The low-impact dumbbell workout you can do while watching Netflix

This low-impact, four-move dumbbell workout is perfect to do at home in front of the TV

Man and woman working out in front of TV with dumbbells
(Image credit: Getty Images)

You don’t need lots of equipment to stay fit, and neither do you have to pull yourself away from the show you’re currently bingeing. All you need is a set of home weights, as this low-impact dumbbell workout can be done at home in front of the TV. 

An all-over body workout, that you could do with the best adjustable dumbbells or just one set of weights you feel comfortable with, this workout will work the arms, glutes and legs. If you don’t have dumbbells you can also use one of the best resistance bands to perform the exercises. 

Below, Mitch Raynsford, strength and conditioning coach for P3RFORM (opens in new tab) takes us through four quick exercises you can do in front of the TV - saving you time and a costly gym membership.

Raynsford explains that this gentle dumbbell workout is perfect for beginners to resistance or weight training, and is made up of four simple low impact exercises. “These exercises provide low impact on the joints but still allow you to burn those calories and build some muscle without moving more than a few inches from the sofa.” 

Check out the workout below. Each move has a how-to guide and two pictures showcasing the movement, which can be accessed via the arrows. 

Move #1: Goblet squats

  • Pick up the dumbbell with an underhand grip between your chest, with feet shoulder-width apart and toes slightly pointed outwards.
  • Inhale and while keeping your chest up, slowly sit between your legs until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Your knees are allowed to go past your toes. 
  • Drive through your midfoot without your heels coming off the floor, push back up to your starting position then exhale.
  •  Repeat for 10 repetitions. That's one set: do three more.

Move #2: Alternating bent-over row

  • Grab the dumbbells in each arm with a neutral grip.
  • Inhale, and start to push your hips back towards to wall behind you, bringing the DB down towards your knees.
  • Once the dumbbells are in a position slightly above your knees, begin the movement by pulling one weight towards your torso.
  • Squeeze your lats at the top of the movement, before bringing the dumbbell back down to your knees. 
  • Repeat on the other side and continue for eight repetitions on each side. That's one set: do three more.

Move #3: Glute bridges

  • Lying on your back, bring your feet close to your hips. 
  • Rest a dumbbell on your hips to keep stable.
  • Drive through heels and extend at the hips, squeezing glutes throughout the movement. Do not overextend through the back: aim for a straight line between your knees and your shoulders. 
  • On the decline, do not allow hips to touch the floor to keep them engaged. Repeat 12 times for four sets.

Move #4: Kneeling single arm press

  • Start the movement in a half-kneeling position. Pick up the weight in the opposite arm to the knee that is out.
  • Ensure the dumbbell is shoulder height with palms facing forward at 45-degrees and elbows pointing down.
  • Inhale, engage your core and on your exhale press the weight directly overhead so that your wrist stops directly over your shoulders.
  • Pause at the top and then reverse the movement to return back to starting position.
  • Repeat for eight repetitions on each side, and four sets.

Why do this workout?

If you already do lots of cardio, such as running or cycling, adding a couple of resistance-based workouts can be great for building muscle which will boost not just your performance, but also your overall health. The mental and physical benefits of building muscle are huge, helping to manage blood sugar levels, become stronger and even feel more emotionally stable. 

Building muscle is also great for fat loss, as it increases your metabolism. Eating or consuming protein, including the best protein powder for weight loss, after a resistance-based workout can also help to rebuild your muscles and further improve your metabolism.  

Sarah is a freelance journalist who writes about fitness and wellbeing for the BBC, Woman&Home and Tech Radar. During lockdown she found her love of running outside again and now attempts to run around 50 miles a month. When it comes to other fitness, she loves a sweaty cardio session – although since she’s been working out from home she’s sure her downstairs neighbors aren’t too happy about it. She also loves to challenge herself - and has signed up to do hiking holidays, intense bootcamps and last year she went on her dream activity holiday: paddle boarding around deserted islands in Croatia. On her rest days, she loves to recover with a simple yoga flow session – the perfect antidote to her active fitness schedule.