You don't need a whole gym filled with fancy equipment to perform effective exercises. Simple exercises that provide a challenge to individuals of all fitness levels can be done with just a single set of 15-pound dumbbells. It is not the amount of weight you lift, it is what you do with the weight that makes the difference. The best workout is one that targets all your major muscle groups.
Dumbbell Overhead Press
To exercise the shoulders and triceps, perform a dumbbell overhead press. Begin by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your knees bent slightly. Hold on to two 15-pound dumbbells, one in each hand. With an overhand grip, hold the dumbbells at the shoulders. Press the dumbbells up over your head in a slow, controlled motion. Bring the dumbbells together over your head by extending your arms at the elbow. Return your arms to the starting position by your shoulders and repeat. Perform three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions.
Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each hand, holding both arms at your sides. Take a large step forward while bending at the knees until your front thigh is parallel to the floor. The back knee should also be bent close to the floor, but not touching it. Be sure to keep your front knee behind your toes throughout the movement so you front shin is perpendicular to the floor. Step backwards to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg. Perform three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold onto a single 15-pound dumbbell with both hands so that the dumbbell is over the top of your head. Contract your abs by pressing your lower back into the floor. Exhale and lift your head and shoulder blades off the floor and toward your knees. Inhale and slowly let your upper body back down to the floor and repeat. Perform three sets of 20 to 25 repetitions. If it is uncomfortable to hold the dumbbell over your head, you can hold it at your chest and still feel the effects of the weighted crunch.
Dumbbell Squat & Curl
A single 15-pound dumbbell can be used to train multiple muscles of you upper and lower body at once. Stand up straight with your feet about hip width apart hold onto a single dumbbell with both hands at your waist in front of you. Squat down while holding the weight at your thighs. Hold the squat for a count of two, then raise back up to standing. As you stand, perform a curl by bending at the elbows to bring the dumbbell to your shoulders. Lower the weight back to your thighs. Repeat for three sets of 15 to 20 repetitions. As you get stronger, you can hold a single 15-pound weight in each hand.
- "Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning"; Thomas R. Baechle and Roger W. Earle; 2000
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.