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Compound Dumbbell Exercise

In this high-paced, multi-tasking, modern world, it's natural that you'd want to find a way to multi-task your workout routine, too. Compound dumbbell exercises combine several dumbbell moves into one fluid exercise that works multiple muscle groups. Exercises like a dumbbell clean and press work your entire upper body. To target your full body in one single exercise, try a dumbbell jump-to-squat-thrust exercise. In order to see results, you need to exercise consistently. Aim for at least two to three days per week of strength training, making sure you schedule one full day in between sessions to allow your muscles to rest.

Lunge, Curl and Press

  1. Practice the lunge, curl and press exercise to strengthen your glutes, quadriceps, calves, biceps, shoulders and chest. To start, stand with your feet hip-distance apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand.

  2. Step forward with your right foot and lower your left knee until it almost touches the floor. The right knee should align directly over the right ankle. As you step into a lunge, curl the dumbbells to the front of your shoulders, engaging your biceps muscles.

  3. Press both dumbbells to the sky, using your shoulder and upper-chest muscles. Ground your right foot into the floor and use your leg and abdominal strength to push yourself back to the standing position.

  4. Repeat the sequence on your left leg for one full repetition. Perform as many lunge, curl and press exercises as you can in 30 seconds. If your muscles are not fatigued by the end of the interval, try increasing the amount of weight you're using. Perform three sets of this exercise, pausing for a rest in between each set.

Dumbbell Clean and Press

  1. Perform a dumbbell clean and press to engage your entire body, including your abs, arms and chest. To start, place one dumbbell one the floor at your feet.

  2. Bend your knees and reach down to grab the dumbbell with one hand and lift the dumbbell to the front of your shoulder. Remember to keep your knees slightly bent when you pick up the dumbbell to protect yourself from straining your lower back.

  3. Press the dumbbell toward the sky, fully extending your arm. Hold for one count before lowering the dumbbell back down to the floor. Pick up the dumbbell with the opposite hand and repeat the exercise on the opposite side. This counts as one full rep.

  4. Perform as many clean and press reps as possible in a 30-second interval. If your muscles are not fatigued by the end of 30 seconds, increase the amount of weight that you're using. Take a break after each set, performing three sets in total.

Dumbbell Jump-to-Squat Thrust

  1. Strengthen your entire body with the dumbbell jump-to-squat-thrust exercise. To start, stand up tall with your feet hip-distance apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand.

  2. Bend your knees 6 inches to brace yourself and jump up into the air explosively. Land in a squatting position with your knees bent.

  3. Bend over and place the dumbbells on the floor and jump or walk back into a high pushup position, holding on to the dumbbells for support. For an optional extra burn, try performing one pushup here. Jump or step your feet forward to your hands and return to a standing position. This counts as one full rep.

  4. Perform as many reps as you can in a 30-second interval. If your muscles are not fatigued by the end of 30 seconds, try holding heavier dumbbells to increase resistance. Rest in between sets, working your way up to three sets.


    Always begin every workout with five to 10 minutes of light aerobic activity to warm up your muscles, even when you're strength training. "Warm" muscles are less likely to tear or sustain injuries. When you've finished your workout, give your body time to cool down with five minutes of light activity and finish off with a few full-body stretches.


    Always consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.

Things Needed

  • Two dumbbells

About the Author

Published author, yoga teacher and health and wellness expert Nicole Carlin has written professionally since 2005. Her two non-fiction books "Chakra Detox" and "Hot Yoga, Hotter Sex" reflect the rigorous academic knowledge she brings to the wellness industry. Carlin holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a Master of Arts in sexuality.

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