During these unprecedented times, many athletes are currently wondering how they can get workouts at home while using minimal equipment. Try this full-body workout below, which only requires the use of one dumbbell, one band, and two dish towels.
Prior to completing the workout, please perform a dynamic warmup to make sure you are properly prepared before jumping directly into the exercises.
Perform all sets and reps of the exercises in block “A,” prior to completing block “B,” and then finally moving on to block “C.” For example, perform one set of A1, followed immediately by A2, and then A3. Rest and repeat for the prescribed number of sets. Once all sets of block A have been completed, do the same with the following two blocks of exercises.
A1) 1 Arm DB Press from Glute Bridge 3×8 each side
How to Perform- Start on your back in the bottom of a glute bridge position while holding a dumbbell in one hand. Drive your hips up to the top of the glute bridge position, squeeze your glutes, and maintain that position for all repetitions of the exercise. With the arm holding the dumbbell, perform a dumbbell chest press for eight repetitions, exhaling each rep as you drive the dumbbell up towards the ceiling. Switch arms and repeat on the opposite side, and then lower your hips to the floor after all repetitions have been completed.
Coaching Tip: Think about squeezing your glutes and make sure to keep your hips fully extended the entire time as you complete all repetitions on both sides. This should truly feel like a full-body movement, as you hold yourself up with your lower body, press with your upper body, and the offset loading creates a challenge for your core.
A2) Goblet Box Squat – 3×10
How to Perform – Find an ottoman or another piece of furniture that is just below knee height. Hold the dumbbell in a traditional goblet squat position and stand just in front of the item that you are using as the “box”. Squat down until your glutes touch the box, focusing on driving your knees out and pushing your hips back. Keep your chest up tall the entire time, and exhale as you stand back up. Repeat for all repetitions.
Coaching Tip: Keep the dumbbell in contact with your chest during the entire movement, making sure not to reach forward with the weight as you squat.
A3) Split Stance 1 Arm DB Row 3×8 each side.
How to Perform- Assume a split stance, bringing one leg in front of the other, with the front knee slightly bent and the back leg fully extended. Hold the dumbbell in the hand that is opposite of the knee in front and perform a single-arm row. Keep your elbow right by your side, and row the dumbbell towards your hip as you retract your shoulder blade. Exhale as you bring the dumbbell towards you, and complete all prescribed repetitions before switching and completing on the opposite side.
Coaching Tip: Your elbow should skim the side of your torso while you perform each repetition. Try to pretend that you are rowing the dumbbell towards a pocket on your hip. You will have to stabilize through your lower body and core as you perform each row. Athletes are often in a split stance position, and becoming strong in an offset stance will translate to the sport.
B1) Rear Foot Elevated Split Squat 3×8 each side
How to Perform- Place one foot on an ottoman or couch and hop out with your front leg until your knee would create a 90-degree angle when bent. Hold the dumbbell in the hand opposite of the foot that is in contact with the floor (the working leg). Bend the working leg at the knee, and lower yourself until the quad of the working leg is parallel with the floor. Press through the front foot and exhale as you return to the starting position. Complete for all repetitions on one side, and then switch and complete the prescribed repetitions on the opposite leg.
Coaching Tip: Make sure to keep the entire foot of the working leg pressed firmly into the ground. Building unilateral strength is extremely important in performance as well as injury prevention, and this is one way to do so while stuck at home.
B2) Lateral Pillar Band Row 3×8 each side
How to Perform- Loop a long monster band around a sturdy object at home. For example, you could use a bedpost, the leg of a heavy coffee table, or have a family member at home hold one side of the band. Assume a lateral plank position, making sure to stay in a straight line from your head through your ankles. With your top arm, grab the band and perform a single-arm row, while maintaining the lateral pillar position. Exhale as you row the band towards you. Perform all repetitions on one side, then switch and repeat on the other side.
Coaching Tip: Make sure to keep your body stacked in a straight line from your ears through your ankles, and prevent your top shoulder from rolling forward.
B3) Single Leg Hip Thrust 3×8 each side
How to Perform- Elevate your shoulders on a couch or ottoman and walk your feet out until your knees create a 90-degree angle. Lift one foot and leg up so that you are in a single leg bridge position with your shoulders elevated. From this starting position, you will drop your hips towards the floor, then exhale and drive your hips back up to the starting position. Complete for all repetitions, and then switch legs to perform on the opposite side. If this movement is easy, you can progress by either adding a two-second hold at the top of each repetition or place a dumbbell over the top of the working leg.
Coaching Tip: Make sure your shoulder blades are fully elevated/supported on the piece of furniture that you are using for this exercise. A common mistake is only having your head/neck elevated. Lower your body towards the floor as one cohesive unit and return to the starting position by doing the same. You can keep the non-working leg bent at the knee or fully extended, whichever feels more comfortable to you.
C1) ½ Kneeling Paloff Press 3×8 each side
How to Perform- Loop a long band around a sturdy object as you did with the lateral plank row or have a family member at home hold one end of the band. Start in a half-kneeling position, with the inside knee up. Create tension on the band by moving far enough out that it will provide resistance. Start with the band at the center of your chest and press the band straight out in front of you to full extension, keeping the band at chest height. Exhale as you press, and then return the band to the starting position. Complete all repetitions, and then switch and perform on the opposite side.
Coaching Tip: The Paloff Press is a fantastic anti-rotation exercise that is easy to perform at home and translates to the sport. You should feel the side of your body closest to the band do most of the work as you stabilize and press the band away from you.
C2) Towel Push Up Reaches 3×8 each side
How to Perform- Start in a push-up position, with dishtowels under your hands. This exercise will work best on wood flooring or tile. If you do not have wood or tile flooring, this can be done by using furniture movers or sliders on the carpet. Start by reaching forward with your right arm as far as you can while bending your left elbow as you would during a pushup. Return the extended arm to the starting position and complete it on the opposite side. Alternate sides until the prescribed number of repetitions are completed. Exhale as you pull the slider back in towards you. This movement can also be completed from a kneeling position if the full push up reaches are too challenging to complete with proper form.
Coaching Tip: Keep your glutes squeezed the entire time and think about using your core strength to pull the working arm back to the starting position.
C3) Towel Eccentric Hamstring Curls 3×6
How to Perform- Lie on your back with dishtowels or furniture movers/sliders under your heels, depending on the type of flooring you have at home. Slide your heels towards you until you are at the start of a glute bridge position. Drive your hips up into the top of a glute bridge, and slowly extend your legs away from you on a five-second count. Aim to have your legs fully extended by the end of those five seconds. From there, drop your hips down to the floor, slide your heels back to the starting position, and repeat the prescribed repetitions. If this movement is easy, you can progress this exercise by keeping your hips elevated as you slide your heels back to the starting position. Exhale as you slide your heels back towards the starting position.
Coaching Tip: Make sure to extend your legs as slow as you can as you slide them away from you each rep. Building strength in this eccentric phase is extremely beneficial and can also aid in the prevention of injury, deceleration, and overall improved performance.