10 Home Workouts You Can Do With Single Dumbbell Or Kettlebell

Single Dumbbell Or Kettlebell Workouts

Training at home can be challenging, especially if you don’t have a well-equipped home gym setup. But the good news is that, with nothing more than a single dumbbell or kettlebell, you have everything you need to exercise virtually every muscle in your body. Combine those kettlebell/dumbbell moves with some simple bodyweight exercises, and you can have a very effective workout without leaving your home.

Now, don’t get us wrong – this is hardly the ideal training situation. But any workout is better than no workout, and training with a single dumbbell or kettlebell will help preserve the gains you have worked so hard to achieve in the gym.

Training with a single weight also has a few advantages and benefits. For a start, you’ll have to engage your core more than you would for two kettlebells or dumbbells to maintain an upright torso. Transitions between exercises should also be faster. Using just one weight will also identify and allow you to fix left-to-right strength imbalances. So, you see, using a single weight to train with is not actually a bad thing.

Of course, having access to just one dumbbell or kettlebell means you’ll have to use the same weight for all your exercises, and some exercises will be harder than others. Address this problem by doing more reps of the exercises you find easier and less of those that are more difficult.

Here are 10 home workouts that use nothing but a single dumbbell or kettlebell and some bodyweight exercises. Warm up for a few minutes before you start by doing some jump rope, dynamic mobility work and stretching. We also recommend you perform an easy set of two of the exercises in the workout you are about to do. Then, when you feel warm and ready, it’s time to get to work!

Note: you can use a single dumbbell or kettlebell for all the following workouts. You may need to modify your technique a little depending on which you use, but the performance of each exercise will be mostly the same.

1 – Lower body endurance circuit

This fast-paced workout will drive your heart and breathing rate sky-high and will condition all of your lower body muscles too. It’s also an excellent fat burner.

Do five rounds of the following exercises, each for 30 seconds. Rest 60-90 seconds on completion and then repeat.

  1. Single-arm swings – left arm
  2. Single-arm swings – right arm
  3. Goblet squats
  4. Single leg Romanian deadlifts – left leg
  5. Single leg Romanian deadlifts – right leg
  6. Squat jumps

Exercise descriptions:

1 & 2 – Single arm swings

Swings work your posterior chain, the collective term for your glutes, hamstrings, and back muscles. It’s also a good exercise for your core and upper back, as these muscles will have to work hard to stabilize your shoulders and spine.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your kettlebell/dumbbell in your hand.
  2. Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward from your hips. Without rounding your back, lower the weight between your knees.
  3. Keeping your arm straight, drive your hips forward and stand up, swinging the weight out and up to shoulder height as you do so.
  4. Swing the kettlebell/dumbbell back down and repeat.

3 – Goblet squats

This exercise mainly works your quads, but you may also feel it in your glutes and hamstrings, especially having just done swings.

  1. Hold your weight in front of your chest, just beneath your chin. Tuck your upper arms into your sides for stability. Step out and into a shoulder-width stance, toes turned slightly out.
  2. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Do not round your lower back.
  3. Stand back up and repeat.

4 & 5 – Single-leg Romanian deadlifts

Single-leg Romanian deadlifts work your posterior chain and are also useful for improving your balance and mobility.

  1. Stand with your feet together and your kettlebell/dumbbell held in front of your hips. Shift your weight over onto your left foot. Bend your supporting knee slightly for balance, but then keep it rigid.
  2. Hinge forward from your hips and lower the weight down the front of your leg toward the floor. Do not round your lower back. Extend your right leg out behind you for balance.
  3. Stand back up and repeat.
  4. You can also do this exercise holding your kettlebell/dumbbell in one hand rather than two.

6 – Squat jumps

Finish your circuit on a high with this lower body power exercise. You can do squat jumps with just your bodyweight or, if you want a tougher workout, with your kettlebell/dumbbell held in the goblet position described in exercise #3.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned slightly outward.
  2. Bend your knees and squat down until your thighs are about parallel to the floor.
  3. Extend your legs powerfully and jump up into the air as high as you can.
  4. Land on slightly bent knees and then descend into another rep. Try to minimize ground contact time by imagining the floor is hot. If you aren’t using a kettlebell/dumbbell, swing your arms for extra momentum.

