By Thomas King, MSc, CSCS, CEP

It’s only Day 2 off work from the COVID-19 related measures and I’m already starting to go a bit stir-crazy. Food is flying off supermarket shelves and your children may be driving you nuts at this point. If you would like a 30-minute distraction from the chaos that has become everyday life this last week, give the following workout a try.

To minimize the amount of equipment you’ll need, it will be a five-exercise “complex” workout. This means you do all five exercises with the same two dumbbells without putting them down. For the workout, try starting with 8 reps per exercise. Do 8 reps per exercise and transition to the next one. When you get to the end, rest about 2 minutes and repeat again for 3 to 5 rounds.

For added benefit, add our “5 At-Home Stretches for Total Body Flexibility” in your warm prior to doing this workout.

1. Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

  1. Hold one dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Stand tall and soften the knees.
  3. Push the hips directly backwards while reaching towards the floor with your hands stopping just below the knee.
  4. Contract the hamstrings to pull yourself back up while squeezing the glutes hard. Repeat for 8 repetitions.
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift Start Position
Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift Stretched Position

2. Dumbbell Bent Over Row

  1. Stand tall, soften the knees and bend down to a position similar to the bottom of your Romanian deadlift.
  2. Hold this position and row the weights up until you feel a good squeeze in the shoulder blades. Be mindful that you are not shrugging your shoulders while doing this.
  3. Lower the weights to the starting position and repeat for 8 repetitions.
Dumbbell Bent Over Row Start Position
Dumbbell Bent Over Row Contracted Position

3. Dumbbell Squat to Press

  1. Hold the dumbbells in the front rack position.
  2. Squat down to your full squat depth.
  3. Explode upwards pushing the weights overhead as you do.
  4. Seamlessly begin the next rep. Repeat for 8 repetitions.
Dumbbell Squat to Press Starting Position
Dumbbell Squat to Press Bottom Position
Dumbbell Squat to Press Top Position

4. Dumbbell Push-Up

  1. Place the dumbbells on the floor about 1.5 times shoulder width apart.
  2. Perform full range push-ups touching your chest to the floor each time.
  3. Repeat for 8 repetitions.
Dumbbell Push-Up Starting Position
Dumbbell Push-Up Bottom Position

5. Dumbbell Plank Row

  1. Place dumbbells about two inches apart.
  2. Assume a push-up position on the dumbbells with your hands narrow and your feet about 2 times hip width wide.
  3. Row one dumbbell up, return to the ground and row the other one up. Ensure your hips do not rotate while doing this to properly engage the core.
  4. Repeat for 8 repetitions per arm.
Dumbbell Plank Row Starting Position
Dumbbell Plank Row Contracted Position

There you have it. Complex workouts are a great way to squeeze a high quality workout into a short amount of time. If your dumbbells are heavier, try for 4-6 reps/exercise. If they are lighter, aim for 10-12 reps/exercise.

Only have a resistance band? Check out our “One Band Full Body At-Home Workout

~Thomas 🏋️‍♀️

Do you have weights at home, but not sure what to do? We offer Online Strength Coaching. Receive a custom workout based on what equipment you have, your goals, needs, and current ability. Only 1-week commitment required.

St. John's Fitness Coach

Find out more HERE.

I saw an article in Men’s Journal that quoted Jon in about 2018 while traveling and was impressed that someone in St. John’s made that international magazine.  Jon spoke about an exercise called the Farmer’s Walk and I started working that into my routine at the YMCA. I tore that article out of the magazine and kept it, meaning to make contact, but got busy. Then I had lunch with an old friend Bruce Dyke. I hadn’t seen Bruce for a while and I remarked that he looked super healthy and fit. He told me about his, and his son Cas’, experience at JKC and then I remembered the Men’s Journal article! No coincidences!

The experience is unique on many levels – great people, camaraderie, passion, purpose, and dedication. Jon and Thomas are attentive, precise and understanding.  Their teaching has unlocked a new perspective for me with what our bodies are capable of. I still appreciate the YMCA, wonderful place, but I can’t imagine working out without Jon and Thomas now.

I’ve always struggled with both my weight and anxiety throughout my life. As a writer you live a pretty sedentary lifestyle filled with both realistic and unrealistic deadlines, so I needed something to get me off my butt and to get me moving. JK has been a godsend during this past year and a half in particular. The pandemic has been tough, but workouts with both Thomas and Jon have really helped reduce the stress and strain of a global pandemic, and added an anchor of normalcy back into my life — which has been worth its weight in gold.

JKC has created an incredibly inclusive environment that’s filled with all kinds of supportive folks from all kinds of different backgrounds. For folks like myself, being surrounded by people with such athletic ability can be intimidating in most gyms. It can actually be a deterrent, and it sometimes has been for me. But, at JKC it’s far from that — it’s inspirational. Everyone supports one another. Which is something that’s not easily found in this day and age, inside of a gym or out. Not to sound like a total cheeseball here, but it really feels like a family.

I started training at JKC in 2016 because I’ve always had upper back issues that became aggravated through work. I sought out other training and physio, but experienced little to no results. A client of mine happened to be coming to JKC for a similar issue and highly recommended it. I have had great success and haven’t looked back! I always feel like I’m getting programs tailored to my needs and I’m never bored. I’m 30 weeks pregnant now with my second child and have been able to workout through both pregnancies here at JKC. Even on my least mobile days, I felt safe to workout because my programs were specifically modified for my needs.

A few years ago, I pinched a nerve in my neck which led me to be stationary as any form of movement would cause extreme pain. During this time, my fiancé (Sean) started at JKC and loved it!! Once I overcame the nerve issue, Sean spent a long time trying to convince me that JKC is exactly what I needed to safely start working out again (I’m slightly stubborn and was super scared of re-pinching the nerve). Long story short, Sean was right… as much as I hate to admit it!

I never had luck at gyms, if it started to hurt I would call it a day. At JKC that is not an option, as Jon & Thomas will push you to finish the workout, whether you want to or not! Working out in a group setting is also a big benefit of working out at JKC, if you’re not feeling motivated you can simply feed off of someone else’s energetic vibes.

Not having much if any experience with professional gyms I though it would be along the lines of going to a facility and doing your own thing, getting some instructions from time to time, if you asked for it, and for most part working out on your own, in a large impersonalized setting. I was a bit apprehensive as I figured I’d be standing around a lot looking at all this equipment wondering what to do with it, or worst doing something to hurt myself. Well I couldn’t have been more wrong. Both Jon and Thomas are very attentive, professional trainers, who lay-out an exercise program, from start to finish, for you. They demonstrate the exercise they want you to do and then watch you do it to make sure you got it right. Jon and Thomas are very thorough, patience and non-assuming.

As Seen On: