20-Minute Total Body Circuit Workout with Dumbbells

All I’ve been posting lately is workouts! I’ll get some variety on here ASAP but for anyone not feeling the pyramid superset workouts I’ve been posting each Monday, I wanted to throw another structure into the mix. This workout will be as hard as you make it (depends on how heavy you go with the weights) so it’s great for most fitness levels.

20-Minute Total Body Circuit Workout with Dumbbells

Equipment I Used

Set an interval timer for 20 rounds of 45 seconds work / 15 seconds rest. You’ll go through the following circuit of exercises four times. Focus on one side (right/left) each time through the circuit. In other words, do all the one-sided exercises on the right then left then right then left.

Single-Leg Squat | As far as upper body goes, I want you to think “deadlift.” Lower body, think “single-leg squat/curtsy lunge.” Start standing on your right leg holding the weight in both hands in front of your body. Start to squat down on your right side, sending the left leg behind you into a hover. Make sure your right knee doesn’t jut out farther than your toes by thinking about sending your hips and butt back and down. Weight should be in your right heel at the bottom of your squat. Lower until the weight lightly taps the ground (or hovers) and then stand back up. As you do this, make sure you’re engaging your abs to avoid undue stress on the lower back.

Single-Arm Burpee with Thrust | Start standing with one dumbbell in your right hand at your shoulder and the other hand behind your back (you won’t use it at all). Squat down. Bring the dumbbell to the floor. Jump your feet back into a single-arm plank. Jump the feet back up, bring the weight to your shoulder and then stand up, thrusting the weight up overhead as you do.

Squat Jump-Jacks | Start in a low squat position with feet a little wider than hips width apart. Staying low in the squat, jump your feet in together and then back out wide. From there, do a squat jump, straightening your legs as you jump straight up in the air and then landing softly back down in your starting position.

Thread the Needle Plank to Side Plank Rotation | Start in a plank position with hands underneath shoulders, right hand gripping the dumbbell. Once you start the movement, you won’t return to this position (dumbbell won’t touch floor again). Rotate your body open to the right, dropping your heels so that you’re on the edges of your feet in a staggered side plank position. As you do reach the dumbbell up to the ceiling. Twist back to center plank, rolling back to the balls of your feet and squaring your hips as you wrap the dumbbell through the space between the floor and your chest, reaching it across your body to the left side of the room (like you’re giving yourself a one-arm hug). Reverse the movement, rotating back open into side plank, extending the weight back up to the ceiling.

This one will work both sides of your obliques (right as you twist through center threading the needle), left as you twist open and support your bottom sidebody. I always feel it more in the side holding the weight though.

Curl to Press in Lunge | Start in a low lunge position, right foot forward, ball of the left foot planted behind you (you want your back knee bent, too). Hold a weight in each hand down by your sides. From here, do a biceps curl, rotating the palms towards your body as you curl them up to your shoulders. Then do a shoulder press, rotating the weights as you press them above your head so that palms face forward. As you do the shoulder press, straighten your legs, rising out of your low lunge. Reverse the movement back down to starting position.

WEARING | Mindfulness cropped leggings c/o Aurum // H&M crop tee (old but American Apparel has a similar one) // Nike TR Flex Supreme sneakers

If you haven’t already, make sure to subscribe to me on YouTube so you won’t miss any workouts! 🙂

Shoulder Workout: Endurance Burnout + Strength Exercises

Shoulder Workout - low weight/high rep endurance rounds mixed with heavier strength circuitsToday’s workout is a follow-up to the biceps and triceps one I posted a few weeks ago. Same structure, different focus. Shoulders are the target, but in a few of the moves, you’ll feel your chest and biceps getting a lil’ love as well.

Endurance + Strength Shoulder Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • Light hand weights (2-5lbs) — I’m using 2 lbs which was PLENTY high for the first endurance round. I probably could have done 3-4 lbs for the second round.
  • Medium-heavy dumbbells (8-20lbs) — I’m using a pair of 10-lb dumbbells.

Shoulder Workout - low weight/high rep endurance rounds mixed with heavier strength circuits

ENDURANCE

LIGHT WEIGHTS | 20 seconds each x3 without rest

  • Reach and Pull | Arms start extended out to your sides, palms facing up, soft bend to the elbows (arms make a “W” shape). From here, you’re going to pull the elbows behind your back, squeezing your shoulder blades together and then extend them back out to the starting position.
  • Flip the Cup | Same starting position as the first move. From here, keeping a soft bend to the elbows, flip your hands so that the palms face down and then up again. You’re tracing a “C” shape with your hands.
  • Lateral Pulses | Arms straight out by your sides at shoulder height, palms face down. Pulse the arms up and down.

