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 had spent a fair bit of time in gyms in my teens and twenties but I turned away from the gym to focus on activities that I enjoyed more. What keeps me at JKC is that I do really enjoy it. I always feel that I’ve accomplished something when I leave at the end of my workout. The environment is really positive and focused on challenging yourself whatever your level of comfort and fitness. I’ve also seen results that I’m really happy with; having someone who really knows what they’re talking about to guide your workouts makes them way more effective and focused than just “going to the gym”.

Shortly after I started at JKC, I sustained a fairly major injury that took me off my feet for several months. When I started to get back to activity, it was very difficult. Jon and Thomas worked hard to tailor my workouts to my goals and what I could do. With their help, I’ve been steadily building back strength and function.

I originally chose JKC to help me rehab following back surgery. JKC was the first gym where a trainer took the time to help me identify my goals and tailor my workouts to achieve them in a safe and doable manner. 🏋🏼 Jon & Thomas are both highly professional and knowledgeable. 👨🏼‍🎓 With their guidance and informative explanations 🗣 they have enabled me to reach my ever evolving goals. At JKC I’m guaranteed fun 😆, interesting 🙃 and diverse workouts, with Jon & Thomas forever supportive and encouraging. 👏🙌👍👊

I recently visited Newfoundland for one month, and was looking for a good place to train while I was there. Jon and the team at JK conditioning really took the time to assess what I already knew, and set achievable goals for the time that I had with them. The gym was such a great place to push yourself. It had everything you needed, but more importantly it had a well organized, very knowledgeable, and really motivating group of trainers to push you at each workout. Not to mention a really nice group of other members who also motivated me to go that little bit further. I would highly recommend the gym to anyone who has a goal and wants to find a place to help them achieve it.

JKC was recommended by a previous trainer who followed Jon online. He thought Jon’s approach to training was excellent. JKC employs well educated trainers who are very particular about technique and form. I have never injured myself because the trainers know what they are doing. They can always answer any questions I ask about my training. As well the trainers are friendly contributing to a relaxed and friendly atmosphere at the gym.

trap bar deadlift

A few of my wonderful friends and colleagues recommended JKC. I was told by one colleague that “It’ll be the best thing you ever do for yourself” and she was right! To be honest, I didn’t have much experience in any gym setting. And NO prior weight training experience. It was always so overwhelming! But from the first day, nothing was intimidating about JKC. Each workout is set up just for me, and with my specific skills and goals in mind. There are no stupid questions, you learn as you go, and what I really love, I always feel included and important, regardless of my skills/experience.

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