Work Your Whole Body with a Single Dumbbell

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One weight plus a little creativity equals exercise.

I know a guy who owns exactly one piece of exercise paraphernalia: a single dumbbell. You might think “one dumbbell? What can you do with that besides curls?” Well, it is for this reason that mankind has been blessed with creativity, because even with one dumbbell, that guy gets a full body workout, and you can too. All you need is the right routine. Oh, and feel free to use whatever dumbbell weight you’re comfortable with for this.

Goblet Squat

Hold the dumbbell horizontally right under your chin. Sit into a squat so your elbows are touching your knees, then stand back up. Keep that core tight and that lower back straight!

One-Arm Row

You’ll need some kind of bench for this one. Put your left knee on the bench and your right foot on the ground. Take the dumbbell in your right hand and support yourself with your left. Lift the dumbbell using only your arms; don’t rotate your shoulders or open your body.

One-Arm Power Clean

Squat on the ground and hold the dumbbell between your legs. Use your thighs and hips to drive the dumbbell upward until it’s at shoulder height. Pause there for a second, then bring it back down. Remember to do this with one hand at a time.

Single-Arm Press

Hold the dumbbell at shoulder length, parallel to your ear. Using your core and weight, lift the dumbbell straight up until your arm has extended completely. Carefully bring it back down and repeat. Do this for both arms.