2 – Upper body push and pull workout

This workout is the perfect accompaniment to workout #1. Use these workouts on alternating days or, if you are feeling energetic, do both workouts back-to-back to create a full-body training session.

Do five rounds of the following exercises, each for 30 seconds. Rest 60-90 seconds on completion and then repeat.

  1. Single-arm floor press – left arm
  2. Single-arm floor press – right arm
  3. Single-arm bent-over row – left arm
  4. Single-arm bent-over row – right arm
  5. Shoulder to shoulder press
  6. Pullovers
  7. Halos

Exercise descriptions:

1 & 2 – Single-arm floor press

You don’t need a bench to work your chest at home. Floor presses are a similarly effective exercise and are actually easier on your shoulders.

  1. Lie on the floor with your legs bent and feet flat. Lift and hold your kettlebell/dumbbell at arm’s length over your chest.
  2. Bend your arm and lower your weight until your upper arm lightly touches the floor. Keep your abs braced and your shoulders and hips level.
  3. Push the kettlebell/dumbbell back up and repeat.

3 & 4 – Single-arm bent-over row

Working your lats, mid-traps, rhomboids, posterior deltoids, biceps, and core, this exercise is good for your posture as well as your muscular development.

  1. Hold your kettlebell/dumbbell in one hand and stand with your feet about hip-width apart. Bend your knees slightly for balance.
  2. Hinge forward from your hips until your torso is inclined to about 75-90 degrees. Do not round your lower back.
  3. Bend your arm and pull the weight up and into your ribs. Keep your elbow close to your side. Extend your arm and repeat. Keep your hips and shoulders square throughout – no twisting allowed!

5 – Shoulder to shoulder press

Also known as a surfboard press, this exercise is a good shoulder developer that allows you to work both sides of your body with just one weight.

  1. Lift your kettlebell/dumbbell up and hold it in one hand in both hands in front of your left shoulder. One hand should be at the bottom of the weight, and the other should be on top.
  2. Press the weight overhead and then lower it down to the opposite shoulder. The kettlebell/dumbbell should travel in an arc over your head.
  3. Press the weight back up and over to return to the side from which you started. Keep going for the prescribed duration.

6 – Pullovers

Strictly speaking, pullovers are an isolation exercise because they only involve movement at one joint – the shoulders. However, this exercise uses lots of upper body muscles at the same time, including the pecs, lats, deltoids, and triceps.

  1. Lie on the floor with your legs bent and feet flat. Hold your kettlebell/dumbbell in both hands over your chest. Bend your elbows slightly, but then keep them rigid for the duration of your set.
  2. Extend your arms overhead and lower the weight down to the floor behind you.
  3. Pull the weight back up and over your chest and then repeat.

7 – Halos

This exercise works your shoulders and arms. In addition to being a great muscle builder, it’s also an effective shoulder and upper back mobility exercise.

  1. Hold your dumbbell/kettlebell in front of your chest – the goblet position.
  2. Circle the weight carefully around your head in a clockwise direction.
  3. On reaching the start position, reverse direction, and circle around counterclockwise.
  4. Continue alternating directions for the prescribed duration.

3 – The Burpee and swing reverse pyramid

Looking for a workout that takes minutes and not hours but will still boost your fitness and help you burn fat? This one-weight workout might be short, but you’ll definitely feel it working. It’s a race against the clock so power through the following sequence as fast as you can.

  • 10 burpees
  • 10 two-handed swings
  • 9 burpees
  • 9 two-handed swings
  • 8 burpees
  • 8 two-handed swings
  • 7 burpees
  • 7 two-handed swings
  • 6 burpees
  • 6 two-handed swings
  • 5 burpees
  • 5 two-handed swings
  • 4 burpees
  • 4 two-handed swings
  • 3 burpees
  • 3 two-handed swings
  • 2 burpees
  • 2 two-handed swings
  • 1 burpee
  • 1 two-handed swing

Exercise descriptions:

1 – Burpees

This bodyweight conditioning exercise works virtually every major muscle in your body. It involves a lot of coordination, and you need a strong core to do it. Only do full burpees if you are up to the challenge! Less fit exercisers should do the easier alternative, described below.

