Power Play: A High Intensity Dumbbell-Bodyweight Circuit

Below is a guest post from Lift Weights Faster author Jen Sinkler. Also, always consult with your physician or fitness professional before attempting high intensity workouts or unfamiliar exercises. Enjoy!

###

All variations of the clean and the snatch are a blast to coach. The moment of dawning realization in someone’s eyes when you explain you get to forcefully jump the weight up into the end position. Of course, there are plenty of nuances that vary depending on what sort of implement you’re using, but the aggressive hip extension remains the same, whether you’re using a barbell, kettlebell or dumbbell.

That realization is that this lift is fun.

So often, as adults, we tamp down or lose touch with our desire to truly unleash the beast, if you will, opting instead for moderate movements. The clean and the snatch give you an opportunity to rectify the situation.

Below, I’ve laid out a quick and effective total-body circuit that will develop speed and power, bust up fat, and add to the total work you do. Even though it’s an AMRAP, keep your reps fresh, and rest as needed. Use a heavy enough weight that it matters.

Name: Power Play
Tagline: Go big and ballistic
Time Allotted: 10 minutes
Suggested Equipment: A dumbbell and the ability to get up and get down!
Instructions: Do as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) of this circuit in 5 to 10 minutes. Take breaks as needed (but try to take them at the bottom of the round).

jon-erik kawamoto personal trainer

Dumbbell Snatch

 
personal training st. john's

  • Stand tall and place a dumbbell between your feet in front of you so the handle is perpendicular to your feet.
  • Keeping your back flat, hinge at the hips and bend your knees until you can reach the dumbbell handle.
  • Gripping the dumbbell, explosively extend your hips. Use the power generated by your hip drive to lift the dumbbell. Keep the dumbbell close to your body as it rises, and pull only slightly with your arm.
  • As the dumbbell passes your face level, extend and “punch” your arm upward to lock the weight out overhead. The weight should feel weightless for a moment at the top of the movement. If you are pressing out to complete the movement, use a lighter weight or explode more powerfully from the hips.
  • Lower the dumbbell with control to the floor, and repeat for the desired number of repetitions before switching sides.

One Arm Dumbbell Clean

 
personal trainer st. john's

  • Standing with your feet hip-width apart, grasp one dumbbell so it hangs straight down in front of you.
  • Bend your knees slightly into a partial squat, then explosively extend your hips. Use the power generated by your hips, hamstrings, and glutes to “float” the dumbbell up. (You should pull up only slightly with your arms.)
  • As the dumbbell becomes “weightless” in the air, quickly rotate the elbows underneath so you “catch” the dumbbell in the front rack position at shoulder height.
  • Lower the dumbbell back down under control and repeat.

Knee-to-Elbow Plank

 
st. john's personal trainer

  • Start in a straight-arm plank position with your body elevated between your hands and toes.
  • While holding this position, lift one leg and draw the knee up and around toward the elbow on the same side.
  • Lower your leg and return to the starting plank position. Repeat on the opposite side, bringing the opposite knee to elbow. Alternate legs to complete the set.

Superpeople

 
personal training st. john's

  • Lie on your stomach with arms stretched overhead.
  • Arch your back and lift your chest off the floor, simultaneously squeezing your glutes so that your feet and lower legs lift off the ground at the same time. Lower your arms and legs back to the floor and repeat.
  • Don’t overreach or look up to avoid straining your neck.

Get Better Faster

 
If you’re looking to amp up your conditioning in other creative but productive ways, I’ve put together a mammoth 130-workout pick-and-choose library called Lift Weights Faster. Complete with a full exercise glossary that includes written descriptions and photographic demonstrations of over 225 exercises (from classic moves to more unusual ones — the Jefferson deadlift, anyone?), a limited video library that includes coaching on 14 of the more technical lifts, five challenge-workout videos, plus a dynamic warm-up routine, I leveraged my background in magazine publishing to create a clear-cut, easy-to-use resource that you’ll want to turn to all the time.

Every workout is organized by the equipment you have available and how much time you’ve got, with options that last anywhere from five up to 30 minutes.

Lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention I teamed up with two-time New York Times bestselling author Diane Sanfilippo to create a wonderful companion resource called Eat Better Faster on eating healthy, whole foods, even when you’re pinched for time.

For more info, click here: www.jkconditioning.com/liftweightsfaster
 
st. john's personal trainingJen Sinkler (www.jensinkler.com), RKC, PCC, PM, USAW, is a longtime fitness journalist who writes for national magazines such as Women’s Health and Men’s Health. A former member of the U.S. national women’s rugby team, she currently trains clients at The Movement Minneapolis.