An effective total-body workout doesn’t need to include a slew of different exercises. In fact, many of the most valuable training sessions are also the simplest. It makes sense if you think about it: Instead of learning new moves or collecting equipment, you can focus on the stuff that matters most, like proper form and intensity. This four-round circuit uses only four signature moves (squats, lunges, pushups, and rows) that get progressively more challenging with each round. Complete the workout with little to no rest between moves (hello cardio!) to kick your booty into high gear at home or at the gym.
How it works: Do 1 set of every exercise in order, with little to no rest between moves. If needed, rest 30 to 60 seconds between circuits.
You’ll need: A set of 5- to 25-pound dumbbells (Choose a weight heavy enough to make it difficult to complete the last rep with proper form).

V lunge switch

Start with feet shoulder-width, holding a 5- to 10-lb dumbbell in left hand. Step right leg back diagonally, bending left knee 90 degrees; at same time, bring dumbbell under left leg, passing to right hand; then step back to center with the right foot. Repeat on other side; alternate for 1 minute.

Wide to narrow push-up

Get into modified push-up position with knees down and arms wide, hands in line with shoulders. Lower down, then push back up. Walk hands in so they’re a bit closer than shoulder-width; do another push-up. Alternate for 1 minute.
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Wide arm row

With feet together, a 5- to 10-lb weight in each hand, hinge forward at hips with flat back; extend arms directly beneath shoulders. Step out to the right while drawing right elbow wide and back so dumbbell comes alongside chest, then lower dumbbell. Step left foot next to right and repeat with left arm. Repeat in other direction; continue to alternate for 1 minute.

Split squat rotation

Stand with feet together, holding a 5- to 10-lb medicine ball at chest. Step left foot back and lower into squat with right knee bent. Push into right leg, straightening both legs while twisting torso to push medicine ball over right shoulder; return to previous position. Continue for 30 seconds; switch sides and repeat.

Plank with snatch

Come into plank position with hands under shoulders, body straight, right hand on 5- to 8-lb dumbbell. Bring weight out, up, and straight above right shoulder, allowing chest and hips to rotate to the right . Return to starting position; continue for 30 seconds, then switch sides and repeat.

Row the boat

Sit on ball, knees bent, feet hip-width. Walk feet forward, rolling down until lower back is on ball, shoulders lifted, arms extended, palms up. Extend legs, lean back on ball; pull hands and elbows back as if rowing. Go back to previous position; keep “rowing” for 1 minute.


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