Burpees
  1. Stand with your feet together, hands by your sides.
  2. Squat down and place your hands on the floor outside your feet.
  3. Jump your feet out and back into the push-up position.
  4. Do one push-up.
  5. Jump your feet back into your hands.
  6. Leap up and into the air as high as you can.
  7. Land on slightly bent knees and repeat.

Make this exercise easier by omitting the leap into the air and/or the push-up.

2 – Two-handed swing

Like the single-arm version back in workout #1, the two-handed swing works your posterior chain and core. It’ll also keep your heart rate high.

  1. Hold your kettlebell/dumbbell in both hands in front of your hips. Bend your knees slightly.
  2. Hinge forward from your hips and lower the weight down between your knees.
  3. Drive your hips forward and swing the weight forward and up to shoulder-height.
  4. Swing your kettlebell/dumbbell back down and repeat. Do not allow your back to round, and keep your shoulders pulled down and back throughout.

4 – EMOM single-arm kettlebell/dumbbell snatches

EMOM stands for Every Minute, On the Minute. For this workout, you are going to do ten reps of single-arm kettlebell/dumbbell snatches at the top of each minute, alternating arms set by set. In other words:

  • 1st minute – 10 single-arm kettlebell/dumbbell snatches (left arm)
  • 2nd minute – 10 single-arm kettlebell/dumbbell snatches (right arm)
  • 3rd minute – 10 single-arm kettlebell/dumbbell snatches (left arm)
  • 4th minute – 10 single-arm kettlebell/dumbbell snatches (right arm) etc.

Do ten sets per arm to total 20 minutes.

Exercise descriptions:

1 – Kettlebell/dumbbell snatches

  1. Place your weight on the floor between your feet. Squat down and hold it with your left hand. Your palm should be facing your feet.
  2. Drop your hips, straighten your arm, lift your chest, and brace your core. Make sure your lower back is not rounded.
  3. Stand up quickly and pull the weight powerfully up the front of your body. Dip your knees slightly to catch the weight at arms’ length above your head. If you are using a kettlebell, allow it to flip over your hand and come to rest against your forearm. The weight should travel from the floor to overhead in one movement.
  4. Lower the weight back to the floor and repeat.

5 – Full-body workout with bodyweight and one kettlebell/dumbbell

This workout, as advertised, works your entire body using a combination of bodyweight and single weight exercises. If you only have time to exercise two or three times per week, this is the workout for you.

Do three sets of 12-15 reps of each exercise, resting 30-60 seconds between each one. Alternatively, you can do this work out as a circuit, doing three laps, and resting 1-2 minutes between each one.

  1. Goblet reverse lunges
  2. Pull-ups
  3. Decline push-ups
  4. Alternating lateral lunges
  5. Body rows
  6. Single-arm push-press (left)
  7. Single-arm push press (right)
  8. Goblet kick-stand sumo squats
  9. Saxon side bends
  10. Planks (hold for 30-60 seconds)

Exercise descriptions:

1 – Goblet reverse lunges

Working one leg at a time, reverse lunges are an excellent way to strengthen your quads, glutes, and hamstrings but tend to put less stress on your knees than forward lunges.

  1. Hold your weight in front of your chest, just below your chin. Tuck your elbows into your sides. Stand with your feet together.
  2. Step back with one leg and lower your rearmost knee to within an inch of the floor. Keep your torso upright.
  3. Step forward and return to the starting position, and then do another rep but leading with your other leg.
  4. Continue alternating legs for the duration of your set.

2 – Pull-ups

Pull-ups are arguably the best bodyweight back and biceps exercise around. Use a doorway pull-up bar or, if you don’t have one, a strong roof joist or even a tree branch. You can also do pull-ups using nothing more than a sturdy door.

Tip: Place something solid under your door to prevent causing damage to the hinges. Some doors are built more durable than others.

  1. Grip your bar with an overhand, shoulder-width grip. Hang with your arms straight, and shoulders pulled down and back. Bend your legs, so your feet are clear of the floor.
  2. Without kicking or jerking, bend your arms and pull your chin up and over the bar.
  3. Smoothly extend your arms and return to the starting position.
  4. Can’t do the required number of reps? No problem – just do as many as you can.

