My Favorite Easy Full-Body Workout

Sep 21, 2020

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Now more than ever, it’s important to prioritize self-care and wellness. For me, that means making the time to go outside every day, remembering to shower when I need a refresh, and finding opportunities to challenge myself and build strength.

As the weather cools down (hello, fall!) I like to transition to simple, full-body workouts that I can do in the comfort of my own home. If you’re looking for a series of effective exercises, check out my HIIT30 program. It’s a 30-day series of at-home workouts that you can do on your own time. In the meantime, here’s a quick workout that you can do in your bedroom or living room.

What do I need for this workout?

I recommend that you have enough open space to extend your arms and legs, especially for floor work. 

This workout uses dumbbells as a way to build strength and balance. If you’re new to using weights, I recommend that you use a smaller size, like 5- or 10-pounds. Do not overextend yourself or hurt yourself by using a heavier weight than you’re comfortable with. And as always, consult a healthcare professional before starting a fitness regimen. 

What if I don’t have dumbbells?

I totally acknowledge that not everyone has dumbbells at home. If you need a substitute, for some workouts you can use: 

  • Kettle bell
  • Milk jugs, 2-liter bottles filled with water, or even wine bottles
  • Bags of rice or dried beans 
  • Heavy books 

Whatever you use, make sure you can keep a firm grip without straining your hands or wrists. If you don’t have dumbbells at home, I’ve included modifications so you can follow along too!

Here’s my Full-Body Dumbbell Only Workout

  • Squat to overhead press – 10x
  • Staggered deadlift to bicep curl, each side – 10x
  • Lateral lunge to upright row, each side – 10x 
  • Tricep extension to hip thrust – 10x
  • Renegade rows to pushup – 10x

Repeat 2-3 times, and take breaks as needed! 

Squat to Overhead Press

Squats are a great way to tone your legs and glutes. First, start with your feet shoulder-distance apart and planted firmly beneath you. Hold your dumbbell or weight vertically in front of you and engage your core.

To squat, move your butt backward and shift your weight toward your heels. Take the pressure off your knees by making your abs and butt do the work. Squat until the back of your thighs are parallel to the ground.

Then, lift yourself out of your squat. Straighten your legs and lift your dumbbells above your head while engaging your abs. Then, lower back to your starting position and repeat 10 times. 

  • Note: Don’t lock your knees when you straighten up. 
  • Modification: Hold your fists or an object up in front of you, and raise them above your head for the lift. 

Staggered Deadlift to Bicep Curl

Staggered deadlifts help you build arm strength while still engaging your lower body. 

First, stand with your back straight and your feet shoulder-distance apart. Your arms should be down at your sides. 

Put one foot out in front of you (about 1-foot away). 

Slightly bend your back leg at the knee, then bend at the waist. Keep your back straight as you lower your arms to the floor. 

Then, hinge at the waist to lift your torso back up while curling your biceps up to your shoulders. 

Step the back leg up 1-foot in front of you, and repeat on the other side. Repeat 10 times.

  • Note: Engage your abs and keep your back straight when you lower your arms to the floor. This will reduce strain on your lower back. 
  • Modification: Hold an object in each hand, or curl your hands into loose fists. 

Lateral Lunge to Upright Row

Start standing with your feet hip-width apart. 

Hold a dumbbell in your left hand. Bend your knees slightly and push your butt back. Step your right foot out, bend your right knee, and slowly lean over your right knee. Straighten your left knee to your comfort level, while keeping your left toes pointed forward. As you do this, the dumbbell in your left hand will lower parallel to your right foot. 

Start to lift yourself up and straighten your legs while keeping your knees slightly bent. Center your weight over your hips, and slowly lift the dumbbell in your left hand up to your ribcage. 

Lower that arm back down, pass the dumbbell to your right hand and repeat on the other side.

  • Notes: Don’t force yourself to get super low in the lateral lunge, especially if it hurts your back or knee. Don’t be a hero! If the upright row hurts your shoulder, you should skip that part. 
  • Modification: Use a water bottle, or keep your fingers extended if you don’t have a weight. 

Tricep Extension to Hip Thrust

This one is a great little break because you get to sit down! 

Sit down with your legs tucked under you and your back straightened. Hold one dumbbell in both your hands and slowly lift it above and behind your head. At this point, your elbows should be bent at a 90-degree angle with your hands behind you. You’re going to really feel this one in your triceps! Now, engage your abs and lift the dumbbell straight above your head. Slowly lower it back down behind you, and repeat 10 times. 

  • Notes: This one can be hard on your hips and knees! If sitting on your knees is uncomfy, sit in a cross-legged position, in a chair, or even stand! You can also put a soft blanket or yoga mat underneath you to relieve pressure.
  • Modification: I recommend using something that you can get a good grip on because the last thing you want is to drop something on your head. If you don’t have a weight, put your hands together in a prayer position (like anjali mudra in yoga) and engage your palms to create resistance. 

Renegade Rows to Pushup

This is one of the more challenging exercises I do, but it’s soooo rewarding! Hold your dumbbells underneath your shoulders and get into a plank position with your toes curled beneath you. 

Your arms should be close to your sides with your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Press against the floor to extend your arms. Then, use your left arm to balance as you pull your right arm back. Slowly extend it back to the floor, lower your elbows, and repeat on the other side. Do this 10 times. 

  • Notes: Keeping your back straight and supported is key. Tighten your abs to support your spine and tuck your tailbone to keep your back flat. Allowing your hips and belly to dip down can strain your lower back. You can also modify this by putting your knees on the ground, like in a modified pushup. 
  • Modification: I recommend using a real dumbbell for this since it’s literally supporting your whole body. If not, do a traditional push up while keeping your fingers extended and grounded to support your wrists. 

Repeat this circuit 2 to 3 times, and take breaks as needed. Remember to hydrate, too! 

If you’re more of a visual learner, hop on over to my Instagram to see short videos of each exercise.

The bottom line is, you don’t need fancy equipment or a home gym in order to have a satisfying workout. I hope these exercises will help you build strength and confidence.

If you liked these workouts, check out my HIIT 30 program and get started today! 

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Writer, speaker, and creator on a mission is to normalize normal bodies and help women like you feel at home in your own skin.

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