Whether you’re on the road for work or you simply need a day off from dealing with muscleheads, sometimes making it to the gym just isn’t in the cards. That doesn’t mean you need to hit pause on achieving your goal to torch bodyfat and build lean muscle. If you can find a pair of dumbbells, enough space to do a lunge, and the energy to go balls to the wall for up to a half hour, you have all of the ingredients to stay on track.
“Do these seven moves with high intensity and you’ll get a full-body workout that takes around 20-30 minutes to complete,” says ACE Certified Personal Trainer, Franklin Antoian, founder of iBodyfit. “To burn fat, stay consistent with your rep speed and aim to complete about 20 reps for all exercises.”
Run through all seven moves as a circuit 3-4 times. Rest as needed.
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“Adding a dumbbell shoulder press to the end of the movement will translate to more of a caloric burn,” says Antoian. “Stand in a traditional squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep the dumbbells up toward your shoulders to help with stability. Perform a squat, and as you come up, press the dumbbells up. You should be in a standing shoulder press position as you reach the top of the squat.”
Extra burn: Add a calf raise to your shoulder press.
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2) Walking Dumbbell Lunge and Hammer Curl
The walking lunge can thrash your lower body when it’s performed as a bodyweight exercise. By adding additional weight and a hammer curl, it forces your body to recruit muscles to stabilize the core while working the biceps and forearms.
“With the walking lunge, the heavier the weight, the more caloric burn,” Antoian says.
Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides. Your knees should be bent slightly. Keep your head straight and chest up as you take a step forward with your left leg. Do not allow your back knee to touch the floor or your front knee to travel over the toes of your grounded foot. Perform a curl with your left arm and return to the start position. Repeat the movement with the opposite leg/arm combination.
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3) Wall Sit and Alternating One-Arm Dumbbell Front Raise
Don’t cheese out on the wall sit with lazy form. Place your back flat against a wall and squat down until your legs are bent to 90 degrees. You may need to adjust your feet inside of a shoulder-width position in order to avoid impeding your front raise. “Anytime you perform a unilateral move you put more stress on the core,” Antoian explains.
Extra burn: Pause for two seconds at the top of each front raise.
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4) Dumbbell Pushup to Triceps Kickback
This twist on the traditional pushup will get you from the inside out,” Antoian promises. “Your heart will be pumping and your whole body will be sweating in a matter of seconds. The reason being is twofold: you’re moving a big muscle group while keeping your core stable, which makes this combo super challenging.”
Holding the dumbbells, get into a pushup position and perform a traditional pushup. When you come up to the start position, lift your right arm and do a triceps kickback. Repeat on the opposite side. That’s one rep.
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5) Russian Twist
Otherwise known as an oblique twist, this exercise also targets the rectus abdominis. You can also use a medicine ball or kettlebell to do these.
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold the dumbbell straight out in front of you and recline back until your abs are engaged. Twist slowly from right to left, touching the dumbbell to the floor after each turn.
“Extend the dumbbell as far as you comfortably can,” Antoian suggest. “Try to increase the range of motion as you progress; this will recruit more muscle fibers and help you burn more fat.”
Extra burn: Perform the move with your feet suspended off of the floor.
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6) Alternating Lunges with Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Use the same rules for form as the walking lunge,” Antoian recommends. “When using lighter weight you can raise the dumbbell as high as you want.”
Come back to the start position after completing a lunge and, without rest immediately do a lateral raise: With your elbows slightly bent, slowly raise the dumbbells 45 degrees past parallel. Bring the weight down with control and lunge with the opposite leg.
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7) 21s Standing on One Leg
Standing on one foot makes your body adjust to stay balanced. “This requires you to use more energy and more muscle. That translates to more calories and fat burned,” Antoian says. “Whenever you have to balance on one leg you’re recruiting more muscle fibers and stabilizer muscles.”
Stand on one foot and do three mini sets: Seven reps where you curl until your forearms are parallel to the floor; seven reps from that position to the finish; and seven full reps.