3 – Decline push-ups

Decline push-ups place more of the weight on your arms than regular push-ups, making them more challenging. Feel free to put your feet on the floor, rest on your knees, or even raise your hands to make this exercise more manageable.

Decline Push Ups
  1. Stand with your back to a knee-high chair, step, box, or bench.
  2. Bend down and place your hands on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Put your feet on the elevated surface behind you. Your shoulders, hips, and feet should form a straight line. Pull your shoulders down and back to stabilize your upper body.
  3. Bend your arms and lower your chest down to an inch or so above the floor. Do not let your hips sag and don’t jut your head forward.
  4. Push yourself back up and repeat.

4 – Alternating lateral lunges

This lunge variation works all of your lower body muscles but with an extra emphasis on your hip abductors and adductors, which are located on your inner and outer thighs, respectively.

  1. Hold your kettlebell/dumbbell in front of your chest and below your chin. Stand with your feet together.
  2. Take a large step out to the left, bend your left knee, and lunge out to the side. Keep your right leg straight.
  3. Push off your left leg to return to the starting position.
  4. Do your next rep to the right side.
  5. Alternate sides for the duration of your set.

5 – Body rows

Coming a close second to pull-ups, this is another excellent upper back and biceps exercise. You can do it using a TRX or gymnastic rings, but, at home, you can also do this exercise using nothing more than a dining table.

  1. Lie beneath a sturdy table, legs straight. Reach up and grab the edge of the table with a shoulder-width, overhand grip. Lie back with your arms straight. Lift your butt off the floor.
  2. Keeping your body straight, bend your arms and pull your chest up to the underside of the table.
  3. Extend your arms and repeat.

6 & 7 – Single-arm push-press

While the push-press is primarily a shoulder exercise, your legs and core also get a good workout. This exercise will increase total body explosive power.

  1. Hold your dumbbell/kettlebell in front of your left shoulder. Tuck your forearm into your ribs. Brace your core and step out and into a shoulder-width stance.
  2. Bend your knees and descend into a quarter-depth squat.
  3. Stand up powerfully and use this momentum to help you push the weight up and overhead to arms’ length.
  4. Lower the weight back to your shoulder and repeat.

8 – Goblet kick-stand sumo squats

This exercise works your inner and outer thighs, as well as your quads, glutes, and hamstrings. It also increases the load on one leg at a time, making it a little more challenging than regular squats.

  1. Hold your kettlebell/dumbbell in front of your chest and below your chin. Stand with your feet about 1½ shoulder-widths apart, toes turned slightly outward.
  2. Raise your left heel off the floor, bend your knees, and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  3. Stand back up, lower your left heel, raise your right heel, and repeat.
  4. Continue alternating sides for the duration of your set.

9 – Saxon side bends

This killer core exercise is named after Arthur Saxon, a golden-era strongman who was one of the most famous strength performers of his time.

  1. Press and hold your dumbbell/kettlebell over your head to arms’ length. Stand with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart.
  2. Without twisting your shoulders or your hips, lean over to the left and then to the right. Move as far as your flexibility allows.

10 – Planks

Your final exercise is a core training classic that emphasizes your rectus abdominus, which is the muscle on the front of your abdomen.

  1. Lie on your front with your arms bent so that your forearms are supporting your body weight.
  2. Lift your hips off the floor and straighten your legs. Brace your abs as hard as you can without holding your breath.
  3. Maintain this position for the prescribed duration.

6 – 5/10/15/20 rep full-body circuit

This workout requires nothing more than a pull-up bar, a kettlebell or dumbbell, and a jump rope – and the jump rope is optional. Over and done in 25 minutes, it works virtually every muscle in your body in just a few square yards of space

Starting your stopwatch, do the following four exercise sequence and then jump rope until the next 2½ minute point. Jumping rope is your active recovery between laps.

  1. 5 pull-ups
  2. 10 push-ups
  3. 15 thrusters
  4. 20 reverse crunches

So, if you complete the four exercises in 1½ minutes, you jump rope for the remaining 60 seconds until the next 2½ minute point arrives.  

Exercise descriptions:

1 – pull-ups

Build your back and arms with this no-frills, tried and tested bodyweight exercise.

