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At home dumbbell workout

Training at home?

Not got much home gym equipment? Not a problem use this dumbbell programme to progress yourself thought the early part of your fitness journey.

This programme is broken into two workouts, both working the whole body. You can do them twice a week with two days in between, e.g. Monday & Thursday. Or three times a week with one day in between, e.g. Monday, Wednesday & Friday. Or any variation of these.

DAY 1

EXERCISE 1: Dumbbell Front Squats

Stand with your heels shoulder width apart and toes turned slightly out. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height with elbows forward and pressed to the rib cage.

Lower your backside straight down allowing your elbows between your knees. If you can’t get that low don’t worry just go as low as you can.

Your feet should now be flat on the floor and you SHOULD BE lent forward a little, with hips below the top of your knees.

From the bottom of the squat KEEP the knees out with your mind, and drive the hips upwards. Let the shoulders come up with the hips so you remain lent forward until you reach the top.

Lower yourself back down again keeping the knees out using your mind.

Do five reps and rest for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Next set do a little heavier, until you feel light fatigue or slight loss of form. If you run out of weight start to gradually speed up instead.

Perform 2 more sets and the same intensity as the last with a 2 minute rest in between. If you can get to hips below knees just do 3 sets as low as you can then move to the next exercise.

EXERCISE 2: Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height (similar to the top of the dumbbell front squat). Lock the legs take a deep breath and brace. Push the dumbbells straight up over head locking out the elbows and shrug in to the top of the press (as though you’re not quite there). Lower back down and breathe out then repeat.

Do five reps and rest for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Next set do a little heavier, until you feel light fatigue or slight loss of form. If you run out of weight go fast instead.

Perform 2 more sets and the same intensity as the last with a 2 minute rest in between. If you are doing partial range just do 3 sets and more to the next exercise.

EXERCISE 3: Dumbbell bent over row

With a dumbbell in each hand bend over by pushing your hips back with a strong back position, no camels, no ducks! If you can lean forward and reach the floor with the dumbbells without affecting the back great, otherwise try a couple of low boxes.

With the dumbbells on the boxes or floor knees slightly bent, shunt the hips upward quickly, bringing the whole body up an inch or two and shoulders with them. Continue the movement by pulling up with the elbows past the rib cage as far as they will go. Lower the dumbbells to the boxes or floor and repeat.

Do five reps and rest for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Next set do a little faster, until you feel light fatigue or slight loss of form.

Perform 2 more sets at the same intensity as the last with a 2 minute rest in between. If you are doing partial range just do 3 sets and more to the next exercise.

DAY 2

EXERCISE 1: Dumbbell Front Squats

Repeat as per day one but try to go a little faster.

EXERCISE 2: Dumbbell Chest Press

This can be done on a bench or on the floor if you don’t have a bench.

Lying on your back with a dumbbell in each hand stick your elbows out away from the body somewhere between 45 and 85 degrees. At 90 degrees you risk shoulder impingement commonly known as rotator cuff syndrome. Your forearm should be vertically over the elbow. The actual position the palm of the hand faces is inconsequential at this stage.

Arch the back though its full length and take a deep breath, bracing the body. Push the hand up and bring the dumbbells together at the top.

Lower back down and breathe out. Then repeat.

Do five reps and rest for 30 seconds to 2 minutes.

Next set do a little faster, until you feel light fatigue or slight loss of form.

Perform 2 more sets and the same intensity as the last with a 2 minute rest in between. If you are doing partial range just do 3 sets and more to the next exercise.

EXERCISE 3: Dumbbell bent over Row

Repeat as per day one but try to go a little heavier. If you run out of weight go faster.


PROGRESSION

The ideal progression would be an increase in weight by around 1 Kg (2.2 lbs) each session. To progress these exercise in the absence of more weight to add you need to try and work faster.

When you can’t complete the exercise (all working sets and reps)

Increasing weight

Reduce weight by 20% and add 2 more sets. i.e. form 3 set of 5 to 5 sets of 5 and begin the progression again.

Increasing speed

If you can’t go at least 10 seconds faster maintaining the same length rest between sets, add another set. i.e. go from 3 working sets to 4, then 4 to 5 etc. You can do as many as 10 working sets of 5 reps.

DON’T BE TEMPTED TO DO MORE REPS YET THOUGH!!! The goal is strength to start with, a reps range of 1 to 5 reps targets strength, higher than that the body adaption becomes hypertrophy not strength. Doing more reps will make you bigger without becoming substantially stronger or faster. Stay at 5 reps you will get stronger, faster and bigger.

Here are 4 other routines you can try yourself.

At home body weight workout

At home kettle bell workout

At home TRX (suspension trainer) workout

At home barbell workout

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