The Best Workout Routine Ever, According to Science

Best workout routine ever
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Every so often, new workout plans will move into the mainstream.

For instance, in the 1980s step aerobics classes were all the rage. In the 1990s, at-home workout tapes like “Buns of Steel” were king. Then, there were similar exercise trends in every decade that followed!

However, there have always been some tried and true methods that can lead to an incredible physique and great health.

In this article, I will outline one of the best, simplest resistance training routines there is.

Sets and Reps for the Optimal Workout

There are many ways to structure an effective workout program. Check out this study to see some of the most current research on this topic.

This workout consists of 4 exercises, 10 reps per exercise, 3 sets of each exercise per session, for 3 sessions per week.

All of the exercises in this workout are multi-joint, compound movements. Because of this, each movement works tons of different muscles. 

To get even more calorie burn, this workout is set up as a circuit. A circuit is a type of workout in which one exercise is performed one after the other. In this way, the muscles that are worked during the first exercise are able to rest while the next exercise is performed. 

You’ll want to rest for as little time as possible during this routine. This will help to increase the cardiorespiratory demands of the workout and will lead to incredible results.

If you’re ready to try this workout, grab your dumbbells, and let’s get to work!

The Best Total Body Dumbbell Workout

Be sure to take your time during this workout and select weights that will challenge you, but that won’t be too heavy to move. The last thing you want is to become injured from this exercise plan!

Plus, you should do everything you can to enjoy this routine. Turn on your music, listen to a podcast, do a dance between sets; whatever! After all, research has shown that having fun during exercise is key for adherence.

You may also like:

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The Best Total Body Dumbbell Workout Routine Ever

Best total body workout routine ever

Be sure to take your time during this workout and select weights that will challenge you, but that won’t be too heavy to move. The last thing you want is to become injured from this exercise plan!

1. Dumbbell Front Squat

Dumbbell Front Squat

This move will primarily challenge your triple extensor muscles (calves, glutes, quads). However, you’ll also get a pump in your arms as well. If you’re new to squatting, focus closely on your form and practice often so that you learn this incredibly important movement.

How to Perform:

  • Grab one dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Lift the dumbbells up to your shoulders with your elbows under your hands.
  • Squat down as low as you can by sitting backward and bending your knees.
  • Your heels should remain flat on the floor and your back should remain straight. 
  • Ensure that you do not have pain during this movement.
  • If you need to modify the movement due to pain or it is too difficult, try holding the weights down by your sides.

2. Dumbbell Bench Press

Dumbbell Bench Press

This exercise emphasizes the chest, triceps, and shoulders. If you have a bench, this will help you to achieve a greater range of motion and more muscle activation during this exercise. However, if you don’t have a bench available, lying on the floor works just fine.

How to Perform:

  • Grab one dumbbell in each hand and sit down on your bench.
  • Safely and carefully, transition into lying on your back with the weights on either side of your chest.
  • Keeping your elbows tight, press the weights up towards the ceiling.
  • Slowly, return the weights to the starting position to complete the rep.
  • If you are new to this exercise, you should consider having a spotter with you while you perform the movement.

3. Dumbbell Deadlift

Dumbbell Deadlift

Deadlifts are one of the most important exercises in existence. This move works the glutes, hamstrings, and other muscles of the legs and low back. However, you should be certain that your back remains strong and doesn’t flex during this exercise. 

How to Perform:

  • Holding one dumbbell in each hand, space your legs out to roughly hip-width.
  • Keeping a slight bend in the knees, slowly hinge forward at the hips.
  • Once you’ve reached the bottom of your range of motion, reverse the movement by standing back up tall.
  • If you feel back pain during this exercise, seek help from a qualified medical professional and/or a competent trainer who can teach you the motion.

4. Dumbbell Bent-Over Row

Dumbbell Bent-Over Row

Last but not least, we have the dumbbell row. This exercise will primarily work the biceps and back muscles. These muscles have yet to be emphasized in our workout so far. If this variation hurts your low back, consider performing the “one-arm” version by supporting yourself on a bench.

How to Perform:

  • With one dumbbell in each hand, bend forward at the waist.
  • Keeping your knees slightly bent, bend your arms and pull the weights up toward the bottom of your chest.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement, then return the weights to the starting position.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for an efficient, effective workout, give this workout routine a try! It will work every muscle in your body and will leave you sweating and breathless at the end. Good luck!

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Bennett Richardson, DPT, PT, CSCS

Bennett Richardson is a physical therapist and writer out of Pittsburgh, PA. He has maintained certification as a strength and conditioning coach (CSCS) since 2014. He then went on to earn a BS in exercise science and a doctorate degree in physical therapy, both from Slippery Rock University. In his free time, Bennett likes to read and exercise.

2 Comments

  1. Kyle Reply

    I love the simplicity of this routine. Though I have a few questions?:

    – Does this routine build muscle or is it mostly cardio?
    – How do you know when to progress from this routine?
    – Is it when the weights become too easy, and all you have to do is increase the weight and/or reps?
    – Or is there a “sequel” to this routine that one should progress to?

    Thanks!

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