  1. Grip your bar with an overhand, shoulder-width grip. Hang with your arms straight, and shoulders pulled down and back. Bend your legs, so your feet are clear of the floor.
  2. Without kicking or jerking, bend your arms and pull your chin up and over the bar.
  3. Smoothly extend your arms and return to the starting position.

2 – push-ups  

Good for your pecs, triceps, and core, a workout is not a workout without at least a few sets of push-ups.

  1. Squat down and place your hands flat on the floor, fingers pointing forward, and roughly shoulder-width apart. Walk your feet back, so your shoulders, hips, and feet form a straight line. Brace your abs and pull your shoulders back and down.
  2. Bend your arms and lower your chest to within an inch of the floor. Push yourself back up and repeat.
  3. Bend your legs and rest your knees on the floor to make this exercise easier.

3 – Thrusters

This challenging exercise works your lower body and upper body at the same time. Not only is it a full-body strengthener, but it’ll also drive your heart and breathing rate through the roof.

  1. Hold your kettlebell/dumbbell in front of your chest, just below your chin. Tuck your elbows into your sides. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned slightly outward.
  2. Squat down until your thighs are about parallel to the floor. Do not allow your lower back to round.
  3. Stand up quickly and use this momentum to help you push the weight up and overhead to arms’ length.
  4. Lower it back down to your chest and then descend into another squat.

4 – 20 reverse crunches

Using a kettlebell or dumbbell to stabilize your upper body makes this exercise much more effective than regular reverse crunches.

  1. Place your dumbbell/kettlebell on the floor and then lie down, so it’s just behind your head. Grab it with both hands.
  2. Bend your legs, so your knees and hips are bent to around 90-degrees.
  3. Use your abdominals to lift your lower back and butt off the floor, rolling your knees toward your shoulders.
  4. Return to the starting position and repeat.

5 – Jump rope

This classic cardio exercise is your active recovery. Jump rope until the next 2½ minute mark and then repeat the circuit from the beginning.  

  1. Stand with an end of your rope in each hand, and the central part of the rope on the floor behind you.
  2. Flick your wrists, so the rope comes up and over your head. Jump the rope as it approaches your feet.
  3. Keep the rope spinning and continue jumping. Stay low to the ground – the rope is only a fraction of an inch thick, and there is no need to jump too high.
  4. Can’t jump rope? Jog on the spot or do jumping jacks instead.

7 – The leg chipper

A chipper is a workout made up of a large number of repetitions that you then chip away at until you have completed them all before moving on to the next exercise. Do 100 reps of each of the following lower body bodyweight and dumbbell/kettlebell exercises. You can only move onto the next exercise when you’ve done all 100 reps of the previous one.

  1. Kettlebell sumo deadlifts
  2. Goblet step-ups – 50 per leg
  3. 180-degree squat jumps
  4. Step-through lunges – 50 per leg
  5. Power jacks

Exercise descriptions:

1 – Sumo deadlifts

Sumo deadlifts work your entire lower body with an emphasis on your inner and outer thighs.

  1. Place your dumbbell/kettlebell on the floor between your feet. Step out, so your feet are about 1½ shoulder-widths apart, and toes turned slightly outward.
  2. Squat down and grip your weight. Straighten your arms, drop your hips, lift your chest, and brace your core.
  3. Without bending your arms or rounding your lower back, drive your feet into the floor and stand up straight. Do not lean back as doing so increases the stress on your lower back.
  4. Push your hips to the rear, bend your knees, and lower the weight back to the floor. Let it settle and then repeat. Do not bounce the weight off the floor.

2 – Goblet step-ups

Step-ups are a good quad, glute, and hamstring exercise that will also elevate your heart and breathing rate. Doing them with a kettlebell or dumbbell in the goblet position will increase core activation as well as the load on your legs.

  1. Hold your kettlebell/dumbbell in front of your chest, just below your chin. Tuck your elbows into your sides. Stand in front of a knee-high step with your feet together.
  2. Step up and down leading with your left leg. Upon completing 50 reps, swap legs and do the rest of your reps leading with your right leg.
  3. Keep your torso upright, and your core braced throughout.

