In Shaun T‘s latest program, LET’S GET UP!, he combines easy-to-follow cardio dance sequences, body-weight resistance training exercises, INSANITY-based moves set to music, and two weekly dumbbell resistance workouts.
When it comes to increasing strength, torching fat, and improving overall performance, it’s tough to beat resistance-training exercises, says Shaun’s fellow Super Trainer, Idalis Velazquez.
“Adding resistance training is necessary to increase overall wellness, mobility, longevity, and fitness level,” she explains.
Plus, resistance training exercises can be done with equipment like kettlebells, resistance bands, dumbbells, or with your own body weight.
“For the resistance days in LET’S GET UP!, the workouts are set to a rhythm to help you tone and build muscular endurance,” says Amanda Lopez, technical fitness advisor at BODi, who worked with Shaun T. on his program.
“They still have the same dance conditioning workouts, except you’re adding weight for extra burn,” she adds.
1. Dumbbell Deadlifts
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a pair of heavy dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms facing you.
- Keeping your back flat, shoulders back, and core engaged, push your hips back and simultaneously hinge forward at your waist as you bend slightly at your knees. (Imagine closing a car door with your butt.)
- Lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor and/or you feel a deep stretch in your hamstrings. Keep the dumbbells within an inch or two of your legs throughout the move.
- Pause, and then slowly reverse the movement to return to the standing position and engage your glutes back at the top.
2. Biceps Curls
- Assume a wide, staggered stance with your left leg forward and your left arm supported on your left thigh (as if you were about to attempt to start a lawnmower).
- Holding a dumbbell at arm’s length with your right hand (palm facing forward), make a fist with your left hand and brace the back of your right elbow against the back of your left wrist.
- Keeping your back flat and core braced, curl the weight toward your shoulder.
- Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
- Do all of your reps, switch sides, and repeat, performing an equal number of reps with each arm.
3. Dumbbell Chest Flys
- Lie on the ground, holding a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length over your chest, palms facing each other.
- Keeping your elbows slightly bent, slowly lower the dumbbells directly out to your sides until you feel a deep stretch in your chest.
- Pause, then slowly reverse the move, returning to the starting position.
4. Dumbbell Bent-Over Rows
- Stand with your feet hip- to shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Brace your core, push your hips back, bend your knees slightly, and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor.
- Let the dumbbells hang at arm’s length with your palms facing each other. Engage your shoulder blades to keep your shoulders pulled back. This is the starting position.
- Without moving your torso, and while keeping your elbows tucked and back flat, row the weights to your ribcage as you squeeze your shoulder blades together.
- Pause, then lower the weights back to the starting position.
5. Dumbbell Goblet Squats
- Grab a dumbbell and hold it vertically in front of your chest, cupping the top end in both hands. Set your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Keeping your back flat and elbows pointed down, push your hips back and lower your body until your thighs are at least parallel to the ground (your elbows should touch the insides of your knees if possible).
- Pause, and then slowly push yourself back up to the starting position.
6. Glute Bridges
- Lie on your back with your legs bent, feet flat on the ground about hip-width distance apart. Place your hands at your sides, palms on the floor. You should be able to just reach your heels with your fingertips, and your knees should be above your ankles. This is your starting position.
- Engage your abs, squeeze your glutes, and press your feet into the ground to lift your hips. Your body should form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
- Keep your head in a neutral position, eyes gazing toward the ceiling, and the back of your head on the floor.
- Hold for a beat and then lower your hips back to the floor. Repeat.
Whether you’re a beginner, coming back from injury, or just need to dial it down for a workout, it’s not a problem.
Lopez says there are modifications for the resistance training exercises in LET’S GET UP! that involve using lighter weights, and/or doing a lesser range of motion.
Shaun T will also feature more challenging modifications if you feel ready to progress.
“Because this program focuses on muscle endurance and toning, you’ll definitely feel the burn with something like 5-pound dumbbells,” she says.
And if you want to go heavier, you have the option, too.