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A pair of 15 lbs dumbbells

I love to exercise.

I know, I know — this is sort of an unpopular confession. It’s more common to admit “I love how I feel after I work out” and “It’s a chore, but I know I’m doing something good for myself.” But from where I stand, there’s little that gets me as excited as knowing I get to move my body.

I do often love how I feel afterward. I know I’m doing something good for myself. And even those times when exercising feels like a chore, I still love it in the moment.

Yet even from this generally loving baseline, every once in a while I come across a workout routine — or more likely a snippet of a workout routine — that I’m extra jazzed about. It’s the kind of thing that I daydream about and wait for all week until it comes up again in my program.

I want to share my current favorite workout snippet: a two-move superset that is strength, conditioning, and unadulterated joy all rolled into one.

I don’t often share my workouts because, well, they’re mine — set by my coach to meet my unique goals, needs, and preferences.

But this particular routine has lit my heart and glutes on fire once a week for the last few months. It’s hard yet fun, and doesn’t required a lot of time. Plus, it’s accessible and modifiable enough that almost anyone can give it a try.

In other words, I can’t resist sharing it with you.

As with everything we recommend here at EL, focus on form over weight and speed, steer clear of failure and pain, and do not hesitate to ask a trainer or coach for help if something isn’t quite working. (You can also feel free to shoot me a note in the Real Fitness Facebook group here.

Incorporate this superset into your existing routine once a week, or use it as a standalone workout when you’re short on time.

I’d love to hear what you think — and what your favorite workout of the moment is!

Step-Up and Snatch Superset

Perform eight sets of the following two moves in a superset fashion. For the first exercise, complete all reps on each side of the body before moving on to the second exercise. Rest only as needed, at the bottom of a set.

Side Step-Up

Illustration of person doing side step-up

  • Stand with feet hip width apart next to a step or box beside you.
  • Plant one foot firmly on the step. With your other leg, straighten at the knee and pull up your toes so only your heel is on the ground.
  • Keeping your hips level and upper body upright, press through the foot on the step to step up, fully extending that knee and hip.
  • With control and keeping your hips level, lower down to the start position, allowing only the heel to tap the floor.
  • Repeat for four reps per side.
  • Avoid bouncing off the floor with your trailing foot; lower the height of the step to maintain control.
  • To add weight, hold a kettlebell at shoulder height on the working-leg side. Make it harder by holding the kettlebell in an offset position, on the shoulder of the trailing leg.

Single-Arm Dumbbell Snatch

Illustration of person doing dumbbell snatch superset

  • Stand with feet slightly wider than your shoulders, holding a dumbbell in one hand.
  • With your shoulder packed down and back and your core braced, slightly bend your knees and dip into a quarter-squat to engage your glutes.
  • Maintaining a proud chest, hinge your hips back and bend your knees until you can reach the dumbbell. Allow your free arm to hang at your side.
  • Powerfully extend your knees, hips, and ankles, and shrug your working-side shoulder to draw the dumbbell up in front of your body. Keep the weight close to your body as though you are zipping up a jacket.
  • As the dumbbell travels upward in a straight line, turn your elbow under the weight.
  • Catch the dumbbell with the arm extended, in a quarter-squat position. Then fully extend the knees to stand tall with the weight overhead.
  • Lower the dumbbell with control, resetting to the start position.
  • Repeat for seven reps per side.
  • Remember to power this movement with your hips — not by pulling with your arms. Hip power will create a sense of weightlessness as your hand guides the dumbbell up in a straight line and allow you to get underneath the weight and stand up with it.
  • The snatch is a progression of the single-arm dumbbell push-press. Modify this workout by substituting the snatch with a push-press, focusing on the dip-and-drive to generate hip power. Progress the snatch by using a weight heavier than what you can push-press for the same number of reps.

Thoughts to share?

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