STRENGTH

HEAVIER WEIGHTS | 30 seconds work / 10 seconds rest x9 (three times through the exercises)

NOTE ON WEIGHT: If you’re using the same weights for all your heavy exercises, you may find these first two moves to be too much. In general, we can go heavier with arm exercises in which we keep our arms close to our center of gravity; and need to go a smidge lighter when we extend out away from our core, such as with standing lateral and front raises. You can either grab a slightly lighter set of weights or, if you only have one pair of dumbbells, just alternate arms in the lateral and front raises like I do in the video. Makes a world of difference!

  • Lateral Raise (option to alternate) | Before you do anything, roll your shoulder cage up, back and down, opening up your chest. Then engage your abs, pulling your bellybutton in towards your spine. Maintain this upright, tall, open posture throughout the exercise: don’t let your shoulders shrug up or roll forward, and don’t let your low back arch excessively. From this starting position, lift your right arm up to shoulder height, palm down, at a wide angle out to your side. With control, lower it down to your side and repeat with the left arm. If you’re choosing the more difficult option, you’d do both arms at the same time.
  • Front Raise (option to alternate) | Same idea as the lateral raise, but you’ll lift the weight up in front of your body instead of out to the side.
  • Bent Raise to Rotation | Start with your arms down by your sides, elbows bent at 90 degrees (as if you were starting to do a hammer curl). Maintaining that arm shape, lift your elbows up and out to the sides. At the top of this raise, your hands and elbows should be at armpit/shoulder height. From here, rotate your arms open and up until they reach goal post position. Reverse the movement back to start. So throughout this entire movement, your arm is in the same L shape. You’re just lifting and then rotating from the shoulders.

ENDURANCE

LIGHT WEIGHTS | 20 seconds each x3 without rest

  • Bent Pulse | Elbows bent at 90 degrees, palms facing in, forearms parallel in front of your face. Pulse them up and down keeping the elbows in line with your shoulders.
  • Elbow Tap | From the first move, push the weights together (you can interlace your fingers if that helps) and while actively pushing, tap your elbows together.
  • Front Press | Trying to keep the weights together (or close to it) and elbows squeezing in together (narrower than your shoulders if possible) reach the arms up and down in front of your face.

STRENGTH

HEAVIER WEIGHTS | 30 seconds work / 10 seconds rest x9 (three times through the exercises)

  • Shoulder Press | Start with arms in goal post position: elbows bent at 90 degrees at shoulder height. From here, press your hands up overhead, bringing weights together above your head. Lower back down, but only so far as brings your elbows back to shoulder height. Don’t let them dip down lower than that. As you do these, be careful not to shrug your shoulders up towards your ears.
  • Arnold Press | This is a shoulder press where you fluidly circle your head with your forearms at the bottom. It’s easiest to start in the middle of the movement: elbows bent to 90 degrees out to your sides in goal post position. Shoulders should be down and back, not shrugged up towards your ears. From here, press the weights overhead and together. Lower them back down to 90-degree bends and as you do, close your forearms in front of your face, rotating the palms to face you. When weights tap together in front of your face and your forearms form the number 11, reverse the movement, opening up your arms to goal post as you rotate your palm outward and press the arms straight overhead.
  • Shoulder Shaper | Start with arms in goal post position: elbows bent at 90 degrees at shoulder height. From here, maintaining those 90-degree bends, bring your forearms together in front of your face. Return back out to goal post position. Elbows should stay at shoulder height the entire time.

Shoulder Workout - low weight/high rep endurance rounds mixed with heavier strength circuits

WEARING | Athleta leggings (these gray leggings from Beyond Yoga are cute, too) // Athleta tank (old but they’ve got a lot of similar high-neck tanks and alo yoga has a high nick tank as well–love it, have it in green!)

Enjoy this workout! It’s great to pair with a run or other cardio. If you’re a beginner, you might want to break it up. Do the first set of endurance and strength exercises and then save the second set for another day. Make sure to warm up the upper body before jumping into it and take some time to stretch afterwards. Let me know if you have any questions about it in the comments!

