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Workouts for Women

Mix-and-Match Workout: Dumbbell Circuit

You don't need tons of equipment to get a solid workout in, and this routine is proof.

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Dumbbells are a common at-home training tool, and this circuit consists of six tried-and-true movements that can help you build lean muscle while also burning fat because of the nonstop nature of the programming.

With hard-hitting workouts like this circuit, designed by Jim Ryno, owner of Iron House home gym design in Alpine, New Jersey, you may never go back to the gym!

Check out more installments of the Oxygen Mix-and-Match Workout series!

The Upper-Body Dumbbell Circuit

Equipment needed: 

  • Dumbbells (10 to 20 pounds)

Perform these moves in order, resting minimally in between. Rest one to two minutes between rounds. 

Exercise Reps/Time
Dumbbell Goblet Reverse Lunge* 12 (each side)
Dumbbell Bent-Over Row 12
Alternating Dumbbell Hammer Curl 12 (each side)
Dumbbell Standing Arnold Press 12
Dumbbell Floor Press 12-15
Dumbbell Weighted Crunch* 12-15

*Perform with a single dumbbell.

Tips

  • Use the first round as a warm-up with a lighter pair of dumbbells, then increase your weight for subsequent rounds. 
  • If you’re a new exerciser, complete one to two rounds and bump that up to three or four as you get stronger and more confident.  
  • For a greater challenge, use a heavier pair of dumbbells for this workout and/or increase the rep count to 15 to 20 per set. 

Exercises

Dumbbell Goblet Reverse Lunge

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Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell with both hands at your chest, elbows down. Take a large step back with one leg and bend both knees to lower into a deep lunge, lightly touching your knee to the floor. Push off your back foot and extend your legs to return to the start. Continue, alternating sides.  

Dumbbell Bent-Over Row

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Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides. Keep your back straight as you hinge at your hips to fold forward about 45 degrees to the floor. Begin with your arms perpendicular to the floor and your palms facing inward. Draw your shoulder blades together and then drive your elbows up toward the sky, keeping your arms in close to your sides to raise the weights to your flanks. Pause briefly, then lower to the start.

Alternating Dumbbell Hammer Curl 

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Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a set of dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing inward. Keeping your elbows pinned to your sides and your upper arms stationary, curl one dumbbell at a time up toward your shoulder. Squeeze at the top, then lower to the start.  Continue, alternating arms.

Dumbbell Standing Arnold Press

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Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a pair of dumbbells at your shoulders with your elbows down and your palms facing rearward (supinated). Extend your arms to press the dumbbells overhead while simultaneously corkscrewing your wrists, so that at the top of the rep, your palms face forward. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the start position, rotating back into supination.

Dumbbell Floor Press 

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Lie faceup with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor and your back curving naturally. Hold a set of dumbbells just outside your chest at roughly a 45-degree angle with your torso and your upper arms in contact with the floor. Extend your arms and press the dumbbells straight up over your chest and inward toward one another to full extension, then slowly return almost to the start; touch down lightly to maintain tension on the muscles throughout. 

Dumbbell Weighted Crunch

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Lie faceup with your knees bent, your feet flat on the floor and your back arching naturally. Hold a dumbbell at your chest with both hands, then curl your head, shoulders and upper back off the floor as high as you can. Lower to the start and repeat right away.