It Only Takes Two Dumbbells And Four Moves To Turn You Into A Sweat-Soaked Mess

Woman in foreground and man in background working out with dumbbells
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Throwing a workout finisher on to the end of your visit to the gym is a foolproof way to improve your cardio fitness, build muscle and burn fat. Next time you’ve finished your session and feel like you’ve got a bit of extra energy to burn, pick up two medium-weight dumbbells and attack this routine created by Alex Rennie, a level 3 personal trainer and head of fitness at London boutique fitness studio Rowbots

The workout is for time so you’re up against the clock, but Rennie has set a marker of 15 minutes to complete the nine rounds. Each round contains three dumbbell exercises, performed as a dumbbell complex which means you flow from one move to the next. The round ends with burpees, changing the number of reps you perform each round. 

“You could pick heavier dumbbells to build strength and let the burpees provide the conditioning element for a blend of full-body strength and conditioning,” says Rennie. “The workout is for time, but pacing is key!” he adds ominously. Aim to move at a steady pace that minimises rest periods.

Dumbbell Finisher For Time

1 Dumbbell Romanian deadlift

Reps 12

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding dumbbells in front of your thighs with your palms facing you. Engage your core and, keeping a straight back throughout, push your hips back and bend your knees to lower the dumbbells to your shins. Pause, then drive through your heels to rise.

2 Dumbbell hang clean

Reps 9

Stand holding the dumbbells by your sides with your hands facing you. Bend your knees slightly, then explode up and shrug your shoulders, using the momentum generated to pull the weight up. Flip your elbows under your wrists and bend your knees to get underneath the dumbbells and “catch” them by your shoulders. Stand up. Pause, then lower the weights to the start.

3 Dumbbell push press   

Reps 6

Skip the final part of the final rep of the hang clean, so you are standing with the dumbbells by your shoulders, palms facing. Bend your knees slightly, then explode up, using the momentum generated to press the dumbbells overhead, extending your arms. Lower the dumbbells under control.

4 Burpee

Reps 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 

Bend down and place the dumbbells on the floor in front of you and place your hands by your feet. Jump your feet back to land in a high plank position. Lower your chest to the floor, push back up, then jump your feet back to your hands. Jump straight up, clapping your hands overhead. On the final part of the final rep, take hold of the dumbbells, stand up, and begin the next round. 

Lucy Gornall

Lucy is an experienced health and fitness journalist, and was formerly health editor for TI Media’s portfolio of women’s titles. Lucy qualified as a level 3 personal trainer with Train Fitness in 2016, and also holds qualifications in pre- and post-natal fitness, as well as in nutrition for exercise.