10-Minute Dynamic Dumbbell Workout

By the Editors of SilverSneakers |

This winning routine will help keep your muscles and bones strong—and improve balance and coordination.

When we asked you to share your top health and fitness goals, two issues came up repeatedly: to strengthen your muscles and bones, and to improve balance and coordination.

We totally get it—who wants to worry about trips, tumbles, and broken bones?

That’s where strength training comes in, says SilverSneakers fitness expert David Jack. Whether you’re using handheld weights, resistance bands, or your own body, the benefits of a strength training routine can’t be underestimated, says Jack.

This 10-minute dumbbell workout bundles together exercises designed to keep your bones strong, maintain muscle mass, challenge balance and coordination, and—bonus—speed up your metabolism.

How the 10-Minute Dynamic Dumbbell Workout Works

You’ll need one dumbbell and some open floor space. It’s a good idea to start with a lighter weight—you can always work your way up. If you’d like support during any of the exercises, set up near a wall or have a sturdy chair nearby. And don’t forget to keep water handy to sip as needed.

All you need to do is press play on the video above and follow along. If you’re performing the workout on your own, do the warmup and eight exercises below in order, and then repeat the whole circuit.

You won’t use your dumbbell in every exercise. To prevent straining your back when you grab the weight off the floor, remember to bend your knees and go into a squat position. Don’t bend your back or fold forward. Instead, tighten your core and glutes as use your legs to do the heavy lifting.

To keep tabs on your effort, use a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the hardest. You can ramp up or dial down as you need, but you don’t want to go higher than 7. As you move, keep breathing, and prioritize good form.

Between each exercise, take a few moments to rest and let your heart rate slow down. Wrap up with any gentle stretches you like.

As always, safety is key. These exercises may be different or more advanced than those you’ll experience in a SilverSneakers class. If you have a chronic condition, an injury, or balance issues, talk to your doctor about how you can exercise safely.


Perform these moves for 2 minutes

How to do it: Start with shoulder rolls: Stand tall and make circles with your shoulders. Do 10 to 20 reps forward, and reverse direction for 10 to 20 reps.

Next, bring your elbows up and together in front of your chest. Pause, then lower your arms to your sides. Do three reps.

Finally, move into a side rotation: Widen your stance and reach one arm across your body, pushing with your palm. Your bottom foot will pivot as you reach across. Return to center and reach across to the other side. That’s one rep. Do eight reps. If you’d like, drop your hips and bend your knees more to fire up your leg muscles.

Exercise 1: Quarter Squat to Rotational Press

Perform the move for 90 seconds

How to do it: Grab your weight and hold it in front of your chest, resting it firmly in the palms of both hands. This hold is called the rack position (you’ll use it again for Exercise #5).

Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Perform a quarter squat. As you come up, pivot one foot and rotate your body to the opposite side. Pause, then return to start. Do five reps.

You can stay here and continue to do more reps that way. Alternatively, as you squat down, pull the weight down toward the hip of your pivot leg, and then rotate and press up. Pause at the top, then return to start. Use your legs to help power your movements. Do three reps.

Again, you can stay here and continue these reps. Alternatively, on your next rotation, press up, and turn your body to face the side wall. To do this, step with your pivot leg, bringing it in to align with your other foot. The standing leg stays in position and the foot does not rotate. Do three reps.

Return to start and repeat the entire series on the opposite side.

Exercise 2: Step Forward and Back

Perform the move for 45 seconds

How to do it: Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and in a split stance with one foot forward and one back. Keeping your feet in place, lean forward, allowing your back heel to lift, and backward, allowing your front toes to lift. You can let your arms swing naturally, or press them down to one side as you lean forward and curl them up toward the opposite shoulder as you lean backward. Continue for 20 to 25 seconds, then switch legs and repeat.

Exercise 3: Dumbbell Deadlift with Pause

Perform the move for 1 minute

How to do it: Grab your weight, holding one end with both hands. Stand tall with your feet wide apart, weight in front of your hips. Squat down to a count of three. As you lower your body, remember to keep your back flat, your chest up, and your knees over your shoelaces. Pause, then return to standing by pushing your feet into the floor for momentum. Repeat.

Exercise 4: Side Step Jack

Perform the move for 45 seconds

How to do it: Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, arms at your sides. Lean to one side, lifting the opposite foot off the floor. As you move, raise your arms to help you balance. Pause, return to center, then lean to the opposite side.

Make it easier: Instead of lifting your foot off the floor, lift only the heel. Also, remember you can set up near a wall, counter, or sturdy chair for support.

Exercise 5: Side Step Rack Position

Perform the move for 1 minute

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How to do it: Grab your weight and hold it in front of your chest in the rack position (see Exercise #1). Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your knees, pressing your hips back. Step to one side, keeping your torso steady, elbows tucked in, and feet apart. Pause, then step to the opposite side and pause. Continue stepping side to side.

Make it easier: Feel free to shake out your legs as needed, and jump back in to the pattern.

Exercise 6: Split-Stance Reach

Perform the move for 60 seconds

How to do it: Stand tall with your feet in a split stance. Slowly reach out to one side, keeping your feet planted and your torso facing forward. Look toward your hand as you move. Pause, return to center, then reach to the opposite side. Continue alternating for 30 seconds. Switch legs and repeat.

Make it harder: Narrow your stance or pick up your pace for more of a balance challenge.

Exercise 7: Dumbbell Row

Perform the move for 60 seconds

How to do it: Grab your weight and hold it in one hand. Stand with your feet wide apart, bending your knees. Place your free hand on top of your leg for stability and lean forward over that leg, so your body is at a slight angle. Pull your shoulders back and down.

From here, using a push-pull motion, press the weight down toward the opposite calf and pull it up toward your shoulder. Continue the rows for 30 seconds. Switch sides and repeat.

Make it easier: Hold on to a chair or wall for support. You can also place your front knee on a chair or bench.

Exercise 8: March Out

Perform the move for 30 to 60 seconds

How to do it: Walk in a figure-8 pattern, switching directions twice. Remember to keep your head up—try not to look at the floor.

Make it easier: If the figure-8 pattern makes you dizzy, walk across the room and back instead.

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