3 – 180-degree squat jumps

Regular squat jumps are a fun, challenging exercise. Adding a 180-degree mid-air turn makes them even more demanding and will improve your agility and athleticism too.

  1. Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  2. Jump up and into the air, turning through 180-degrees, so you land facing the opposite direction. Drop into another rep, turning back the other way.
  3. Feel free to skip the mid-air turn if it makes you feel dizzy.

4 – Step-through lunges

This exercise combines reverse and forward lunges to really challenge your legs and lungs. It’s a bodyweight-only move, but if you are looking for a tougher workout, you can also do this exercise with a dumbbell or kettlebell in the goblet position.

  1. Stand with your feet together, arms by your sides.
  2. Step back and into a reverse lunge, bending your back leg and lowering your knee to when an inch of the floor.
  3. Without pausing, step out and into a forward lunge.
  4. Continue lunging back and forth until you have completed all 50 reps. On completion, repeat but leading with the opposite leg.

5 – Power jacks

Your final exercise is the easiest of the five, but that’s no bad thing given everything you’ve done to get to this point. It’s a low-intensity power exercise that is popular in group exercise classes.

  1. Stand with your feet together, arms by your sides.
  2. Jump your feet out to around shoulder-width apart and drop into a squat.
  3. Stand up and jump your feet back together.
  4. That’s one rep – keep going!

8 – Odd and even EMOM goblet squats and push-ups

Between them, these two exercises work almost every muscle in your body. For this workout, you are going to alternate between goblet squats and push-ups, doing a set of 20 reps at the top of every minute, i.e.,

  • 1st minute – 20 goblet squats
  • 2nd minute – 20 push-ups
  • 3rd minute – 20 goblet squats
  • 4th minute – 20 push-ups, etc.

Do ten sets of each exercise to total 20 minutes. Feel free to do 15 or even 10 reps of each exercise if 20 is too challenging.

Exercise descriptions:

1 – Goblet Squats

One-weight exercises don’t come much better than goblet squats. They are not just a good leg exercise but they are also good for your posture and core, and can help improve your general squatting technique too.

  1. Hold your weight in front of your chest, just beneath your chin. Tuck your upper arms into your sides for stability. Step out and into a shoulder-width stance, toes turned slightly out.
  2. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Do not round your lower back.
  3. Stand back up and repeat.

2 – Push-ups

Push-ups are probably the most widely performed exercise on the planet. Used by everyone from elite athletes to special forces soldiers to kids in physical education classes, it’s a fantastic exercise for your chest, triceps, and shoulders.

  1. Squat down and place your hands flat on the floor, fingers pointing forward, and roughly shoulder-width apart. Walk your feet back, so your shoulders, hips, and feet form a straight line. Brace your abs and pull your shoulders back and down.
  2. Bend your arms and lower your chest to within an inch of the floor. Push yourself back up and repeat.
  3. Bend your legs and rest your knees on the floor to make this exercise easier.

9 – Tabata four-way circuit

Tabatas consist of doing intervals of 20 seconds work, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This workout involves doing eight laps of a four-exercise Tabata circuit, to work your upper body and lower body in 16 minutes flat.

Do each of the following exercises in turn, taking no more than 10 seconds between each one. Keep going until you have completed all eight laps.

  1. Deadlift high pulls
  2. Shoulder to shoulder press
  3. Jumping lunges
  4. Mountain climbers

Exercise descriptions:

1 – Deadlift high pulls

This exercise is a simple power move that works your upper body and your lower body at the same time.

  1. Place your dumbbell/kettlebell on the floor and stand over it with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  2. Squat down and grab the weight with both hands.
  3. Stand up and simultaneously pull the dumbbell/kettlebell up the front of your body to your chin. Your elbows should be above your hands.
  4. Lower the weight to your waist and then bend your legs, returning it to the floor.  

2 – Shoulder to shoulder press

This unusual exercise works both of your shoulders and arms, but you only need one kettlebell or dumbbell to do it. As an added benefit, shifting the weight from one shoulder to the other will also work your core.

