5 Non-Boring Ways to Get a Full-Body Workout with Two Dumbbells

Ashley Oerman
Photo credit: Hearst Owned
Photo credit: Hearst Owned

From Cosmopolitan

If I've learned anything over the last few months, it's that my kitchen is actually not a terrible gym. And even though I'd give almost anything to take my favorite spin class right now (miss you, Tom Hamlett), sweating at home isn't the worst thing ever.

Maybe you're back in your gym already (be careful, friends!) or maybe you've turned your place into the most exclusive VIP studio around. Either way, you should invest in some dumbbells (if you can find them, LMK!) and tackle these five moves from Dorian Cervantes, certified personal trainer and Strength and HIIT instructor at Obé fitness.

"Training with weights has so many benefits besides the obvious of defined sexy muscles," says Cervantes. Those include improved bone density (it's boring but real important) and muscle endurance, she says.

Ready to get after it? Let's go!

The workout


Perform all the moves below back to back for the reps noted before moving to the next exercise.


Squat curl

Step 1: Stand with feet hip-width apart and your toes turned out slightly. Grip a dumbbell or two in front of the body, palms facing forward. Keeping your weight in your heels, lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground (or as close as you can get).

Step 2: Hold the squat position as you raise one or two dumbbells to your shoulders and back down, keeping your elbows pressed firmly to your inner thighs.

Step 3: Drive the heels into the floor to return to standing position. That's one rep. Do 12 to 15 reps before moving to the next exercise.

Romanian deadlift

Step 1: Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a pair of dumbbells in front of your thighs with an overhand grip, bending your knees slightly.

Step 2: Without changing the bend in your knee, hinge forward from your hips to lower the dumbbells to your shins without rounding your back or shoulders.

Step 3: Use your hamstrings and glutes to pull the dumbbells back to hip height and return to the starting position. That's one rep. Do 12 to 15 reps before moving to the next exercise.

Single arm reverse lunge

Step 1: Stand with your feed hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in your right hand with a neutral grip (palm facing in). Extend your right arm above your head, so that your shoulder, elbow and wrist are in line. Extend your left arm out to the side so it's in line with your shoulders.

Step 2: Holding your arms in place, step your left foot back a couple feet before lowering your body to the ground until your right thigh is parallel to the ground and your knee nearly touches the floor.

Step 3: Shift your weight to your right foot and bring your left foot back to the starting position. That's one rep. Do 12 to 15 reps before performing the move on the opposite side.

Pushup row


Step 1: Begin on your hands and knees, with a pair of dumbbells just outside of your shoulders. Grip the weights and extend your legs behind you so that they're hip-width apart and press your weight into the balls of your feet. (Spreading your feet wider will make the exercise easier on your core, narrowing them makes it harder. You can also perform this move on your knees.)

Step 2: Brace your core and lower your body until your chest touches the floor, or as far as you can. Pause, then push your body back to the starting position before immediately pulling the right dumbbell to your ribcage. Lower the right dumbbell, lower your chest to the floor, push yourself back up, and lift the left to your ribcage before lowering it back down. That's one rep. Continue alternating for 10 to 12 reps.

1/3 Get up


Step 1: Lie on your back with your legs spread wider than hips-width apart, your right foot flat on the floor and your left extended out and slightly outward. Grab a dumbbell with your right hand and press it overhead so that your shoulder, elbow, and wrist are in line. Extend your left arm outward on the floor at a 45 degree angle.

Step 2: Use your core, shoulders, and hips to raise your body up onto your elbow and press the weight upward. Pause, then slowly return reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That's one rep. Do 8 to 10 reps before performing the exercise on the opposite side.

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