Build a Stronger Chest, Back, Arms and Abs With This Simple 4-Move Dumbbell Workout

·2-min read
Photo credit: Oleksandr Zamuruiev - Getty Images
Photo credit: Oleksandr Zamuruiev - Getty Images

Utilising a deadly combination of calisthenics, strongman and core-crushing dumbbell moves, this vicious ladder delivers a seriously functional and muscle-building gut punch.

After a thorough warm-up, work your way through the following circuit in a 'ladder' format, completing all reps of each exercise in a round before moving onto the next (ie. 10 of each in the first round, nine of each in the second, eight in the third and so on…)

Chase each circuit with a 40m farmers carry to boost the calorie-burn and foster real-world strength. Once you start a round, try not to let go of your 'bells until the bitter end to build a pair of forearms that would make Popeye blush.

1. Dumbbell deadlift x 10-1

With your dumbbells on the floor just outside your feet, hinge down and grip them with a flat back and neutral spine (A). Engage your lats and stand upright, ‘pushing the ground away’ with your feet, squeezing your glutes at the top (B). Your arms should be hanging straight throughout this movement, think of them as hooks.

2. Press-up on dumbbell x 10-1

With your hands on the dumbbells, start in a strong plank with your wrists, elbows and shoulders stacked vertically and your arms locked out (A). With a controlled tempo, flex at the elbow, lower-ing your body until your chest touches the floor (B). Push back up explosively until your elbows are fully extended.

3. Renegade row x 10-1

After your final press-up remain in the plank position with your hands on the dumbbells (A). Shifting your weight onto your left hand, row the right dumbbell towards your hip (B). Pause briefly, then lower the weight under control, repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Alternate sides, focusing on maintaining a rigid plank throughout.


4. Farmers Carry x 40m

Finally finish by taking your weights for a walk. Stand tall with your weights (A) Let your arms hang freely at your sides, take a deep breath into your core and begin a fast, deliberate march(B) When you reach the 20m mark, get your composure, turn around without letting the weights run amuck and head back. Try not to drop the weights, but if you do, pick up from where you left off as quickly as possible.

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