Resistance training doesn’t have to happen in a gym. You can have a really good workout with very little or no equipment.
All the equipment I used for this workout was a pair of dumbbells and my furniture. Nothing fancy, but effective and easy to do.
So, if you have dumbbells, great, use them. If you don’t, then just do the exercises with your bodyweight or check out my post about creative ways to use everyday items for resistance training.
If you have mobility issues or weak knees, skip the two first workouts in the video and do the two alternative leg exercises at the end of the video instead.
Equipment needed: Dumbbells
Time needed: 30-40 minutes
Do 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions (reps) for each exercise. That means that you’ll do one exercise for 12-15 reps, rest for 30-60 seconds, do 12-15 more reps, rest again, and then do the last set of 12-15 reps.
The reason why I’m giving you a range is that you should pick a weight that really challenges you between 12 and 15 reps. If you can only do 11 reps, the weight is too heavy, and if you can easily bang out 15, it is too light.
Of course, you probably don’t have dumbbells of every different weight at home, so use whatever you have. If you only have light dumbbells and 15 reps feel too easy, just keep going for as many reps as you can.
As always, when you do resistance workouts, please remember that you may see an impact on your insulin sensitivity 24-36 hours after your workout, so be diligent about watching your blood sugars. If you aren’t used to resistance workouts, I really recommend you read my post about how resistance training affects your blood sugar before you do this workout.
Sumo squats with calf raises
1) Stand with your feet 4-6 inches wider than your shoulders, with your toes pointed out at a 45-degree angle.
2) Grasp a dumbbell with both hands in the center of your body (or just use your bodyweight).
3) While keeping your back straight, descend slowly by bending at the knees and hips as if you are sitting down (squatting).
4) Return to the starting position by pressing upwards and extending your legs. Keep moving upwards until you are standing on your toes. Stay on your toes for a second before repeating the movement.
1) Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. While balancing on your right leg, place your left leg behind your right, taking a wide, lateral step behind the front leg.
2) Descend into a lunge by bending your knees, lowering your body straight down until your front knee is at approximately 90 degrees
3) Get back up by driving through the right heel. Do the movement the desired number of times before switching legs.
1) Bend over at the waist until your torso is almost parallel to the ground (or as low as you can go). Keep your back straight and your core engaged.
2) Hold a dumbbell in each hand with the palms facing each other. Extend your arms towards the floor but keep a slight bend in your elbows.
3) Move the dumbbells out and to the sides while focusing on using your back muscles to lift. Hold the contraction for a second at the top of the movement before returning to the starting position.
Incline chest press
1) Sit on the floor with your upper back against a couch. Your upper body should be at a 45-degree angle to the floor.
2) Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height with your palms facing forward.
3) Push the dumbbells straight up until they meet above your head. Pause for a second at the top of the motion while contracting your chest muscles before returning to the starting position.
1) Sit with your back towards a couch or bench. Reach back and place your hands on the edge of the couch at shoulder-width.
2) Keeping your legs straight and your heels on the floor, use your arms to push your body upwards until your arms are straight.
3) Slowly lower your body back down until your elbows are at 90 degrees (but stop before you are sitting on the floor). Repeat for the desired number of reps.
1) Stand or sit with a straight torso and the dumbbells by your side at arm’s length with the palms of the hand facing you.
2) While maintaining the torso in a stationary position (no swinging), lift the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend in the elbow and the hands slightly tilted forward as if pouring water into a glass. Continue to go up until your arms are parallel to the floor.
For more workouts you can do at home, please see my Workout Video Library