This month we want to encourage all of Monochrome’s male readers to get off their bums and get back in shape. Summer is here, not around the corner, HERE sway! Exercising at home is hopefully, something you’ve been thinking about while sitting on the sofa waiting out this cold cold winter we are slowly coming out of.

Here is our collection of exercises that we think are super effective in toning, building lean muscle mass and developing total body strength for beginners. They don’t require much, a pair of heavy to moderate dumbbells and get ready to get in the best shape of your life! Good luck.

Push Up


How to do it: Get down into a push-up position with your hands placed shoulder-width apart and back flat, so a straight-line form from your head to heels, via your glutes. Lower your body until your chest is an inch from the ground then explosively drive up by fully extending your arms. That’s on rep.


Why: This move uses multiple muscle groups for maximum growth and strengthens your shoulder joints. Easily done as an exercise at home, this prepares you for progression to the more demanding shoulder exercises you’ll face in a gym, like the incline bench press.


Dumbbell Standing Shoulder Press


How to do it: Stand holding two dumbbells at shoulder height with an overhand grip – palms facing forwards. Ensure your elbows are in front of you but don’t flare out to the sides. Press the weights up above your head until your arms are fully extended. Return slowly to the start position.

Why: This is a safer shoulder-sculptor than lifting from behind your neck. As a beginner the aim should be to keep strain off your joints and protect against an injury called shoulder impingement syndrome. Missed sessions this early in your lifting career are especially costly.


Dumbbell Squat


How to do it: Holding a dumbbell in each hand, position your legs shoulder width apart. Keeping your head up and back straight, sit back into the squat until the dumbbells are an about 3 cm from the floor. Focus on keeping your knees over your toes and chest out – don’t arch your back or lean forward as you drop down. Exhale, straighten your legs and return to the starting position.

Why: Squats are an excellent all-round exercise and one of the best moves for building overall strength. Using dumbbells let you concentrate on technique and work on your range of movement. Only advance to barbell squats in the gym once you’ve got this nailed.


Farmers Walk


How to do it: Grab a heavy dumbbell in each hand – think half your bodyweight – and hold them at your sides. Stand up tall with your shoulders back and walk forward as quickly as you can using short steps.

Why: Super simple with no need to worry about technique, this move hits your shoulder stabilisers, upper traps and front deltoids. It also supercharges your grip strength, which will transfer strength to your other lifts too.


Bicep Curl

How to: Stand with a dumbbell in each hand and, keeping your upper arms stationary, curl the weights until the dumbbells are at shoulder level. Focus on keeping your elbows still – only your lower arm should move. Squeeze your bicep at the top of the contraction then lower slowly and repeat.

Why: This is the perfect move for developing those mirror muscles you crave. By keeping your upper arm stationary, you hit the whole bicep for maximum growth.


Dumbbell Step Up


How to do it: Stand in front of bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Place your right foot onto the bench, push up through your heel to lift your whole body up. Step down with your left foot and repeat on the opposite side.

Why: By activating all of your upper leg muscles (glutes, quads and hamstrings) it’s an entire leg day in one move. Plus, it’s low-impact, which is means you avoid the knee injuries associated with more explosive exercises.




How to do it: Get in a push-up position, but rest on your forearms rather than your hands. Make sure your back is straight and engage your abs by tensing them and glutes. Hold without allowing your hips to drop.

Why: Endless crunches put pressure on your spine and, when done incorrectly, can give you a set of weird, distended abs. Planks are perfect for working your core in a way that keeps you injury-free and helps builds the flat six-pack.


Side Plank

How to do it: Lie on your left side with your legs straight and prop yourself onto your elbow. Brace your core and raise your hips until your body forms a straight line. Hold this position while breathing deeply. Roll over and repeat on the other side.

Why: Excellent for targeting a small muscle in your lower back, the quadratus lumborum. Strengthening it is crucial for spine health and will help you avoid the notorious beginner’s back pain. The diamond-cut obliques are a bonus.


Bench Dips

How to do it: Stand facing away from a bench, grab it with both hands at shoulder-width. Extend your legs out in front of you. Slowly lower your body by flexing at the elbows until your arm at forearm create a 90-degree angle. Using your triceps lift yourself back to the starting position.


Why: This is easy to do on a chair, stair or coffee table. It works the arms, chest and shoulders and is great if you want people to notice that you’ve started working out as it builds triceps effectively.



How to do it: Lie flat on your back with your knees bent at a 90-degree angle. Place your hands on either side of your head. Push your lower back into the floor as you lift your shoulders a few inches off the floor – make sure your lower back stays in contact with the ground at all times. Tense your abs hard at the top point of the movement, then return under control to the start position.

Why: The first port of call for any abs workout this is a must-do. By lifting your legs, you place extra weight on the stomach muscles and reduce the momentum that could make this easier.


Shadow boxing

How to do it: Adopt a fighting stance and bounce on your toes as you shadow box. Dip and weave to your heart’s content.

Why: This can help consolidate the rest of your workout as it benefits cardio strength, legs, core and arms. Jog on the spot between low- and high-intensity punching for a HIIT style cardio workout.

Pair these exercises with a few high intensity cardio days and you’ll be on your way to saying bye-bye to that kapunda for good!

If you find it a little hard to get yourself motivated, let our team at SWEAT FITNESS help you! We are offering 30% OFF for all new sign-ups for the month of September, sorry ladies, this special is strictly for the gents – so feel free to refer a friend! To sign up call us at 081 2353521 / 081 8150 977 or pop us an email at

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