate your hands on something so you do not have to go all the way to the floor. Making things harder is just increasing the weights. You ca also add in something like a pushup or a renegade row to make it more difficult.

Preparing and ending your workout correctly

Warming up the muscles before exercise can mean the difference between a really good workout, and leaving in with injury. Same goes for cooling down. It could mean a really good next few days, or a really bad next few days. Check out my blog post on warming up before exercise as well as my post on cooling down after exercise!

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Haley Rowe July 18, 2018