Compound exercises are great because they work multiple muscle groups at once. This workout is tough as-is if you’re looking to strength train, but I’ve also included a 5-minute treadmill blast that you can do at the end of each circuit if you’re looking for some added cardio. It’s a good way to switch things up and beat gym boredom!
Full-Body Dumbbell Workout with Compound Exercises
Equipment I Used:
- Set of lighter weights (8-15lbs) – I used 12lbs for most exercises
- Set of heavier weights (15-25lbs) – I used 20lbs for the standing side bends
- Exercise mat
The weight ranges above are suggestions—pick what works best for you and challenges your body. You’re going to complete the following circuit three times. You can rest between each completed round or, if you’re looking for some added cardio, you can add in 5-minute treadmill blasts (example toward the bottom of this post) after each of the three dumbbell rounds.
Beginner: Complete 8-10 reps of each exercise
Intermediate: Complete 12-15 reps of each exercise
Advanced: Complete 18-20 reps of each exercise
- Lunge with Straight-Arm Torso Twist (Right) | Start standing holding a dumbbell in both hands at chest height, arms held straight in front of you. To make sure you have proper form, roll your shoulder cage back and down before you start the exercise. From there, lunge forward, stepping your right foot in front of you as you bend both knees to opposing 90-degree angles. Holding this low lunge, twist your torso to the right, keeping arms straight as you do. You want your whole upper half moving as one unit on this—imagine your waist is a wet towel that you’re wringing out as you twist. Reverse the sequence, twisting back to center and pushing off that front right foot to return back up to standing. That’s one rep.
- Standing Side Bend to Bicep Curl (Right) | Stand with feet hip distance apart and a heavier dumbbell in each hand (this is the exercise I used 20-lb weights for). Lean over to the right side with your torso as you lower the dumbbell towards knee height. Engaging the oblique, bring your torso back upright to starting position once you’ve gone as low as possible. When you’re back upright, do one bicep curl on that side, curling the dumbbell up towards your right shoulder. That’s one rep.
- Squat with Overhead Thrust | Hold the dumbbells at shoulder height, feet about hip’s width apart and squat down, keeping your lower abdomen held in and sliding your bum and hips back and down. Once you reach your lowest squat, power up, driving your hips forward and engaging the glutes as you straighten your legs to stand. As you do so, press the dumbbells overhead into a shoulder press.
- Lunge with Straight-Arm Torso Twist (Left)
- Standing Side Bend to Bicep Curl (Left)
- Burpees with Crossbody Mountain Climber and Renegade Rows | Start standing with weights at shoulders, elbows bent. Squat down, weight in your heels. Bring the dumbbells to the ground, shoulder width apart in front of your feet. Jump back into a plank (hands still gripping dumbbells). From this plank position, crunch your left knee across your body to touch the right elbow. Step that foot back and repeat to the other side, right knee to left elbow. Back in plank, perform one dumbbell row on each side, pulling one elbow up as you bring the weight to your armpit and then the other. Last, jump your feet back up towards your hands, bring the weights back to shoulder height, and power up from that low squat back to your starting standing position. That’s one rep.
Like I mentioned at the start of this post, you can rest in between each of your three sets of this circuit, or you can mix in some cardio. The following 5-minute treadmill blast is a simple way to break up each dumbbell block.
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