Whoever said you needed a ton of equipment to get a great workout was lying. You can lose weight and build muscle using only bodyweight exercises, or with a single weight. I’m going to prove that to you with this great 15-minute full-body workout you can do with only one kettlebell or a dumbbell.

Let’s face it – we’re all busy and sometimes it feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to workout! A demanding career, family time, and a full month of social commitments is a lot – sometimes exercise slips through the cracks. But really, these are all excuses. If you’re serious about losing weight and getting in great shape, all you need is 15-minutes. You should be able to squeeze this one in, even with the demands of a full life.

You only need one piece of equipment, preferably a kettlebell. But if you only have a dumbbell, that works as well. This intense workout will build strength, improve mobility, and burn a ton of calories.

Workout Instructions

Warm-up: Pick any dynamic warm-up for 5 minutes to get your blood flowing, heart rate up, and joints ready for action.

Workout: Pick a kettlebell or dumbbell that is moderately heavy and challenging, but that allows you to complete each exercise with perfect form.

If you’re not sure what weight to use, here’s a rough guide to help you pick the best starting weight. Choose a weight challenges you through your last reps, but doesn’t push you to muscle failure.

Female Male
Beginner 10 lbs. 15 lbs.
Intermediate 15-20 lbs. 20-30 lbs.
Advanced 25-30 lbs. 40-45 lbs.

The most limiting exercise in this circuit will probably be the overhead press.

Instructions:
1. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds, resting for 15 seconds between exercises.
2. Rest for 1 minute between each full circuit (all 5 exercises).
3. Repeat 3 more times for a total of 4 circuits.

Exercise
1. Goblet Squat
2. Half-Kneeling One Arm Press
3. One-Arm DB Power Clean
4. One-Arm Row
5. Lateral Hop

1. Dumbbell Goblet Squat

Grab a single dumbbell and hold it in a vertical position directly underneath your chin. Brace your torso, keeping your core tight and chest tall, and sit back into a squat position so that your elbows touch the inside of your knees. Then push through your feet to stand up tall, squeezing your glutes at the top. Maintain a strong neutral-spine position throughout the exercise, and avoid rounding your lower back (tucking your butt) at the bottom of the squat.

2. Half-Kneeling One Arm Press

Start in a half-kneeling position with one knee down on the ground and the other foot planted on the ground in front of your body with a bent knee. Your legs should create two 90-degree angles. If your left knee is down on the ground, start with the weight in your left hand. Hold the weight by your left shoulder with the palm of your hand facing towards your head. Squeeze your left glute and contract your core to maintain square hips as you press the weight overhead. As you press the weight up, be sure to keep your shoulder away from your ear. Then, pull the weight back down to the starting position with control. Focus on packing your shoulder blades the entire time. Repeat on the other side.

3. One-Arm Power Clean

Squat down, and hinge over with a flat back to grab the dumbbell with your right hand so the weight is hovering just above the ground. From this bottom position, brace your core and pack your shoulders. Pressing through your feet, use the power of your hips and legs to drive the bell up to shoulder-height. “Catch” it in the top position and pause, squeezing your glutes and abs. Then return the dumbbell to the start position, and repeat. Perform this exercise on both sides.

4. One-Arm Row

In a staggered stance with your left foot forward and right foot back, grab the kettlebell or weight in your right hand and lightly rest your left forearm on your left thigh. Try to keep this left forearm light on the leg as you perform the one-arm row with your right hand. Keep your hips and shoulders square to the ground the entire time. Don’t open up your body or rotate your shoulders as you row. The idea is to use your core to stabilize your torso and “fight” rotation as you row. Complete this exercise on both arms.

5. Lateral Hops

Place the weight on the ground in between your legs. Balance on your right foot, bringing your left knee up in front of you, bent to 90-degrees. Hop over the weight and land on your left foot. Hold for a split second to maintain balance, and then hop back over to the right foot. Raise the opposite knee to 90-degrees in front of your body each time. To increase the challenge of this exercise, try to hop as far as you can laterally and catch your balance each time you land.

Getting a great workout doesn’t have to be complicated. As long as you push your threshold and challenge yourself, you can raise your metabolism and burn body fat with minimal equipment in only 15-minutes. Try this workout, and you’ll see that you have no excuse to miss a workout again. Let me know how you do in the comments below!

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3 Comments

  1. profile avatar
    Irma from the Netherlands Apr 18, 2016 - 09:08 #

    Great exercises! I would like some more exercises for my bones because of osteoporoses! Could anyone suggest some!

  2. profile avatar
    Alycia Aug 18, 2016 - 11:17 #

    Thanks so much for this! The videos and instructions are very useful! If I calculated correctly, the entire routine does take more than 15 minutes, though 🙂

  3. profile avatar
    Mimi Nov 17, 2016 - 19:37 #

    What a great workout!!! Challenging but effective!!!! Thanks so much 🙂

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