  1. Lift your kettlebell/dumbbell up and hold it in one hand in both hands in front of your left shoulder. One hand should be at the bottom of the weight, and the other should be on top.
  2. Press the weight overhead and then lower it down to the opposite shoulder. The kettlebell/dumbbell should travel in an arc over your head.
  3. Press the weight back up and over to the other side. Keep going for the prescribed duration.

3 – Jumping lunges

This explosive exercise works your entire lower body and will also push your fitness to the limit. The higher you jump, the harder this exercise will be.

  1. Step out and into a split stance. Bend your legs and lower your rear knee to within an inch of the floor.
  2. Jump straight up and, while you are in the air, swap legs, so you land with their position reversed.
  3. Descend into another rep and repeat.

4 – Mountain climbers

This intense exercise works your legs and abs and will also increase your heart and breathing rate. Pump your legs as fast as you can, as though you were sprinting up a steep hill.

  1. Adopt the push-up position with your arms and legs straight.
  2. Brace your abs, bend one leg, and pull your knee up and into your chest.
  3. Drive that leg back and pull your other leg into your chest.
  4. Keep pumping your legs for the duration of your set.

10 – AMRAP 20-minute kettlebell and bodyweight quadrathlon

For this workout, do as many laps of the following four-exercise circuit as you can in 20 minutes. Rest when you need to but try to keep moving. The fewer rests you take, the more effective this workout will be!

  1. Plyo push-ups x 10
  2. Side-step swings x 10 (five per side)
  3. Spider curls x 10
  4. Tactical lunges x 10 (five per leg)

Exercise descriptions:

1 – Plyo push-ups

This explosive push-up variation will increase upper body pushing power. Power, which is force generated quickly, is an integral part of almost all sports.

  1. Adopt the push-up position with your arms and legs straight, and your core braced.
  2. Bend your arms and lower your chest to within an inch of the floor.
  3. Extend your arms as fast as you can so that your hands leave the floor.
  4. Land on slightly bent arms and then descend into another rep. Minimize ground contact time by imagining the floor is hot.
  5. You can also do this exercise on your knees to make it easier.

2 – Side-step swings

This two-handed swing variation adds some frontal-plane movement to what is usually a sagittal plane exercise. This makes for a more interesting, more demanding workout that will also increase coordination.

  1. Hold your kettlebell/dumbbell in both hands in front of your hips. Bend your knees slightly.
  2. Hinge forward from your hips and lower the weight down between your knees.
  3. Drive your hips forward and swing the weight forward and up to shoulder-height. Simultaneously step your right foot into your left, so your feet are together.
  4. Swing the weight down and, as you do so, step out with your left foot and into another rep.
  5. Continue side-stepping and swinging until you have done five reps per side.

3 – Spider curls

This two-handed curling exercise will build your biceps and improve your hip mobility and squat performance at the same time.

  1. Hold your kettlebell by the vertical handles or a dumbbell by its ends.
  2. Squat down with your arms straight and between your legs.
  3. Staying in the squat position, and without rounding your lower back, curl your weight up to your chin and then lower it again. Only stand up once you have completed all the prescribed curls.

4 – Tactical lunges

While regular lunges are a great exercise, this variation is more challenging and interesting. It’s unclear why it’s called a tactical lunge, but however it got its name, this exercise is an awesome leg move.

  1. Stand with your legs together, arms by your sides, and a kettlebell or dumbbell in one hand.
  2. Step forward, bend your legs, and lower your rear knee down toward the floor.
  3. Simultaneously pass your weight under your front leg and grab it with the opposite hand.
  4. Push off your front leg and return to the starting position.
  5. Do another rep but leading with the opposite leg.

FAQs

Do you have any bodyweight or single kettlebell/dumbbell training questions? We’ve got answers! If you can’t find the information you are looking for below, drop us a line in the comments section, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Wrapping up

Having access to nothing more than a single kettlebell or dumbbell might seem like a barrier to effective exercise, but, really, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, such a limited amount of exercise equipment forces you to become very inventive, stimulating your mind as much as your body.

And just think how much easier it will be to design workouts when you return to the gym and can use all those machines and benches. It’ll be a breeze! For now, though, make do with what you’ve got and remember that an imperfect workout is always better than no workout.

References:

PubMed: Sunlight Effects on Immune System: Is There Something Else in addition to UV-Induced Immunosuppression? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5187459/

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