This upper-body dumbbell workout builds strength and size across all the major muscles of your top half, in a format that will spike your metabolism to burn fat at the same time.
You’re going to be working in a ‘ladder format’, performing ten reps of all four movements, before circling back to the beginning of the circuit for 9 reps of each, then 8, then 7, all the way down to the single rep. Continue in this fashion, removing a rep each round until you reach 1, for a muscle swelling total of 55 reps of each movement.
“The key to making this workout as effective as possible is to limit your rest to practically zero, whilst not rushing a single rep,” says Men’s Heath's fitness editor, Andrew Tracey. “Steady and consistent wins the race and will score you a massive muscle-building pump.’
“The movements taper from the most metabolically demanding to the least, which means you’ll steadily recover before a new round starts, if you pace yourself and make the most of each rep.’
1) Hang Clean And Press x 10,9,8,7,6,5…
Holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides, hinge at the hips to lower them to your knees (A). Stand back up with a slight jump, using the momentum to pull the dumbbells on to your shoulders. Stand up straight. From here dip at the knees (B), then use power fromyour legs to help press both of your dumbbells high overhead to lockout (C). Lower the weights under control to your sides and repeat.
2) Dumbbell Row x 10,9,8,7,6,5…
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and bend your knees slightly, hinging at the hips so your back is almost parallel to the floor, arms hanging loose. (A). Row the weights up towards your hips, keeping your core tight, and your back straight (B). Lower the dumbbells under control and repeat.
3) Hand-Release Press-Up x 10,9,8,7,6,5…
Assume a strong high-plank position with your wrists, elbows and shoulders stacked (A).As ever, keep your core tensed for an extra abdominal hit. With a steady temp lower your body until your chest touches the ground. Lift both of your hands an inch from the ground, (B) replace your hands, then push back up explosively. Pause at the top before repeating.
4) Alternate Dumbbell Curl x 10,9,8,7,6,5…
Saving the best for last. Grab a slightly lighter set of dumbbells, if possible, and stand tall with them at your sides, your palms facing towards you (A). With minimal momentum, curl one bell upward, rotating your pinky towards your face as you do, until the dumbbell reaches your shoulders (B). Squeeze here and lower the weight under control. Repeat with your other arm, this equals one rep.
NOTE: If you don’t have access to any lighter dumbbells, simply grab one of the pair you’ve been using for the rest of circuit, hold it horizontally in two hands and perform a curl as you would with a barbell. Be warned, this may be half the weight but a ‘squeeze curl’ brings a whole new pump-inducing stimulus.
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