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Total-Body Workouts for Women

Mix-and-Match Workout: Dumbbells

Grab a pair of hand weights (or a set if you have them) and tackle this full-body workout today.

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All you have are some dumbbells at home? Perfect, that’s all you need for a serious body-sculpting dumbbell workout! The below routine, designed by Shayla Rog, CPT, transformation coach and owner of Operation: Badass, takes basic movements (squats, lunges, presses, rows, flyes) and tweaks them ever so slightly to provide a unique stimulus for the legs, shoulders, chest, back, triceps and core.

“Whether you have multiple dumbbell weights to choose from or only one set, this workout will challenge you with a solid mix of compound and isolation movements to target the entire body,” Rog says. 

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

Bodyweight Warm-Up

Instructions: This is an “activation circuit” that Rog recommends doing at the start of all her mix-and-match workouts. Perform the below three exercises as a circuit (one after the other without resting), completing the circuit two times. Rog’s website offers video demonstrations of the three exercises (first three exercises shown).

Exercise Reps
Bird Dog 10 (each side)
Frog Pump 10
Arm Circles 10 (each way)

Mix-and-Match Dumbbell Workout

Instructions: This routine can be performed with any light- to moderate-weight pair of dumbbells. If you have multiple pairs of dumbbells, use the heavier ones on lower-body moves (squat to press and curtsy lunge) and lighter ones for upper-body moves (lateral raise, close-grip press to flye, renegade row). 

On supersets, go directly from the first exercise to the second without resting. After the second exercise in the pairing, rest 60 to 90 seconds and repeat the superset. After your third time through the superset, go straight to the next exercise (dumbbell squat to press).

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Squat to Press 1 20
Alternating Dumbbell Hold Lateral Raise
— superset with —
Dumbbell Curtsy Lunge
3

3
10 (each arm)

12 (each side)
Dumbbell Squat to Press 1 20
Close-Grip Press to Dumbbell Flye
— superset with —
Dumbbell Renegade Row
3

3
15

10 (each side)
Dumbbell Squat to Press 1 max reps

Do: Err on the lighter side on your first set of dumbbell squat to press. If 20 reps is too easy, you can always go heavier on the next set. On set No. 3, go past 20 reps, if you can. 

Don’t: Be afraid to do bodyweight versions of squat to press and curtsy lunge if you’re a beginner. Those lower-body compound exercises are effective even with no added resistance. Can’t do renegade rows? Hold the top of a push-up position instead for 30 seconds. 

Intensity Tip: If you’re feeling good and want to speed up the workout, cut your rest time between supersets to zero to 30 seconds. 

Exercises

Dumbbell Squat to Press

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Stand holding a pair of dumbbells in front of your shoulders, elbows bent and palms facing each other. Perform a full squat, keeping your back flat and your weight over the middle of your feet. At the top of the squat, perform an overhead (shoulder) press, keeping your core tight and palms facing each other. When the dumbbells come back down, go into the next squat/press combo. 

Alternating Dumbbell Hold Lateral Raise 

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Holding a pair of light dumbbells at your sides in a standing position, raise them both up and out to the sides in a lateral-raise motion. When your arms reach parallel with the floor, lower one dumbbell down and lift it up back up while keeping the other at the top position in an isometric hold. Repeat on the other side — that’s one rep. Go back and forth until you’ve completed the prescribed reps. 

Dumbbell Curtsy Lunge

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Stand holding a dumbbell in both hands up against your chest. Step one foot behind and past the opposite leg (the “curtsy” motion), and bend both knees until the back one nearly touches the floor. Reverse the motion to return to standing, then repeat to the other side. That’s one rep. Keep your torso upright throughout. 

Close-Grip Press to Dumbbell Flye

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Lie on the floor with two dumbbells held together at your chest. Press upward while simultaneously pushing the dumbbells together. Once you’ve reached the top of the movement, perform a flye motion by slowly lowering the dumbbells down and out to the sides, keeping a slight bend in your elbows. When your arms touch the floor, contract your pec muscles to reverse the motion and return to the top position. Squeeze the dumbbells together and lower back to the original start position. That’s one rep. 

Dumbbell Renegade Row

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Place a pair of dumbbells on the floor around shoulder-width apart, handles running parallel with each other. Assume a push-up position in which you’re grasping the handles and your shoulders are directly above your hands with your body in a rigid plank. Shift your weight slightly to one arm, then pull the dumbbell in your opposite hand up to the bottom of your rib cage in a rowing motion. Keep your shoulders square to the floor throughout. Lower the dumbbell back to the floor, then repeat on the other side. Alternate arms every other rep.

Check out the rest of the Oxygen Mix-and-Match workouts here.