New Year’s 2022 Rotational Dumbbell Full-Body Shred Workout

Start 2022 by reminding your body that it’s built to twist and turn.

This underrated skill utilizes muscles you know well (abs, obliques, lats, and glutes, among others), but it’s often forgotten in training plans. That leaves you vulnerable to injury when you shovel snow or pick up your toddler. Fix that by doing this workout four times a week. All other days, go for a 20-minute run.

WHO CAME UP WITH THIS ROUTINE? The mind behind your first workout of 2022 is Rui Qiang Liu, C.S.C.S., a San Francisco–based trainer who was part of the second flight of the Strength in Diversity Initiative, a Men’s Health program that works to build diversity, equity, and inclusion in the fitness industry. Systemic issues have long prevented trainers from marginalized communities from forging successful careers. Strength in Diversity offers those trainers a jump start. Liu, 36, is the head strength and conditioning coach at Albany High School, and he’s working on a personal-training program, Lightning Dragon Athletics.

Directions: Do this workout as a 4-round circuit. Do each move for 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds.

Warmup

Bear Crawl to Reach Jump

Kathryn Wirsing

Start in bear-plank position, back flat, hands directly below your shoulders, knees below your hips, shins off the floor. Keeping your back flat and abs tight, walk forward 2 steps. Aim to move your right arm and left leg at the same time (and vice versa). Walk back 2 steps, then stand up.Jump and reach for the ceiling. That’s 1 rep. Do reps for 30 seconds, then rest 30seconds. Do 3 sets.

Workout

Lateral Lunge to Overhead Press

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Kathryn Wirsing

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Kathryn Wirsing

Start standing, holding dumbbells at your thighs, shoulder blades squeezed, abs tight. Step to the left with your left foot. Keeping your right leg straight, and keeping the majority of your weight on your left leg, push your butt back and bend your left knee. Lower until your left thigh is parallel to the floor or you feel your back round, whichever comes first. Push through your left heel to drive back to standing position. Push your butt back slightly, then explosively stand, pulling the dumbbells up to shoulder height as you do this. Press the dumbbells over-head. Return to the start and repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep. You’re building lower-body strength and shoulder muscle, too.

Plank Row to Side Plank

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Kathryn Wirsing

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Kathryn Wirsing

Blast your abs and build posture-saving back muscle. Start in pushup position, hands on dumbbells directly below your shoulders, feet wide. Lower into a pushup. Press up; as you do, row the right dumbbell toward your rib cage. Return to the start.Do another pushup. Press up, remove your right hand from the dumbbell, and reach it toward the ceiling. Hold, then return to the start; repeat the entire sequence on the other side. That’s 1 rep.

Core Focus: Keep your hips square to the floor during the row. Let them rotate during the reach.

Rack-Down Walking Lunge

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Kat

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This Full-Body Strength Workout Will Hit Every Muscle in Your Body With Just 4 Basic Moves

Fact: A full-body strength workout doesn’t need to be overly long or filled with complicated exercises in order to be effective. This four-move, total-body routine proves you can hit every major muscle group without spending hours in the gym doing a million different exercises.

“I’m a huge believer in the minimum effective dose,” ACE-certified personal trainer Sivan Fagan, C.P.T., owner of Strong With Sivan, tells SELF. That means focusing on the quality of a workout rather than the quantity as a way to get the most bang-for-your-exercise-buck and progress towards your goals.

Focusing on quality is really about having good form and giving your best effort, no matter how long your workout is. With this approach, you can get super solid results while saving yourself time and energy and reducing your risk of injury, says Fagan.

One easy way to get a quick-yet-effective total-body workout? Incorporate compound movements, which are exercises that involve multiple joints and stimulate large muscle groups. Compared to isolation movements, which target just one muscle, compound movements are a great choice for getting a lot done in a short period of time. And if you pick compound exercises that follow the four major movement patterns—hinging, squatting, pressing, and pulling—your workout becomes that much more efficient and functional.

Including unilateral exercises is another solid way to get the most from a workout when you want to keep it simple. Unilateral exercises require you to rely on the strength of just one limb to perform a movement, which means they often feel more intense than bilateral moves (moves done with two limbs). And because unilateral work demands balance, your core has to fire more too, in order to keep you stable and resist bending or rotating, as SELF previously reported.

The following four-move dumbbell workout, which Fagan created for SELF, checks all of these boxes. It hits the major movement patterns with compound moves and incorporates lots of unilateral work too, so you can smoke every major muscle group in your body in a short amount of time.

Depending on your fitness level, you can do this routine two to three times a week, either as a standalone routine or as part of a larger workout. One easy way to add it to a larger workout? Combine it with some shorter core and/or shoulder work, says Fagan (though you certainly don’t need to add on; this is a super-solid workout by itself). However you choose to do this routine, make sure to pencil in enough rest in between sessions so your muscles have enough time to recover—scheduling at least 48 hours of downtime is a good general rule of thumb.

Also important: Before jumping into this routine, do a quick warm-up to mobilize your joints and activate your muscles. Several minutes of moves like pull-aparts, arm swings, squats, and striders can do the trick, says Fagan. (You can also try this five-minute dynamic warm-up here.)

Then, when doing the actual workout, be sure to give it your

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