Full Body Strength Workout

Here is an easy, full body strength workout that you can do almost anywhere! All you need is at least one set of dumbbells and a little bit of space to get this circuit done. I used 5 pound weights because that is what I had at home, but I would recommend doing most of these exercises with 10s or 15s. Pair this set with cardio intervals for an even better allover workout.

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  • Squat: Hold dumbbells at shoulders (but not touching them) standing with feet shoulder width apart. Bend at the knees and hips lowering your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Make sure to keep your weight in your heels so your knees do not come farther forward than your toes.
  • Raised Dead lift (RDL): Stand with feet shoulder width apart, weights resting at hips. Bend forward at the waist keeping knees mostly straight and sticking your butt back. Reach down with the weights as you bend forward, keeping arms straight. Make sure the weights stay close to your legs the whole time. You should feel this exercise in your hamstrings; if you start to feel it in your back, move the weights closer to your body or straighten your legs slightly more.
  • Standing Row to Tricep Kickback: Stand slightly bent forward, holding weights in outstretched arms. Pull weights up into your chest keeping the elbows tight to your body, then extend arms straight out behind you. Return to starting position by doing the exact opposite: bringing arms back to bent position then lowering to straight out.
  • Alternating Lunge Curls: Start standing with feet together and weights at sides. Take a large step forward bending your front knee and lowering the back knee to a few inches above the ground (both legs should be close to 90 degree angles). Make sure to keep your front knee behind your toes. At the same time you step forward, bring both weights up towards your chest, bending at the elbows for a bicep curl. Step back to the starting position and lower weights back to your sides. Repeat alternating legs.
  • Front Shoulder Press: Start with arms out to the side at 90 degree angles. Then bring elbows together in front of your face while maintaining that angle.
  • 3-way calf raises: Start with regular calf raises- feet pointing forward, rising up to stand on toes. Do a full set this way then switch to toes pointing out like a ballerina for a full set, then toes pointing in for the last set.
  • Seated Leg lifts: Sit on the ground with one knee bent, foot on the floor, the other leg straight, hands behind you. Raise the straight leg as high as you can and then lower it to about 2 inches above the ground. Do a full set on one leg then switch to the other leg.
  • Russian twists: Balancing on your rear end with knees bent and feet in the air, rotate the weights back and forth reaching to each side with the dumbbells. Side to side is 1 rep. (This is even easier to do with a medicine ball or kettlebell.)
  • Russian Twist Reaches: Starting in the same position as a Russian twist, reach the weights straight out to one side, then come back to the middle and reach straight out to the other side. Side to side is 1 rep.
  • Forearm Leg Extensions: Lying back on your forearms, start with both knees bent in towards your just then extend both legs out straight in front of you. Pull one leg back towards your just keeping the other leg straight, then switch legs. Finish by bringing both legs back towards your chest to end. This is one rep.
  • Toes Touches: Lying on your back, lift both legs straight in the air and reach your hands up to touch your toes (or if you have tight hamstrings like me, as high up as you can go!).
  • Pledge Plank: Start in a straight-arm plank position with torso and legs in a straight line, core engaged. Bring one hand off the ground and touch it to your opposite shoulder, trying to keep the rest of your body as stationary as possible. Put that hand back on the ground and do the same thing with the other hand. Both hand taps count as one rep.