Online gamer and lover of gains Jackson "Bajheera" Bliton has had a dual love of video games and weight training since his childhood. And you'd better believe there are times when he mixes the two! Taking a break from your gaming to get a sweat in isn't only a good choice to help you stay active and burn calories, it's also a good way to wake up your body and can even make you better at gaming.
The best part? All you need is some open space and a set of weights to get this workout done. If you have a pair of dumbbells in the house, great—but don't feel limited to them. Because this is a lightweight, high-rep workout, you can use anything you have lying around in the place of weights: milk jugs, heavy books, or even an iron shield and battle axe (be careful with that last one).
Bliton recommends this workout for beginners looking to fit in workouts where they can, as well as anyone looking to get some blood flowing, any time. He's a pro bodybuilder, but he still does workouts like this, too. And you can adjust this workout to be as challenging as you want. If 20 squats is easy, do 40, or do lunges or single-leg hip thrusts instead. For the weighted exercises, you can add sets or switch up your rest times.
With the exercises arranged in supersets or trisets and the rest periods short, it doesn't have to take any longer than 10-15 minutes to bust out this routine—unless you want to make it longer. But in that short time, you'll get warmed up and start feeling a pump pretty quickly!
"For me, a good rep range is usually 15-20. I think ideally for you, wherever that really good burn starts to set in, or you finish that last rep and you're feeling that pump, that's a good place to stop," Bliton says.
The positioning of your hands will affect how much you feel this in your chest versus your tris and shoulders, so pick one that focuses on your weak points! And be sure you're moving through the full range of motion and not cutting reps short.
Bliton recommends slowing down this movement to really feel those muscles working. Push your knees outward to help engage the glutes and hamstrings more, and squeeze your quads at the top. Keeping good form here will carry over into weighted squats, so take these seriously!
There are many ways you can perform the dumbbell curl, and Bliton prefers the neutral grip into a supinated curl, rotating the dumbbells as you move them up. Bring the dumbbells straight up toward your front delts, keeping your elbows at your sides and feeling the squeeze at the top of the movement. Your body should be rigid as you go through your reps, never swinging in motion along with them.
Dumbbell Triceps Extension
From your standing dumbbell curl position, hinge forward and start with your arms hanging perpendicular to the floor. Keeping your elbows locked in at your sides, use your triceps to kick the dumbbells straight back into full extension. You should feel the contraction before returning to start. Don't use extra momentum with this exercise, but rather control the weight and move it intentionally.
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Stand right up from your triceps extensions and bring your dumbbells up to shoulder level. Your wrists should be straight and stay over your elbows as you press the dumbbells up over your head, thinking about bringing your biceps in line with your ears. Make sure your core stays tight and that you're not arching your lower back.
"You can get a lot out of this by focusing on that contraction at the top, and the stretch at the bottom," Bliton says. "And the way you position the dumbbells will all change the way that your trap is worked."
Your options are holding them in front, behind, or on your sides. Try them all out to see what feels best for you!
Once again, move right into this next exercise after the shrugs by hinging at the hips and holding the dumbbells perpendicular to the floor. Engage your lats and pull your shoulder blades together and down your back before rowing the dumbbells up toward your rib cage. The key here is to keep your torso steady. If you're moving it up and down with the rows, you won't be engaging the muscles properly. You can choose between a supinated, overhand, or underhand grip to hit those back muscles in different ways.
If you're interested in a full workout program you can do at home, check out Total-Body Dumbell Fix, only on Bodybuilding.com All Access.