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Getting a quick and effective workout in with minimal equipment is an important factor in anyone’s fitness-focused lifestyle. We recently got a reminder of the importance of this with the Covid-19 Pandemic, which left most of us without access to a proper facility for months at a time.
Quick And Effective Workouts
Other times, life just tends to get in the way of a scheduled gym session. You can still progress by having an at-home “insurance plan.” You may even be looking to cut the commuting altogether and create an entire routine based on at-home training.
No matter what the reason is, there’s value in having quick and effective at-home workouts at your disposal.
Full Body Routine
The following workout hits multiple muscle groups in the body and can be completed with a single pair of dumbbells. If you don’t have any at your disposal, you can opt to use some weighted household items (i.e. gallon jugs of water, bricks, containers of laundry detergent, etc.) or even no weight at all.
You can still gain appreciable amounts of strength with bodyweight or light-weight training, and since most of the movements included in this routine are dynamic in nature (meaning they include multiple joint actions in a sequence), you’ll also see cardiovascular benefits.
Three pairs of exercises can be performed back to back with minimal rest between sets. For example, with the first pair below, one set of burpees can be followed up with a set of goblet squats, taking a short break between them to catch your breath.
Once you complete three to four rounds of each pair, move on to the next pair. You can aim to perform as many reps as possible (AMRAP) on each set, or decide to give yourself a specific rep target. Since light or no weight will be used, a target between 20 and 30 reps should suffice.
Three to four rounds of six total exercises should result in a time commitment of roughly 20 to 30 minutes.
Pair #1: Burpee with Pushup & Goblet Squat
Burpees are essentially a pushup with a jump squat at the end. Beyond a heavy emphasis on the chest and quads, there will be plenty of core stimulation with this movement as well. After completing a pushup, bring your knees up explosively and go straight into a jump squat. Transition straight into the next pushup after landing your jump squat.
After completing a set of Burpee’s, grab your dumbbell/weighted item (if you’re using one) and set up for Goblet Squats. Your arms brace the load up near your sternum. Goblet Squats tend to allow for a larger range of motion than other squat variations. Play with your foot placement to see what feels best on your knees.
Pair #2: Manups & Jumping Lunges
“Manups” string three movements together: rows, a power clean, and a shoulder press. Start by descending into a plank while grabbing your weights/items (if you’re using any). In a stable position, perform a single-arm row for both arms before transitioning to a standing position. To get there, begin bringing the weight up your legs in a deadlift-type motion, and once the weight is near your hips, thrust the hips forward to create momentum that will allow you to “throw and catch” the weight in a controlled manner. You’re not literally letting go of the weight; the momentum created by the thrust and swinging your arms will allow you to bring the weight up to your shoulders, and from that point, you transition into a shoulder press.
Set up in a lunge position with one leg bent forward and one leg bracing behind you. Using one leg at a time, jump in a lunge position. You can opt to complete all the reps on one leg before switching to the other as shown in the video, or you can switch lead legs each time you jump with a scissoring motion.
Pair #3: Tricep Dips & Lunge with Shoulder Press
To round out the workout, find an elevated platform to use for Tricep Dips. This can be a couch, a bed, a chair, or a table; anything above floor level should work just fine. Stand in front of the platform, reach back behind you to place your palms on the edge, and walk your legs out into a brace position with your butt off of the floor. Starting with the arms bent, push through the palms to raise your body. This movement isolates the triceps.
Finally, set up in a lunge position again. Instead of jumping through the lunge like in the previous pair of exercises, perform a regular lunge while holding the dumbbells/weights (if any) near your shoulders. Once one lunge is complete, go straight into an overhead shoulder press. Make sure to do an equal number of lunges with each leg.
This trio of pairs will create a lot of fatigue in very little time. A large focus of these exercises will be on your chest, shoulders, quads, and calves. This workout can be utilized 2-3 times a week in tandem with workouts that target more of the posterior chain of your body (i.e. your lats, hamstrings, glutes, etc.) on other days of the week.
Photo by Nathan Cowley
Photo by KoolShooters