The Best Full-Body Workout You Can Do Anywhere

When you’re looking for a full-body workout you can do fast—yep, that means without packing a bag and traipsing to the gym—there are a few things you should look for in order to make sure you’re spending your time as effectively as possible.

“I’d be looking for a routine that includes a component of mobility to get yourself into good ranges of motion, a component of strength and power, and an endurance aspect for heart health,” Noam Tamir, CSCS, founder and CEO of TS Fitness in NYC, tells SELF. Stability work, made up of unilateral moves—exercises that include single-arm or single-leg work—is also important for correcting any strength imbalances, when one side is stronger than the other, he says.

With those principles in mind, Tamir created the following full-body workout that you can do at home—all you need is some floor space and some dumbbells. The best part? You’ll be done in less than 20 minutes (including your warm-up!)

You’ll get started with a mobility circuit, which will warm up your hips, glutes, shoulders, ankles, quads, and core, and prepare those muscles for the harder moves that come next. Then you’ll get into the strength circuit—which, thanks to the squat to overhead press and the wood chop, contains a power aspect—while your muscles are primed and ready to move but before they get tired out. You’ll finish with a bodyweight, core-dominant cardio circuit, which will get your heart rate up as you finish your workout strong.

Cross-body work is huge in every part of the workout, something that Tamir says is important for training your body how to move functionally—you know, in movement patterns that you’ll do in everyday life, not just at the gym.

Want to give this full-body at-home workout a try? Here’s what you need to do.

The Workout

What you’ll need: A pair of moderate-weight dumbbells, like these ($44 per pair, amazon.com). You may want to bring a lighter-weight dumbbell, like these, ($25 per pair, amazon.com) if you feel you need to go lighter with the wood chop. You may also want an exercise mat ($17, amazon.com) for comfort.

Exercises

Mobility Warm-Up

  • Glute bridge
  • Deadbug
  • Bird dog
  • Bodyweight squat

Dumbbell Circuit

  • Squat to overhead press
  • Bent-over dumbbell row
  • Wood chop

Bodyweight Circuit

  • Skater hop
  • Plank up-down
  • V-up

Directions

  • Perform each move in the mobility warm-up for 30 seconds, resting for five seconds between each move. Do two rounds. Rest for one minute after you’ve completed both.
  • Perform each move in the dumbbell circuit for 30 seconds, resting for 15 seconds between each move. Do three rounds. Rest for one minute after you’ve completed all three.
  • Perform each move in the bodyweight circuit for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds between exercises. Do three rounds.

1. Glute Bridge

  • Lie on your back with your hands at your sides, knees bent, and feet flat on the floor hip-width apart.
  • Squeeze your glutes and abs, and push through your heels to lift your hips a few inches off the floor until your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  • Pause and squeeze your glutes at the top, then slowly lower your hips to return to the starting position. This is one rep.
  • Continue for 30 seconds.

2. Dead Bug

  • Lie faceup with your arms extended toward the ceiling and your legs in a tabletop position (knees bent 90 degrees and stacked over your hips). This is the starting position.
  • Slowly extend your right leg out straight, while simultaneously dropping your left arm overhead. Keep both a few inches from the ground. Squeeze your butt and keep your core engaged the entire time, lower back pressed into the floor.
  • Bring your arm and leg back to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the other side, extending your left leg and your right arm.
  • Continue for 30 seconds.

3. Bird Dog

  • Start on your hands and knees in tabletop position with your wrists stacked under your shoulders and your knees stacked under your hips. This is the starting position.
  • Extend your right arm forward and left leg back, maintaining a flat back and keeping your hips in line with the floor. Think about driving your foot toward the wall behind you.
  • Squeeze your abs and return your arm and leg to the starting position. This is one rep.
  • Alternate sides, and continue for 30 seconds.

4. Bodyweight Squat

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and core engaged.
  • Bend your knees and send your hips back so your thighs are parallel to the floor. Keep your core engaged so your back stays straight.
  • Stand by squeezing your glutes and return to your starting position. This is one rep.
  • Continue for 30 seconds.

5. Squat to Overhead Press

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly turned out, a weight in each hand on the tops of your shoulders, and your palms facing in.
  • Engage your core and keep your chest lifted and back flat as you shift your weight into your heels, push your hips back, and bend your knees to lower into a squat.
  • Drive through your heels to stand and squeeze your glutes at the top. As you stand, press the dumbbells overhead, straightening your elbows completely. Keep your core engaged and hips tucked under to avoid arching your lower back.
  • Slowly lower the weights back to your shoulders for one rep.
  • Continue for 30 seconds.

6. Bent-Over Row

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a weight in each hand with your arms at your sides.
  • With your core engaged, hinge forward at the hips, push your butt back, and bend your knees slightly so that your back is no lower than parallel to the floor. (Depending on your hip mobility and hamstring flexibility, you may not be able to bend over that low.) Gaze at the ground a few inches in front of your feet to keep your neck in a comfortable position.
  • Do a row by pulling the weights up toward your chest, keeping your elbows hugged close to your body, and squeezing your shoulder blades for two seconds at the top of the movement. Your elbows should go past your back as you bring the weight toward your chest.
  • Slowly lower the weights by extending your arms toward the floor. This is one rep.
  • Continue for 30 seconds.

7. Wood Chop

  • Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, core engaged, holding a dumbbell with both hands by your left leg.
  • Raise your arms diagonally in front of your body to the upper right of your reach, allowing your torso and toes to naturally rotate to the right as you twist.
  • Now “chop” the weight down to the left, bringing it across the front of your body and aiming for your left ankle, allowing your torso and toes to naturally rotate in that direction. Focus on keeping your lower body stable and rotating from your core. This is one rep.
  • Continue for 15 seconds, then switch sides for the remaining 15 seconds.

8. Skater Hop

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend your knees slightly, then jump to the right as far as you can, leading with your right foot and swinging your left leg just behind your right. Swing your arms across your body to help you jump farther.
  • Land on your right foot and bend your knee slightly, balancing on that foot for a second.
  • Jump back to the left, landing on your left foot. Try to jump as far and as fast as you can while staying balanced.
  • Continue for 30 seconds.

9. Plank Up-Down

  • Start in high plank with your palms flat on the floor, hands shoulder-width apart, shoulders stacked directly above your wrists, legs extended behind you, and your core and glutes engaged. Place your feet hip-width apart.
  • Lower your left arm down so that your forearm is on the floor. Then do the same with your right. You should now be in forearm plank position.
  • Place your left hand back on the floor to extend your arm, and follow with your right arm, so that you end back in high plank. Keep your hips as still as possible so they are not swaying (you may need to widen your legs more). This is one rep.
  • Continue for 30 seconds.

10. V-Ups

  • Lie faceup with your legs extended and arms extended overhead on the floor, keeping them close to your ears. Contract your abs to press your low back into ground. This is the starting position.
  • Point your toes, squeeze your thighs together, squeeze your glutes, and simultaneously lift your legs and upper back off the ground, reaching your hands forward to meet your feet so that your body forms a V.
  • Keep your core engaged as you slowly lower to return to starting position.
  • Continue for 30 seconds.

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