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Caught for time to get to the gym? Try these 9 things

As long as you have some dumbbells and enough space to swing a cat you can get a quality workout.

File pic.
File pic.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

CAUGHT FOR TIME to get to the gym or space in your own home to exercise?

Fear not, because as long as you have some dumbbells and enough space to swing a cat, you can get a quality workout…

This circuit has nine exercises for you to work through; three upper body, three lower and three core.

Let’s get to it…

1. Squat

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Now squat down as low as possible without rounding your lower back.
  • Perform 12–15 reps in each of three sets.

2. Pushup

  • Place a set of dumbbells parallel to each other on the floor at shoulder width.
  • Get into push-up position holding the weights.
  • Perform pushups with your hands in a neutral grip, really focussing on keeping your shoulders, hips, knees and ankles in a straight line.
  • Perform 20 reps in each of three sets.

3. Plank pull through

  • Staying in the full plank position with one dumbbell on the floor a few inches away from the outside of your right hand.
  • Brace your core muscles to keep your torso steady.
  • Now reach over with your left arm under your right and grab the dumbbell.
  • Pull the dumbbell across the floor to the left side of body, releasing it just outside of left arm, and then return to plank.
  • Do 20 reps in total; 10 either side. Three sets either side.

4. Dumbbell Row

  • Standing sentry, bend forward at the hip and keep your back straight.
  • On the floor should be two dumbbells and when you grab them, brace your core muscles, resist the urge to bend your knees and back, and simply lift the weights into your chest for one rep.
  • Perform three sets of eight reps.

5. Alternate lunges

  • Holding a weight in each hand, step forward with your right foot and flex to 90 degrees or until your opposite knee touches the floor.
  • Hold this for a moment, then lift up slightly, go back down again, hold for another moment before returning to the starting position.
  • Repeat with the other leg and do three sets of 8-10 reps either leg.

6. Straight-arm climb

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie with your back on the floor, arms extended straight out above your chest, palms facing away from your head.
  • Lift your head and neck off the floor, looking up to ceiling, and press right arm up, lifting head and right shoulder blade off the floor.
  • Immediately lower your right shoulder and repeat the lift on left side.
  • Avoid letting your elbows bend as you lift and lower.
  • Do three sets of 20 reps, alternating sides each time.

7. Box step ups

  • Okay so we do need one small prop in the form of a chair (jammed against a solid surface) or a staircase.
  • Very simply, hold a heavy dumbbell in each hand and standing opposite the chair take a step up onto it with one leg and really focus on bringing the other one up as quickly as you can.
  • Step back down to the floor, one leg at a time and repeat with the opposite leg.
  • Perform three sets of 15 reps.

8. Squat with a shoulder press

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hold the dumbbells in front of your shoulders with your palms facing away from you.
  • Move your body down into a squat while keeping the dumbbells in front of your shoulders.
  • To do this, you should keep looking straight ahead of you.
  • Do not bend your knees past 90 degrees.
  • As you stand back up from the squat, extend your arms to push the dumbbells up into the air above your shoulders.
  • Extend your legs at the same rate you extend your arms.
  • Go back into a squat and return your arms to the starting position.
  • Do three sets of 8.

9. Side dips

  • Grab a (heavy) dumbbell in one hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Now, bracing your core slide the dumbbell down the outside of your leg, keeping those core muscles engaged.
  • When you reach the point where you’re arching forward to drop the weight down further, stop and spring back up to the starting position.
  • Repeat 20 times and do the same on the other side, followed by two more sets.

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About the author:

Brian Canty

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