The Best Outdoor Bootcamp Workout Using Just Dumbbells

No matter what your go-to workout is, there's no denying that there's something special about a bootcamp-style workout. Often formatted as a circuit, there's something fun about the opportunity to get after it alongside others with a common goal.

Integrating dumbbells into your bootcamp routine can add an extra challenge. (Image: Wavebreakmedia/iStock/GettyImages)

Add in the potential for increased strength, weight loss and improved cardiovascular fitness — and you've got the perfect recipe for a total-body burn and a good time.

Ready to take on a bootcamp challenge? Try this workout designed by Caley Crawford, certified personal trainer and director of education for Row House.

Dumbbells-Only Bootcamp Workout

For Crawford's workout, all you need is a set of medium-weight dumbbells, a timer and a kick-butt attitude. Beware: This workout involves running with decreased duration but increased speed with each round.


Do: Each move for 30 seconds, two rounds total.

Toy Soldier

  1. Stand with your feet together. Step forward with your left foot, and swing your right leg out in front of you, keeping it straight. Aim to get it to at least waist height. Reach out with your left hand to try to touch your toes.
  2. Lower your right leg down a little bit in front of you.
  3. As you step forward, swing the opposite foot forward and repeat.
  4. Continue alternating legs for 30 seconds.


  1. Start with feet shoulder-width apart and slightly turned out to the side.
  2. Bend at the knees and hips to send your glutes back and your knees out as you slowly lower your body into the bottom of a squat.
  3. Hold for three seconds.
  4. Press through your heels to return to start.

Plank Walkout

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Hinge forward at the hips and reach toward the floor.
  2. Keeping your feet in place, walk out to a high plank so that shoulders are over wrists. Hold for two seconds, engaging the core.
  3. Return to start by walking hands back to feet, then standing up.

Hand-Release Push-Up

  1. Start in a high plank with shoulders over wrists.
  2. Keeping the elbows close to your rib cage, lower your body in straight line toward the floor.
  3. When your torso touches the floor, lift up your hands, then place them back down.
  4. Push through your palms back to start.

World's Greatest Stretch

  1. Stand with your feet together and hands on your hips. Lunge forward with your left leg and drop your right knee almost to the ground.
  2. Plant your right hand on the ground in line with your left knee. Reach with your left arm up toward the ceiling and turn your shoulders to the left, following your hand with your eyes.
  3. Return back to center and step up your right foot in line with your left.
  4. Repeat on the right side and continue to lunge forward, alternating sides each rep.

The Workout

Do: Five rounds of the below exercises, with a run before each round. For the first round, you'll run a half-mile, then do each of the following exercises for 30 seconds. With each round, you run 0.1 miles less.

Between each, rest one minute. Then repeat — doing a 0.4-mile run, followed by the exercises. Continue until you finish your fifth and final round with a 0.1-mile run. The goal of these runs, Crawford says, is to speed up with each round.

  • 15 shoulder press with dumbbells
  • 30 alternating reverse lunge with dumbbells
  • 15 hand release push-ups
  • 30-second side plank with dumbbell hold (left side)
  • 30-second side plank with dumbbell hold (right side)

Shoulder Press

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and dumbbells at shoulder level with your palms facing forward.
  2. Press both dumbbells overhead, bringing the weights together until they almost touch overhead.
  3. Return back to start.

Alternating Reverse Lunge

  1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart holding dumbbells by your sides, palms facing in.
  2. Move your left leg back behind your body, while simultaneously bending your right knee and lowering your hips. Keep your torso straight. Stop when your knee is at a 90-degree angle and your right thigh is parallel to the floor.
  3. Pause slightly and push with your right leg, squeezing your glutes to stand up, while simultaneously returning your left leg to its starting position.
  4. Repeat on opposite side.

Hand Release Push-Up

  • See above description.

Side Plank With Dumbbell Hold

  1. Start in a forearm plank. Shift your weight onto your right forearm, raising your other arm holding a dumbbell overhead.
  2. If you need to modify, bend the top leg and place that foot a bit in front of you for added support.
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