Strengthen every muscle in the body with this efficient full body dumbbell workout. Ten compound exercises targeting the lower body, upper body and core in 30 minutes. This dumbbell only workout is designed to promote muscle growth by fatiguing each muscle with effective supersets.
Whereas, traditional strength workouts rely on gym machines such as a squat rack, cable crossover machine, or leg press, this workout requires only a set of dumbbells.
Using free weights rather than machines not only makes this workout more accessible, but also increases core engagement and builds strength in the abs as your body works to stabilize you through each movement.
Increased time under tension means that each muscle group will fatigue by the end of the circuit – resulting in muscle growth without tons of fancy gym machines or equipment.
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, build muscle, or improve endurance, this resistance training workout is for you.
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Full Body Dumbbell Workout FAQs
Can I Build Muscle With Dumbbells Only?
Yes. The key to building muscle is implementing progressive overload – also known as increasing the intensity of your workouts over the course of weeks or months. That means either increasing reps or lifting heavier weights. Superset workouts (like this one) are an effective way to build muscle mass using just a set of dumbbells.
How Many Days A Week Should I Lift Weights?
I recommend that beginners start to strength train with 20-30 minute workouts, 3 days a week. This is a pace that allows your body proper time to recover between training sessions as you build strength. Our more advanced weight lifting plans (like SplitStrong) follow a 5-day training split.
Can You Get A Full Body Workout with Dumbbells?
You can build strength and burn fat exclusively with dumbbell workouts. Dumbbell workouts are also a great way to increase core strength as your body naturally has to stabilize during movements rather than relying on a machine for stability. This 7 Best Strength Training Exercises at Home is one of the most popular workouts on our site.
Does Lifting Weights Make Women “Bulky”?
This is a common myth in the fitness world. Lifting weights does not make women bulk up – but it does help them achieve strong, toned muscles. The truth is that bulking is difficult, and building bulky muscles requires extra calories, genetics and a really intentional and consistent muscle-building routine. Women won’t get bulky from doing workout routines like this one.
30-Minute Full Body Dumbbell Workout
Build strength and burn fat with this quick and effective dumbbell strength training workout.
10 of the best total body dumbbell exercises in a challenging superset format to reach muscle fatigue in multiple muscle groups in just 30 minutes. You decide how challenging the workout is based on the weights you pick up.
I recommend between 5-25 lbs depending on your fitness level. We used 15 and 20 lb dumbbells in today’s workout. The goal is to fatigue your muscles by the end of each set. You should struggle to complete the last 2-3 reps with correct form. That means you chose challenging weights.
Option to drop weights at any time and do this workout with just your body weight.
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Reach for those heavy weights – lifting challenging weights is the NUMBER ONE thing you can do to build strength!
Targets: Chest (pecs), upper arms and shoulders (deltoids) and back of the arms (triceps).
How To Do A Single, Single, Double Chest Press
Lie flat on your back (on the ground, on a bench, incline bench, or on a stability ball) with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
Hold one dumbbell in each hand, palms facing out, arms extended overhead and dumbbells in line with shoulders.
Inhale as you lower both dumbbells towards the ground, elbows bent at 90-degree angles. Hover the dumbbells an inch off the ground.
Exhale to push the dumbbell in your right hand overhead, performing a single arm chest press on the right.
Inhale to lower the dumbbell in your right hand, returning to a hover.
Exhale to push the dumbbell in your left hand overhead, performing a single arm chest press on the left.
Inhale to lower the dumbbell in your left hand, returning to a hover.
Then, exhale to press both dumbbells overhead, performing a standard chest press and returning to starting position.
Stack On Push Ups and Plank Hold
Targets: Every muscle in the upper body (chest, shoulders, triceps, back and biceps) and core.
How To Do Stack On Push Ups and Plank Hold
Start in a high plank position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists; feet hip-width apart.
Hold this plank position, maintaining a straight line with your body, gaze slightly in front of you.
Slowly lower your chest down towards the ground as your elbows fall back towards your hips.
Once at the bottom of your push up, exhale as you push back up into high plank position, performing one push up.
Then hold at the top of your high plank position, performing a one-second plank hold.
Repeat this pattern, adding on a push up and one second to the plank hold each time you repeat the movement. So start with one push up, one-second hold, then two push ups, two-second plank hold, and so on.
Modification: Drop to your knees to perform modified push ups and planks. Alternatively, you could add an incline by performing this move from a bench or chair.
Isometric Lunge Hold with Calf Raise
Targets: Quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves.
The muscles in your calves provide support to your knees, and strengthening them can help prevent knee pain.
