[butts] - n. 1. A young woman who is smitten with food 2. A young woman who strives for balance

Arm and Ab Single Set Dumbbell Workout

Arm and Ab Single Set Dumbbell Workout


That’s Olivia code for: yay!

I am so excited to finally have a dedicated section on this blog for workouts. Considering I workout 5-6 days a week, every day consisting of a different workout I created myself, you would think this would have been introduced on day 1 of Straight to the Butze. The workouts in this section will range everywhere from workouts performed in the gym with all the equipment to workouts with absolutely no equipment at all- perfect for traveling and at home sweat sessions! I also will make sure to include modifications for both beginners and advanced. Down the road, you can expect tons of tips and general workout advice.

To kick off this new chapter, I am keeping it simple: a great arm and ab workout that requires only one set of dumbbells.

I love workouts like this- when I am at home without access to a gym, dumbbells help me challenge myself, but also make sure I a. have all the equipment readily available and b. am not spending an absurd amount of money on at-home equipment. If you workout at home, investing in a small amount of equipment is not a bad idea! I definitely have some thoughts on what those items may be, and you can learn more about them here.

So, fill up your water bottle, grab a towel or a yoga mat, turn on those pump-up tunes, and get sweaty!


One set of medium weight dumbbells. (I use 10-12 lbs, but this varies on level- use a medium weight to ensure you only need one set of dumbbells for all of the exercises, but are still challenged)

Warmup: Perform both exercises and repeat.  

  • 12 burpees: Standing with your knees slightly bent, hop up in the air with your arms extended above your head. Jump immediately down into a high plank, kicking your legs back in a fluid movement. If advanced, perform a pushup or a chest tap to the ground. Jump legs back into hands and jump back to starting position. This is one rep.
  • 20 downward dog toe taps: Start in high plank and reach diagonally back, arching back into downward dog position, to touch right hand to left toe and then move forward to starting high plank position. Repeat with left hand to right toe. This is two reps.

Set One: Repeat each set four times, pausing for a break only when needed. For an extra challenge, try completing two full sets before taking a break!

  • 12 bicep curl to press: Standing with your knees slightly bent, weights grasped in each hand, perform a bicep curl. At the top of the curl (or when the weights are close to your shoulders), rotate the weights so your thumb is closest to you and immediately press the weights above your head. Bring the weights down in the same fashion you brought them up, remembering to use slow and controlled movements! For beginners, do one arm at a time; advanced, try both at once! The entire up and down motion is one rep.
  • 20 jacknives: Take one weight and grasp either end in each hand, so that the bar is perpendicular to your body. Lying down on the ground, extend your body completely, legs out and hands (and weight) extended back above head. Slowly crunch your knees to your chest and your hands/weight over your knees. Extend your legs and arms back out, not letting either touch the floor. While performing this motion, remember to keep your back flat against the ground. If your back is arching, try lowering both your legs and hands less. A tip to help with this is to suck in your stomach, as if away from your shirt and to keep your pelvis tucked in. The return to start position indicates one rep.
  • 20 Renegade Rows: In a high plank position, grasp both weights in either hand. Keeping your arm close to your chest, pull one weight at a time in a rowing motion towards your chest, and slowly returning it to start. Repeat on other side. This is two reps.
  • 30 Russian Twists: Holding one dumbbell between both hands, sit on the floor with your feet bent in front of you (as if you were hugging knees to chest). If a beginner, keep feet planted on floor. If advanced, lift both feet off, keeping them in the air- I like to cross my ankles for more stability. Move the weight to the outside of your right hip bone, and then twist to bring it to the outside of your left. This is two reps.

Set Two: Repeat each set four times, pausing for a break only when needed. For an extra challenge, try completing two full sets before taking a break!

  • 24 Tricep Kickbacks: (Note- This movement works best if you have a low table or a bench to put your weight against. If you do not have either, this can be performed using the floor as a surface instead.) Place your inner knee on the bench and your inner hand before you on the bench, so that your outer knee is firmly on the floor and your outer hand is grasping the dumbbell. Bending over slightly, keep your arm holding the weight close to your body at a 45-degree angle. Slowly bring your outer arm back, kicking the weight back behind your body with a straight, extended arm. Return back to start. This is one rep. Perform twelve on one side before switching to other arm. If on floor, perform by kneeling on all fours.
  • 20 Chest Presses: Lying on your mat, place both weights in either hand. Bring the weights directly above your chest and lower slowly down, before pushing through back up. This is one rep. For extra core work, bring your knees up to a table top while performing the exercise.
  • 20 Weighted Sit-Ups: Lie down on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor a comfortable distance away from your butt. Grasping a single weight between both hands (once again with the bar perpendicular to your body), extend your arms back beyond head. Using your core (read: not your back! Not your momentum!), raise your body so you are sitting up, with the weight extended directly above head. Return slowly back down to the starting position. This is one rep.
  • 12 Man Makers: Saved the best for last! ;) This move combines burpee, row, and curl to press all in one. Start in a standing position with your knees slightly bent, a dumbbell grasped in each hand. In a fluid motion, lower your body to the mat, entering your high plank row position. Perform a row on each hand before jumping your feet back to the outside of either hand, standing up tall. Curl your arms into your chest and follow with a press up. Return them back through the same motion until they remain against either side. This is one rep. If the weight gets to be too much, perform without!

I hope you guys are excited as I am for this new section on the blog! If you have any workouts you want to see, comment below! I am always up for inspiration and suggestions.  

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Core and Butt Exercise Ball Workout

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