Dumbbell Straight-Leg Deadlift
Grab a pair of dumbbells with an overhand grip and hold them in front of your thighs, arms hanging straight down. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent (A). Without changing the bend in your knees, bend at your hips and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor (B). Pause, then raise your torso back to the starting position.
Dumbbell Plank and Row
Grab a pair of hex dumbbells with an overhand grip and assume a pushup position, your arms straight (A). Keeping your core stiff, balance your weight on your left arm as you pull the dumbbell in your right hand up to the side of your chest, bending your arm as you pull it upward (B). Pause, and then quickly lower the dumbbell. Repeat with your left arm.
Dumbbell Front Squat
Stand and hold a pair of dumbbells so that your palms are facing each other and a dumbbell head is resting on the meatiest part of each shoulder (A). Keep your body as upright as you can at all times. Brace your abs and lower your body as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees (B). Don’t allow your elbows to drop down as you squat. Pause, then push yourself back to the starting position.
Dumbbell Push Press
Stand and hold a pair of dumbbells so that your palms are facing each other and the dumbbells are parallel to the floor (A). Keep your body upright as you bend slightly at the knees, then explosively push up with your legs as you press the dumbbells over your head (B). Pause, then lower the weights to the starting position.
Dumbbell High Pull
Hold a pair of dumbbells just below the fronts of your knees with your palms facing your legs, your hips pushed back, and your knees slightly bent (A). With your back flat and arms straight, pull both dumbbells upward as fast as you can by thrusting your hips forward and explosively standing up (B). Keep the dumbbells as close to your body as possible and bring them up to shoulder height. (At the top of the movement, your elbows should angle out like you’re doing the funky chicken.) Return to the starting position.
Cross Body Mountain Climber
Assume a pushup position with your arms completely straight (A). Lift your right foot off the floor, then bend your right knee and bring it up under your body, toward your left elbow, without changing the arch in your lower back (B). Lower your leg back to the starting position. Then raise your left foot off the ground and bring your left knee to your right elbow. Alternate back and forth until time is up.
Alternating Split Jump
Stand in a staggered stance with your feet 2 to 3 feet apart, your left foot in front of your right. Keeping your torso upright, bend your legs and lower your body into a lunge position (A). At the bottom of the movement, your left thigh should be parallel to the ground, and your right thigh should be perpendicular to the ground. Now jump with enough force to propel both feet off the floor (B). While you’re in the air, scissor-kick your legs so you land with your right leg forward and your left leg behind you (C). Repeat, alternating your forward leg for the duration of the set.
Grab a pair of hex dumbbells with an overhand grip and assume a pushup position, your arms straight (A). Bend your elbows and lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor (B). As you push yourself back up, lift your right hand and rotate the right side of your body as you raise the dumbbell straight up over your shoulder until your body forms a T (C). Reverse the move and repeat, this time rotating your left side.
Grab a pair of dumbbells, bend at your hips (don’t round your lower back), and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbells hang at arm’s length, palms inward (A). Without moving your torso, row the weights upward by raising your upper arms, bending your elbows, and squeezing your shoulder blades together (B). Keep the dumbbells close to the side of your body at the top of the movement. Pause, lower the dumbbells, and repeat.
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Do this circuit 3 days a week. Perform 1 set of each exercise in succession.
Each set consists of doing the exercise as many times as you can in 30 seconds. Use only perfect form—it doesn’t count if you cheat, Mr. McGwire—and when your 30 seconds are up, give yourself 15 seconds to rest before moving on to the next exercise. Rest for 2 minutes after you’ve completed the entire sequence. Then repeat the whole process two more times for a total of 3 circuits per workout.
If you get tired and can’t continue exercising for the entire 30 seconds, stop and rest for a few seconds, and then resume performing reps until the time is up. For each exercise, you should start with a weight that you can use for 10 to 12 perfect reps.
By Stephen Perrine