Strength coach Jeff Cavaliere C.S.C.S. regularly shares practical advice on how to build muscle on the Athlean-X channel, but in a new video he acknowledges that not everyone has access to a fully equipped gym, and offers a simple, total-body workout that can be performed using nothing but a set of dumbbells. He provides single dumbbell variations for anyone who only has the one weight, or for whom the two-dumbbell version is too heavy.
The first single dumbbell exercise is the clean up and over, an explosive move that works the shoulders, back, brachialis and legs. Clean the weight up to your shoulder, press it overhead, lower it to the other shoulder and then down to the floor, and repeat. If you’re working with two dumbbells, Cavaliere suggests the clean and press.
The second exercise is a goblet sequence that Cavaliere promises will “brutalize” your legs. Holding the dumbbell as you would during a goblet squat, do a reverse lunge on either side, then finish with a squat. “Maintain a slightly wider stance,” he advises. “Basically, start from your goblet squat stance, because you want a wider base of support when you go back into your reverse lunge.” If you have two dumbbells, do the same while holding them at either side.
The third exercise recreates the movement of the T-bar row with a dumbell in a crush grip. The two dumbbell version, the dead row, adds some extra engagement from the legs in the first portion of the move.
The fourth move is a pushing exercise which hits the chest, shoulders and triceps: the crush grip floor press. While squeezing the handle of the dumbbell with both hands with as much inward force as you can, press the weight while lying in a horizontal position. If you have two dumbbells, perform a traditional floor press.
Each exercise should be performed for 3 sets of 6 to 8 reps. “If your dumbbell is too light, I advise you to simple do the set until you reach failure,” says Cavaliere, “and dramatically decrease your rest time to increase the metabolic effect of the exercise instead.”
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