Rae Reichlin, founder of Ladies Who Lift, will be the first to tell you, picking up heavy things makes you stronger physically, mentally and everything in between.
You can find her at CrossTown Fitness and Rockwell Barbell in Chicago picking up the heaviest things she can find (mostly barbells). Rae knows we don’t all have access to barbells or we may be new to the equipment, but that shouldn’t exclude you from a solid strength workout. That’s why she created this dumbbell workout that’s strength-focused and will take up 30 minutes of your day. Grab your dumbbells and prepare to get stronger.
And if you love this workout and want more of Rae, you can find her on the SweatWorking app. Sign up for the athlete waitlist and be sure to follow SweatWorking on Instagram for coaches and athlete updates.
This is how your workout will go:
There are two separate sets of exercises in this workout. You’ll complete all the exercises in set one in order, resting as needed. Then repeat that set three more times total before moving on to set two.
Set two also has five exercises that you’ll do in order four total times, resting as needed.
Set one: Repeat all exercises four times total
- Reverse lunge with curl and press – 8 reps/side
- Lateral lunge – 8 reps/side
- Renegade row – 8 reps (a row on the right and the left side is one rep)
- Glute raise with press – 8 reps
- Plank jacks – 45 seconds *Note: this is the only exercise that is not rep-based
Set two: Repeat all exercises four times total
- Single leg deadlift – 10 reps/side
- Curtsy lunge – 10 reps/side
- Tricep push-ups – 10 reps
- Windmills – 10 reps/side
- Leg raise – 10 reps
the exercises, broken down:
Reverse lunge with curl and press: Start with your feet hips-width apart, holding your dumbbells by your sides. As you step your right foot back into a lunge, curl the dumbbells up into a bicep curl. Exhale to stand back up and press the dumbbells overhead in an overhead press. Curl the weights back down by your sides.
Lateral lunge: Start with feet together, weights by your sides. Step your right leg out directly beside you, keeping your toes on both feet facing forward and your hips going straight behind you as you sit back to lower down. Make sure both heels stay on the ground. Exhale to press off your right leg and stand back up to center.
Renegade Row: Begin in a plank position with your shoulders, hips and heels in one straight line, holding your weights under your palms. Row one arm back from your plank, keeping your hips level and pulling your elbow straight up, keeping it close to your ribs. Repeat on the other side. One rep = rowing your right and left arm back.
Glute raise with press: Begin lying on your back, weights in your hands to set up for a chest press. Plant your feet on the ground, left your hips straight up and squeeze your glutes, then press the weights directly overhead, keeping your shoulders on the ground and extending your arms all the way straight. Lower your arms back down, then your hips.
Plank jacks: Begin in a plank position with weights under your palms. Hop your feet apart and back together, keeping your glutes engaged and back straight for 45 seconds. If this bothers your wrists, do the same movement, but on your forearms.
Single leg deadlift: Start standing with feet hips-width distance, one dumbbell in your right hand. Extend your right leg straight behind you as you hinge your torso forward, starting the movement from your hips. Keep your back straight, you left knee bent slightly and your right foot flexed. Exhale to return back to standing.
Curtsy lunge: Start with your feet hips-width apart, dumbbells by your sides. Cross your right leg behind you on a diagonal and lower down into a lunge, keeping your shoulders and hips square to the front. Keep your front knee tracking straight over your front toes. Exhale to stand back up to center.
Tricep push-up: Start in a plank position, weights underneath your palms. With control, lower down into a low push-up position, keeping your elbows close to your ribs and your core, glutes and back engaged. Exhale to press back up to the top of your push-up.
Windmills: Start with your feet apart – wider that shoulder-width – and turn your left foot out 45 degrees. Hold one dumbbell in your right hand, extended straight overhead. Hinge your hips pushing your butt to the right as you lean your torso towards your left foot. As you lower down towards your left foot, keep your right arm straight and re-position your body so that your right shoulder is always underneath the dumbbell. Remember to look up at the dumbbell the entire time. Exhale, squeeze your glutes and core and stand all the way back up.
Leg raise: Lie flat on your back and hold one dumbbell over your chest, keeping your arms straight and shoulders directly underneath your wrists. Extend your legs straight out in front of you to hover just off the ground, about a foot. Exhale to lift your legs back over your hips and inhale to lower them down to hover. If you feel your lower back lifting off the floor, shorten your range of motion.
(Disclaimer: This workout is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor is it a replacement for seeking medical treatment or professional nutrition advice. Do not start any nutrition or physical activity program without first consulting your physician.)