Training at home and even at the gym with limited equipment can get boring fast. That’s why these exercises, which incorporate unique strength-training moves, only require the use of one dumbbell.
Some of these one-dumbbell exercises work both sides of the body at once, while others target one side at a time, which may reveal what parts of your body are weakest.
One-sided moves also require you to focus on your balance, which automatically fires up the muscles in your core and other stabilizing muscles. These moves are not intended for one workout; you should mix two or three into your regular strength training routine.
1 SINGLE-ARM ROW SQUAT PRESS
Start with feet in a split-stance lunge and dumbbell out long in front of you. Row and drive your dumbbell past your back, keeping your elbow high to sky. Pivot your toes parallel as you catch the dumbbell close to your shoulder. Squat and stabilize core as you rise to stand and press overhead with bicep close to ear. This counts as one rep.
2 BILATERAL DEADLIFT WITH BENT-OVER, WIDE-ARM ROW
Start standing with the dumbbell in your hand and your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Hinge (bend) at the hips, keeping your spine long, with a slight bend in your knees. Keep your core engaged and drive your elbow back as you perform a wide row. Try not to rotate open from your torso. Maintaining your form, return to the starting position.
3 CURTSY LUNGE BICEP CURL AND PRESS
Start standing with the dumbbell in your hand and feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Curtsey and cross back foot behind, bending at the knee low to the floor (try to keep hips straight ahead parallel). At the same time perform a bicep curl, rotate to an overhead press, back to curl and rise to return to starting position.
4 SINGLE-ARM CHEST FLY
Lie on your back with knees bent, feet shoulder-width apart, and heels on the ground. Keeping your core tight, contract your glutes to lift your hips up, forming a straight line with your thighs and torso. Support yourself on your upper back with shoulder blades retracted. Hold the dumbbell in one hand with palms facing the center of the body. Extend both arms upright above your chest. With your elbows slightly bent, open your arm with the dumbbell to lower until they almost touch the ground. Have a slight bend in the elbow. Hold for a brief pause, then return to the starting position and transfer the dumbbell to the opposite arm.
TRANSVERSE LUNGE WITH HALO
Start standing with feet hip-distance apart, dumbbell held at your chest. Starting at 12 o’clock, step your leg to roughly 4 o’clock. Hinge your hips as the dumbbell hovers over your shin, rise and come back to the starting position. Halo your dumbbell around your head from one ear to the other. Alternate and repeat on the other leg.
Photography by Todd Duncan
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