Tip: Death by Dumbbell – The Workout

Got about 10 minutes? Then you've got time to do this wicked one-dumbbell workout.

This is a simple, full-body workout that only requires one heavy dumbbell. It's only four exercises, but they will challenge your shoulders, legs, and core stability.

A lot of people avoid these exercises because they're quite humbling. Don't do that. Here's what it looks like:

5 rounds of:

  • 5 x Left arm overhead lunge
  • 5 x Right arm overhead lunge
  • 10 x Alternating bear row
  • 5 x Left arm dumbbell strict press
  • 5 x Right arm dumbbell strict press
  • 5 x Goblet squat

Take minimal rest between each round, aiming to finish in 12 minutes or less.

To figure out what weight to use, find a dumbbell you can strict press for 10 reps with each arm and use that as your starting point. The strict press will be the limiting factor for most people.

  • Overhead Lunge: Make sure your elbow stays locked out the entire time and your ribs are pulled down. Do not arch your back; keep braced and reach high.
  • Bear Row: Press down hard with the arm on the floor and draw the elbow of the pulling arm back as far as you can while maintaining square hips (squeeze your glutes). You can be super strict if you want, aiming to keep an unmoving plank throughout, but they're a difficult movement so don't be too hard on yourself. Just try not to look like a banana from the side.
  • Dumbbell Strict Press: Don't lean to the side. Pay attention to your lockout position, no half reps. Keep a more neutral grip and keep the dumbbell close. These will start to become challenging as you progress through the sets.
  • Goblet Squat: Even though you're holding the weight in front of you, try not to round your upper back. Keep your chest tall, grab the ground with your toes, and use the dumbbell to help you get nice and deep into your squat.
Tom Morrison is a British weightlifting coach, martial artist, and CrossFit trainer and competitor. Tom works with athletes on prerequisite movement capabilities for optimal strength, performance, and reduced risk of injury.  Follow Tom Morrison on Facebook