When you’re looking for a full-body workout you can do fast—yep, that means without packing a bag and traipsing to the gym—there are a few things you should look for in order to make sure you’re spending your time as effectively as possible.
“I’d be looking for a routine that includes a component of mobility to get yourself into good ranges of motion, a component of strength and power, and an endurance aspect for heart health,” Noam Tamir, CSCS, founder and CEO of TS Fitness in NYC, tells SELF. Stability work, made up of unilateral moves—exercises that include single-arm or single-leg work—is also important for correcting any strength imbalances, when one side is stronger than the other, he says.
With those principles in mind, Tamir created the following full-body workout that you can do at home—all you need is some floor space and some dumbbells. The best part? You’ll be done in less than 20 minutes (including your warm-up!)
You’ll get started with a mobility circuit, which will warm up your hips, glutes, shoulders, ankles, quads, and core, and prepare those muscles for the harder moves that come next. Then you’ll get into the strength circuit—which, thanks to the squat to overhead press and the wood chop, contains a power aspect—while your muscles are primed and ready to move but before they get tired out. You’ll finish with a bodyweight, core-dominant cardio circuit, which will get your heart rate up as you finish your workout strong.
Cross-body work is huge in every part of the workout, something that Tamir says is important for training your body how to move functionally—you know, in movement patterns that you’ll do in everyday life, not just at the gym.
Want to give this full-body at-home workout a try? Here’s what you need to do.
What you’ll need: A pair of moderate-weight dumbbells, like these ($ 44 per pair, amazon.com). You may want to bring a lighter-weight dumbbell, like these, ($ 25 per pair, amazon.com) if you feel you need to go lighter with the wood chop. You may also want an exercise mat ($ 17, amazon.com) for comfort.
- Glute bridge
- Bird dog
- Bodyweight squat
- Squat to overhead press
- Bent-over dumbbell row
- Wood chop
- Skater hop
- Plank up-down
- Perform each move in the mobility warm-up for 30 seconds, resting for five seconds between each move. Do two rounds. Rest for one minute after you’ve completed both.
- Perform each move in the dumbbell circuit for 30 seconds, resting for 15 seconds between each move. Do three rounds. Rest for one minute after you’ve completed all three.
- Perform each move in the bodyweight circuit for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds between exercises. Do three rounds.
Demoing the moves below are Nikki Pebbles, a New York City–based fitness instructor for over nine years and an AFAA- and NCCPT-certified personal trainer and group fitness trainer who regularly teaches cycling and dance cardio; Rachel Denis, a powerlifter who competes with USA Powerlifting and holds multiple New York State powerlifting records; Amanda Wheeler, a certified strength and conditioning specialist and cofounder of Formation Strength, an online women’s training group that serves the LGBTQ community and its allies; and Crystal Williams, a group fitness instructor and trainer who teaches at residential and commercial gyms across New York City.
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