Tone Your Entire Body With Just Dumbbells And A Bench-Find Out How With 8 Moves

Some days you get into the gym and feel completely overwhelmed. As if it wasn’t hard enough to walk through those double-doors in the first place, a crowded floor can turn that sweat session into a stress session. Good news: With just a bench—and some dumbbells—you can do a slew of total-body toning movements.

Having just a few tools at your disposal is all you need to get in a great workout that works your abs, arms, butt, and legs. For me, an open workout bench is essential.

Here are eight moves you should be doing on a bench. For each one, do a total of three sets with a 15-12-9 rep scheme (aka, 15 reps the first round, then 12, then nine). If you’re using dumbbells (start with a five-pound set) try increasing the weight as you decrease the amount of reps. This will help build both endurance and strength.

Hammer Bench Press

Works: Chest

How to:

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie face-up on a weight bench with your feet flat on the floor.
  • Position your hands by the shoulders with dumbbells in both hands (a).
  • Straighten your arms and lift the weights over your chest (b).
  • Lower the dumbbells until they nearly touch your chest, then press back up.
  • That’s one rep.

Single Arm Row

Works: Biceps, lats, upper back, traps

How to:

  • With feet at shoulder-width distance, hinge forward at the hips maintaining a flat back and place your right foot on a bench, holding a dumbbell in your left hand (a).
  • Bend your right elbow and pull the dumbbell up to the side of your chest (b).
  • Pause, then slowly lower back to start.
  • That’s one rep.

Triceps Dip

Works: Triceps

How to:

  • Sit on the edge of a bench and place your palms facedown next to your thighs, fingers gripping the edge.
  • Place your feet on the floor in front of you (you can bend your knees to make this movement easier).
  • Keeping your arms straight, scoot forward until your hips and butt are in front of the seat (a).
  • Bend your elbows and lower your hips until your upper arms are parallel to the floor (b).
  • Push back to start.
  • That’s one rep.

Leg Lowers

Works: Core

How to:

  • Lie down on the bench with your legs straight, holding the bench with palms down, fingers facing away from scalp (a).
  • Lift your legs up into the air forming a 90-degree angle (b, c).
  • Lower legs straight down toward the ground.
  • Engage the core, and slowly lift them back up (add an extra challenge by lifting lower back up with legs at top of the movement).
  • That’s one rep.

Lateral Bench Hops

Works: Full body, cardio

How to:

  • Start standing with both feet together on one side of the bench, each hand gripping one side of the bench, toward the top end (a).
  • Jump up, propelling your body over to the opposite side of the bench, holding the sides for support.
  • Land on the other side with a slight bend in your knees (b).
  • That’s one rep.

Step Up

Works: Glutes, legs

How to:

  • Stand next to a bench holding two dumbbells (you can do this without dumbbells at first, until you feel comfortable with the movement pattern).
  • Place your left foot firmly on the bench (a).
  • Press down with your left heel, push your body up, and simultaneously extend your right foot out to the side at a 45-degree angle (b).
  • Slowly lower back to the starting position.
  • That’s one rep.
  • Do reps on one leg, then repeat with the right.

Pistol Squat Prep

Works: Glutes, legs

How to:

  • Stand in front of the bench with feet together.
  • Holding your arms straight out in front of your body (or wherever makes you comfortable), raise your right leg off the floor (a).
  • Push your hips back and lower your body until your glutes tap the bench (b).
  • Pause, then push your body back to the starting position.
  • That’s one rep.

Decline Pushups

Works: Chest, arms

How to:

  • Get into plank position, with your hands underneath your shoulders, and place your feet on a box or bench (a).
  • Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor (b).
  • Pause, then push back to the starting position as quickly as possible.
  • That’s one rep.

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