This Conditioning Session Mixes Dumbbell Moves With Cardio For A Satisfyingly Sweaty Workout

Woman holding dumbbells by her shoulders
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Sometimes you turn up at the gym and can’t decide between a treadmill workout and weights workout. Luckily, you can do both and be out of the gym in record time. 

Georgia Testa is a Level 3 personal trainer and owner of Bedfordshire-based gym Studio 281. She has created an exclusive workout for Coach, which she says “will blast your cardiovascular system and help improve your fitness”.

As she says, “It’s a no-fuss workout, and you don’t need loads of equipment or space.” Just a pair of dumbbells and a cardio machine.

Full-Body Dumbbell Workout

This workout uses the peripheral heart action (PHA) training method, which involves swapping between lower-body and upper-body exercises. 

“Work through the following as quickly as you can and rest when you need to,” says Testa. “In between exercises, go for one minute on your cardio machine of choice. If you don’t have a machine, substitute in burpees or squat jumps.”

Aim for two to three rounds of the circuit below. If it hits the spot, next time try this strength and cardio workout, which combines kettlebell exercises and running.

1 Goblet squat

Woman performs goblet squat with dumbbell

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Reps 20

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding one end of a dumbbell close to your chest. Bend your knees and push your hips back to lower into a squat, maintaining a flat back and tight core. When your elbows pass between your knees, pause, then drive up through your heels to return to standing. 

2 Cardio

Time 1min

3 Overhead press

Man performs dumbbell overhead press

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Reps 20

Stand holding dumbbells at shoulder height with your palms facing forwards and elbows pointing to the sides. Keeping your core engaged and back straight, press the dumbbells overhead. Pause once your arms are extended and then slowly return the dumbbells to your shoulders. 

4 Cardio

Time 1min

5 Reverse lunge

Man performs reverse lunge exercise

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Reps 20 each leg 

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding one end of a dumbbell close to your chest. Step back with your right leg and bend both knees until your right knee hovers just above the floor. Push up through your left heel to return to standing. Repeat on the other leg, alternating sides with each rep. 

6 Cardio

Time 1min

7 Bent-over row

Man performs bent-over row exercise with dumbbells

(Image credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus / Miljan Živković)

Reps 20 

Stand holding dumbbells and push your hips back until your torso is at 45°, letting your arms hang down. Keeping your upper arms close to your body, lift the dumbbells to your ribs. Pause and squeeze your shoulder blades. Slowly lower the dumbbells.

8 Cardio

Time 1min

9 Romanian deadlift 

Man performs Romanian deadlift with dumbbells

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Reps 20

Stand holding dumbbells in front of your thighs with your palms facing you. Push your hips back, and as you do so, slowly lower the dumbbells down your legs, allowing a slight bend in your knees. Stop when your dumbbells reach your mid-shin, then drive up through your heels to stand. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the move.

10 Cardio

Time 1min

11 Renegade row 

Man performs renegade row dumbbell exercise

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Reps 20 each arm

Get into a high plank position, holding dumbbells, with your hands beneath your shoulders, arms extended, and with your body in a straight line from head to heels. Keeping your hips still, lift the right dumbbell to your rib cage, pause, then lower it under control. Repeat on the other side and alternate sides with each rep.

12 Cardio

Time 1min

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.