In this 28-minute, full-body workout, you’ll gain strength and get in a cardiovascular workout. All you need is a mat, a set of light dumbbells, and water. I’m drinking zero calorie mint tea.
I’m using three different sets of dumbbells, 8’s, 10’s and 12’s, but one set is sufficient, just do a few more reps or squeeze the muscles more if the exercises are easy (I’m guessing they will be more challenging than you realize).
If you have difficulty with balance, have a chair nearby to hold on to.
Stop at the first sign of pain. Go at your level. Don’t hold your breath on any of these exercises.
Here are the exercises in order:
Warm-up: fast marching
- Leg lifts and lowers to work the hips and gluteus medias (aka the side butt). Lay on your side, knees bent. With a pointed toe, lift the top knee upwards to the ceiling, leaving the top toes pressed against the bottom foot. Reverse the rotation by bringing the top knee down to the bottom thigh, while bringing the toes up to the ceiling this time. Perform a total of 20 reps. (see video below to see the exercise and to follow along)
- Reverse short and long lunges with or without dumbbells, your choice. 8 or more reps on each side.
- Bridge hold with alternating heel lifts. 30 seconds
- Bridge hold. Lift both heels up and down. 10-30 seconds
- Glute bridge with heels up the entire time. 30 seconds
- Quadruped leg lifts. Get on all fours. Extend one leg with toe pointed down on mat. Lift leg up no higher than your back, tap leg down. Repeat for 30 seconds.
- Same as #6, but don’t let the toe touch the ground. Perform exercise for 20 seconds or until failure
- Same as #6, but pulse the same leg at the top for 10 seconds or until failure.
- Same as #6, but hold leg at the top for 10 seconds.
- Two push-ups, then stand up, perform 5 lateral shoulder raises. Repeat for 3 sets.
- Triceps shoulder crushers. Lay on your back. With dumbbells in each hand, flare the elbows out to the sides; the triceps should touch the floor. Bring dumbbells towards the shoulders. The dumbbells do not need to touch the shoulders. Repeat for 8 reps or until failure
- Pull-overs in a bridge with 5-count eccentrics and 1-count concentric. 8 reps. Lay on your back. Bend your knees with feet flat on the floor. With one dumbbell in each hand, press the weights over your chest. With straight arms, lower the weights to the floor, then bring the weights back up over your chest. Repeat.
- Narrow shoulder press with dumbbells. 8 reps. Jump up or pop up, for the last 7 reps, for a total of 15 reps. Land softly.
- Calf raises with 90-degree dumbbell biceps hold for 20 reps.
- Biceps curls for 8-10 reps with calf raises.
- Ten plank jacks, or tap the outer toes if this plyometric exercise is not suited to you.
- Lay on your back, legs extended with a slight bend in your knees. Put your hands behind your head and perform 10 small circles with your upper body. This strengthens the upper abdominal muscles. Then lift one leg and perform 5 more upper body circles. Repeat this sequence on the other direction. This strengthening the upper and lower abdominal muscles.
- Cobra or upward dog abdominal stretch
- Downward dog stretch with calf pedals
- Standing quad stretch
- Standing hamstring stretch
- Lateral lunge to stretch the inner thighs
- Cross-body triceps stretch
- Overhead shoulder stretch with also stretches the lats (the large back muscles)
- Forward and reverse windmills for the shoulders
I forgot to add a glute stretch. To perform a figure-four glute stretch, lay on the floor with knees bent and cross one leg over the other with the elevated shin pressed against the thigh with the foot on the floor. Lift the leg up that has the foot on the floor. Interlace your hands behind the thigh that you just lifted and hug the leg towards you. Perform this stretch for 30 seconds. Switch sides.