Do you want a perfect workout? Of course you do, who doesn’t? The key to the perfect routine doesn’t lie in celebrity trainers or trendy gyms (although there’s certainly nothing wrong with them); the key lies in the perfect combination of cardio, strength training, core work, and functional movements.
When you get the combo right, you need nothing more than a handful of exercises, a timer, and a set of dumbbells. Stick with the programme and you’ll be in crazy-good shape before you know it.
Using nothing but the 3 exercises listed below, you can pick and choose between any of the fast-moving, hard-hitting workout routines that follow. Might you get tired of the same exercises all the time? Sure. When you do, just switch them!
The push-up burpee works pretty much your whole body, starting at your calves and running all the way up the stabilizing muscles of your core to your shoulders. Aside from the fact that this move is great for total-body strengthening, it also raises your heart rate for a burst of equipment-free cardio.
Combining an upper-body and lower-body exercise into one, compound movement is an excellent way to kill two birds with one stone. Grab a pair of dumbbells for the squat press, which targets the major muscle groups of the lower body — the quads, hamstrings, and glutes — as well as the shoulders and the stabilizing muscles of the core.
- Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart, knees slightly bent, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your shoulders
- Press your hips back and squat down, as if sitting on a chair, bending your knees and lowering your glutes toward the floor. Keep your chest up and core tight.
- When you’ve lowered yourself as far as you comfortably can while keeping your weight in your heels, your knees behind your toes, reverse the movement and press back to standing
- As you rise to standing, press the dumbbells straight up over your head, extending your arms fully
- Bring the dumbbells back to your shoulders before continuing
Deadlift rows target your hamstrings, glutes, and core while also hitting the large muscles of your upper back, including your lats, traps, and rhomboids. Grab a set of dumbbells and be sure to check your form — you should feel this more in your glutes and hamstrings than your low back.