Let’s be real. There’s a reason there are so many phrases about how important (and minimal) time is…I mean, after all, time is money. I don’t like to waste time. I don’t have time to go to the gym to do an exercise for every single muscle. So as a constituent of Generation Y, I like to multi-task. For example, right now I'm writing this post, Snap Chatting a picture of myself writing this post, catching up on last week’s Real Housewives of Orange County (team Tamra!), and chowing down on my post-workout go-to lunch (egg whites, spinach, avocado, brown rice, and Sriracha nom nom nom). My workouts are no different—I want to target as many muscles as possible, in as little time as possible. That is why I made up the Dumbbell Blonde Routine. It is a multi-tasker’s dream. In about 37 minutes, you’ll hit all of your major muscles in less time than it takes Vicky Gunvalson to come up with a new reason to call Gretchen “stupid” again (let’s come up with a new comeback, Vic).
I recommend doing the Dumbbell Blonde Routine 2-3 days a week. This routine is different from most stationary programs in that you perform each exercise for a minute, doing as many reps as you can within that 60 seconds before moving onto the next exercise. Relax for 15 seconds between exercises and rest for 2 minutes when you complete all 10. Then repeat twice for a total of 3 times. I recommend starting with 3-5lb dumbbells, especially if you’re new to weight training, and slowly moving up to heavier weights. Start with a set you are comfortable with—it should be difficult but I don’t want you to hurt yourself! So the time is NOW, get to it and let me know how it goes!
1. Prisoner’s squat (AKA you will take no prisoners when it comes to how toned your butt and abs will be with this move)
Start with your legs slightly wider than hip’s width apart, feet facing forward, holding a single dumbbell at chest’s height. Beginning to squat, bring your elbows to meet your knees. Be sure to push your booty back and not to let your knees move in front of your toes. Return to standing and repeat.
2. Mountain climbers (AKA cardio, abs, and arms in one move? Sign me up!)
Start in plank position, with your arms directly below your shoulders, using your core strength to keep your body straight through your heels. Bring your right knee forward until it’s under your chest. Lift your hips and quickly switch your legs to bring your left knee forward under your chest. Switch the right knee forward and repeat. Keep your weight evenly distributed and your abs engaged. Think horizontal running man.
3. Forward lunges with alternating bicep curls and hammer curls (AKA a twist on a classic move that will make your arms more Cameron Diaz in Charlie’s Angels and less Grammy at bingo night)
Start standing with a dumbbell in each hand. Step your right foot forward into a forward lunge, making sure your knee does not go beyond your toes. Simultaneously, with your arms straight down and palms facing forward, bend your arms to bring the dumbbells to your shoulders in a curl (as shown on the left). As you return to standing, bring your right foot back to start position, lower your arms slowly down to your sides. Next, step your left foot forward into a lunge, this time curling your arms with your palms facing in for a hammer curl (as shown on the right). Return to your start position and repeat.
4. Plank with row (AKA challenging…but well worth the benefits you will see to your obliques)
Start in plank position, with your hands holding dumbbells directly below your shoulders, using your core strength to keep your body straight through your heels. Pull your right arm up to chest height, sending your elbow straight up. Be sure to keep your hips level. Lower down to start position and repeat on the left side.
5. Dumbbell clam closes (AKA I couldn’t think of a good name for this exercise but it flattens and tones your tummy so good, people will say, “hot CLAM look at those abs!”)
Lay on your back, making sure to keep your lower back in contact with the floor. Hold one dumbbell between your hands, behind your head. Keeping your neck on the floor and your arms and legs straight, lift the dumbbell overhead while lifting your legs to meet your hands at your midsection (as shown). Lower both simultaneously to about 6 inches off the ground and repeat. Try not to let your arms or legs touch the ground for the remainder of the exercise.
6. T-Pushups with dumbbells (AKA adios love handles!)
Start in plank position, with your hands holding dumbbells directly below your shoulders, using your core strength to keep your body straight through your heels. Bend your elbows, keeping them tight into your chest and lower yourself down into a low push-up position (as shown). Be sure not to let your booty sink down OR let it push up too much (control dat thang!). As you push yourself back up to plank position, lift your right arm up in the air, simultaneously turning your body to the right and stacking your feet into a side plank (as shown). Hold for a few seconds and return to start. Repeat on the left side.
7. Lunge jumps (AKA fat-torching plyometrics…’nuff said)
Start in a lunge position with your right foot forward. Use your strength and momentum to jump up, switch your legs in the air. Land softly, with your left foot forward in a lunge. Jump switch back to the right side and repeat.
8. One-leg deadlifts with dumbbell (AKA the back of your legs will be cottage cheese-free in your daisy dukes)
Start standing, holding one dumbbell in your right hand. Keeping your back straight, begin to bend from your hips. Lower your right arm down to the floor, while simultaneously lifting your left leg straight back (as shown). Be sure to keep your right leg straight and to keep your back and left leg almost perpendicular to your right leg. As you rise back up to standing, keep your left leg slightly above the ground. Repeat, staying on the right side for 30 seconds until you switch to repeat on the left leg.
9. Curtsy lunge with side rows (AKA another multi-tasking dream of an exercise)
Start standing holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bending your right leg into a single leg squat, bring your left leg behind into a curtsy. Simultaneously, using your tricep strength, bring your elbows up to shoulder height, keeping your arms bent (as shown). Return to your start position and repeat on the left.
10. Spiderman planks (AKA abs on abs on abs)
Start in a forearm plank (as shown in the top picture), using your core strength to keep your body straight through your heels. Lift your right leg a few inches off of the ground and bring your right knee to your right elbow. Hold for a few seconds and return to your start position. Repeat on the left side.