It’s hard to match this super-efficient program: it strengthens you from ears to toes. Do eight reps each of 1A and 1B back-to-back, without a break, and then rest 45 seconds. Complete three sets, then repeat the same reps and rest for 2A and 2B.
1A. Dumbbell Overhead Bulgarian Split Squat: Hold a pair of dumbbells directly over your head, with elbows straight and palms facing each other. Assume a shoulder-width stance, with your right foot about 24 inches in front of your left. Place the top of your back foot on a bench. Brace your abs and drive your hips back to slowly lower your body. Pause, and then return to the start. Between reps, keep a slight bend in your right knee and tense the muscles in your right thigh. Complete all eight reps on one leg and then repeat with the opposite leg. The higher your back foot is elevated, the harder the exercise is on your front leg. Also, because you’re holding the weight over your head, it’s tougher on your core and challenges your hip and shoulder flexibility. Watch a video tutorial here.
1B. Dumbbell Upright Row to Shoulder External Rotation: Grab a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip and hold them in front of your hips. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, bend your elbows, pull the weights straight up, and raise your upper arms as high as you can. Now, rotate your forearms up and back as far as possible to bring the dumbbells up next to your head. Pause, then slowly reverse the steps and return to the start. Watch a video tutorial here.
2A. Dumbbell Overhead Drop Lunge
Hold a pair of dumbbells directly over your head, with elbows straight and palms facing each other. Stand as tall as you can. Puff your chest out and pull your shoulders back. Brace your abs. Step backward into a lunge with your left foot. Your front knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Pause, then return to the start and repeat with your other leg. That’s one rep. If you experience lower back pain during this move, position the dumbbells at your sides. This technique reduces compressive forces around your lumbar spine. Watch a video tutorial here.
2B. Dumbbell Plank Row
Build your back and strengthen your abdomen at the same time. Get into the plank position (top of a push-up) with a dumbbell in each hand. Maintain a straight line through your ankles, knees, hips, and shoulders. Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart for stability. Shift your weight to your right side, bend your left elbow and pull the dumbbell to the side of your torso. Pause, then return to the start and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Watch a video tutorial here.