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Three Holiday Gift Ideas: Gift Card Edition

  • Fashion-lover or the guy/chick who needs some serious wardrobe help | Stitch Fix gift cards, baby! By now you guys know I love Stitch Fix! Get another fan of the service a gift card. It’s a great option if you know they love clothes but aren’t confident you’d be able to pick them out something specific–let the SF stylists take care of that. Also great idea for a guy in your life if you’re like me and find men impossible to shop for!
  • Blogger or work-from-home professional | I’ve talked about Breather room rentals on the blog before–I use them for shooting pictures and videos for Pumps. They’re also great if you need a spot for an off-site meeting, conference call, event. The service isn’t in every city, but they’re offering gift cards for the holiday season and the blogger or work-from-home professional would love some free time! Tip: If you use the code PUMPIRON you can get $45 in credit so to maximize your free rental time, first use that code and then cash in on your gift card.
  • Fitness lover | A gift card to your loved one’s favorite fitness studio is a guaranteed home run of a present (I know I’m always giddy to receive them!). Studio classes get pricey and even just a couple freebies is uh-mazing. Most Boston studios offer gift cards or some way to purchase credit for your friends and family so just visit their website or email the studio. For yoga lovers, CorePower is currently doing a promotion where you can buy $100 gift cards for only $80.

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Outfit links and first gift link are affiliate.

8-Minute HIIT Workout

8-Min HIIT Workout | All you need is a set of weights for this quick full-body interval workout (video included)
This is one of the workouts I shot in my apartment during my day-in-the-life post last week, but I just couldn’t get over the cable wires in the shot! I filmed the entire workout over again in the Btone row room. Total pain, but seriously nothing could have upset me yesterday I was so excited after (finally) ordering a set of photography lamps. I shouldn’t get ahead of myself before testing them out, but they’ll improve the lighting situation in my videos tenfold. Geeking out over here!!

8-Minute HIIT Workout

Set an interval timer for 12 rounds: 30 seconds work // 10 seconds rest. You’ll go through a circuit of four exercises three times.

Equipment:

  • Set of dumbbells (I’m using two 10lb weights)
  • Exercise mat
  • Interval timer (if you’re not following along with the video)

8-Min HIIT Workout | All you need is a set of weights for this quick full-body interval workout (video included)

Squat Thrust to Squat Jump Combo | Hold the dumbbells at shoulder height, feet about hips’ 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. Squat back down and this time perform a squat jump, keeping the weights at shoulder height.

Renegade Row to Frog Stamp | Start in a plank position holding dumbbells planted firmly on the ground beneath your shoulders (if this hurts your hands, place hands on the ground and just keep the dumbbells next to them so you can easily grab them for the rows). From this starting position, do a row on each side, first driving the right elbow up to the ceiling and then the left, lifting the dumbbell up close to the side of your body. Try to keep your hips level as you do this; don’t twist open towards the rowing side (having a wider stance with your feet will help accomplish this). After a row to each side, jump your feet up wide to the outsides of your hands and then quickly back to plank.

Surfer Get Ups (alternate lead foot) | Start laying on your stomach with hands by your side. Squeeze your back and glutes to lift your chest and hands off the ground. Lower your hands back to the ground by your rib cage. From here, you’re going to explosively press up and jump into a low squat with one foot in front and the other staggered behind (think of a surfer jumping up on the board to catch a wave). From here, bring your hands back to the ground as you jump your feet back into plank lower your body to the ground with control. Repeat from the top, this time landing in low squat with your other foot in front.

Bicycle Crunch Sit-Up Figure 8s | With your legs, you’re doing a bicycle crunch. With your upper body, you’re doing a sit up and passing a dumbbell from one hand to the other, under whichever knee is bent. So to start, lay down with a dumbbell in one hand. Extend your legs out to hover a few inches off the ground, and lift your shoulder blades off the ground as well so that your abs are contracted. From here, bend the knee opposite to whichever hand has the dumbbell in (keep the other leg hovering) and as you do, sit up and pass the dumbbell under your bent leg to the other hand. Extend the leg back out and return to a hover and then repeat to the other side.

8-Min HIIT Workout | All you need is a set of weights for this quick full-body interval workout (video included)

WEARING | New Balance x J. Crew leggings c/o NB // Under Armour tank (old but their Tech Victory tank is similar) // adidas neo sneakers

Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday and don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel! 🙂

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