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 joined JKC because I wanted to better care for my physical health, but didn’t really know how, or where, to begin.  Seeking help from a trainer seemed like a wise choice, and I had heard great things about the staff at JKC. Anyone who knows me knows that I hate exercising.  So, I’ve only ever tried sticking with a gym routine twice in my life.  Each experience consisted of me wandering around, not knowing what to do, and settling for an elliptical machine or something else that seemed comfortable and non-threatening.  Each session was the same, and I felt like I was wasting my time.

Each session at JKC, however, is specifically crafted for me.  I don’t have to think about what to do, because I’m told what to do.  I don’t have to worry about how to do things properly, because I’m shown (sometimes multiple times!) how to accomplish each task.  I don’t have to be concerned about slipping into a comfortable routine, because Jon and Thomas won’t let that happen.

I am 62 years young and I started training with Jon in 2013. I originally came to join JKC as a recommendation from other family members that were onboard with Jon. Their enthusiasm for the gym experience was quite evident.  I was not to be outdone, so I decided to join as well. JKC, in my mind, certainly stands out from the crowd. I feel it’s a combination of the skill and passion the coaches have for their job and their clients. Each client is treated with the upmost respect and given time to explore their fitness journey without any pressure. JKC is certainly not a cookie cutter gym.The coaches customize your fitness program to suit your needs and your fitness level. This certainly makes sense because no two clients are alike.  This is where JKC excels! Jon, Thomas, and Craig keep the atmosphere at the gym light, but productive. A great combination that obviously works and makes the clients want to come back. Lastly, the camaraderie at the gym is everything. Meeting likeminded people who make you feel you are not alone in your fitness journey is everything.

I had been struggling with work-life balance resulting in not exercising or playing hockey as much as I had been doing in the past. In addition to being out of shape, I was starting to experience some back/shoulder issues and realized I needed to make some changes. Around this time, a friend (who was also a client) recommended JKC and that’s when I started!

You really feel part of a community where everyone is welcoming and supportive. You get a program that is designed specifically to achieve your goals, with the ongoing coaching, progress tracking and support required to achieve them. The JKC team are very knowledgeable about fitness and conditioning, and very engaging with everyone to answer questions or discuss anything and everything training related. I also like the flexible scheduling and gym times that work for my schedule (I like early mornings and evenings).

I started at JKC in January of 2014 and I’m 67 years old. When I had my Initial Assessment, I knew – almost immediately – that Jon knew what he was doing and what he was talking about. I was overweight, out of shape, and in serious need of someone, like Jon, who could get me back on a fitness/conditioning routine that suited me, my age, my less than acceptable physical condition, my sometimes intermittent RA, and my need for a structured, consistent and yet flexible training and conditioning program that would work for me.

Fundamentally, if I made a choice at all with respect to JKC – it was to continue to come back each week. I have not been in a lot of gyms. To be honest, they used to intimidate me. What makes JKC different is their approach to each and every one of their clients. Jon and Thomas – and now Craig – tailor each training regime to the particular needs of each client. That ensures that the training regime will suit each client upon the start of training and changes as the client improves. It adjusts for any physical setbacks such as injuries and it adjusts for success. It is just that simple.

It is also the consistent encouragement that comes from Jon, Thomas and Craig. That voice that comes to you while you are in the middle of a particularly difficult set – rear-foot elevated split squats comes to mind immediately – that says “good job” or “keep it up” or “just a couple more reps.” To know, in that moment, that you are not alone and the trainer is paying attention to what you are doing. That is priceless for me.

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