How To Do An Isometric Lunge Hold with Calf Raise
Stand with feet hip-distance apart. Hold a dumbbell vertically at your chest between both hands (goblet-style hold).
Step your right leg back into a reverse lunge, dropping your right knee down towards the ground as you lower your hips until both knees reach a 90-degree angle, front thigh is parallel to the floor. Lower slowly and with control.
Hold at the bottom of your lunge position, performing an isometric lunge hold.
Lift your left heel one to two inches off the mat, performing a calf raise.
With control, lower it to the mat, returning to starting position, and repeat.
Modification: Omit the calf raise, performing just the isometric lunge hold.
Single Leg Deadlift
Targets: The posterior chain (backside of body) — glutes, hamstrings, lower back and core muscles. This single leg stability exercise will also challenge your balance.
How To Do A Single Leg Deadlift
Start standing with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of you at your thighs, palms facing in towards your body.
Transfer your weight into your right foot and kickstand or float your left foot off the ground. Balancing on your right leg.
With your right knee bent, hinge at your hips, extending your left leg long behind you. Push your glutes back towards the wall behind you, lowering the dumbbells along the front of your thighs.
Lower until you feel a stretch in your right hamstring (back of your standing leg) at the bottom of this movement. Range of motion looks different for everyone.
Then drive through your front right heel, squeezing your glutes and hamstrings to push your hips forward and stand tall, returning to a standing position. Bring your floating back left leg up to meet your right leg again.
Modification: Kickstand your non-working leg rather than floating it. Keep 80% of your weight in your front leg and 20% in your back toes.
Single, Single, Double Back Row
Targets: The latissimus dorsi (or lats, the largest back muscle), hamstrings, glutes and core.
How To Do A Single, Single, Double Back Row
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, slight bend in both knees.
Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in towards the midline of your body (narrow grip).
Hinge forward at the hips maintaining a flat back, belly button pulled back towards your spine.
Pull the dumbbell in your right hand back towards your right hip to perform a single arm row on the right. Think of pulling from your elbow joint versus your wrist, as if you were starting a pull-start lawnmower. Stop once your elbow is in line with your rib cage, making a straight line from shoulder to elbow. Hold the row at the top for a moment squeezing your shoulder blade in.
With control, lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.
Alternate sides, this time pulling the dumbbell in your left hand towards your left hip, performing a single arm row on the left side before lowering the dumbbell back to starting position.
Then, squeeze your shoulder blades together as you pull both the right and left arms back towards your hips, elbows parallel to ribcage, performing a standard back row.
Bicep Curl with Isometric Hold
Targets: The biceps (the front of the arm).
Keeping constant tension on the biceps fatigues the bicep muscles to the point of failure (and that’s how true muscle growth happens).
How To Do A Bicep Curl with Isometric Hold
Start in a standing position, feet under hips, core engaged, holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing out away from the body, dumbbells at hip height.
Keeping elbows locked at your sides, perform a half bicep curl on your left arm, pausing when your elbow is bent at 90 degrees. Hold this half curl position on the left arm.
Then, curl the dumbbell in your right hand up towards your right shoulder, performing a bicep curl on the right arm. Repeat three times.
After performing three bicep curls on the right, switch sides – this time holding the dumbbell in your right hand at 90 degrees and performing three bicep curls on the left side.
Targets: Lower body (quads, hamstrings, glutes and calves) and core.
How To Do A Staggered Squat
Stand with feet hip-width apart, hold one dumbbell vertically at your chest (goblet squat hold) or two dumbbells at your sides.
Stagger your feet, so your right leg is slightly in front of your left foot. Kickstand your back left foot, left heel floating off the ground. Keep 80% of your weight in your front foot, 20% in your back left toe.
Maintain a staggered stance as you lower your hips down, sitting back into a staggered squat. Push through the heel of your front foot to return to standing. Think of it as performing a single leg squat on your right leg.
Modification: Drop weights, performing this move with just your bodyweight.
Targets: Gluteus medius (outer glute that controls hip movement and side-to-side movements), quads, inner thighs (or hip adductors), hamstrings and calves.
How To Do A Lateral Squat
Start with your feet wider than your hips (think a wide squat stance squat), with your knees and toes pointing forward. Or toes just slightly turned out away from your body.
Hold one dumbbell at your chest like you would during a goblet squat (vertically so dumbbell is touching your collarbone and sternum), elbows tucked in.
Shift your weight into your right heel as you push your hips back, bending your right knee while leaving your left leg straight. Think of performing a single leg squat with your right leg while your left leg remains straight.
Then, drive through your right foot to reverse the movement, pushing you back up to center.
Modification: Drop weights, performing this exercise with just your bodyweight.
A big, full-body movement to build strength while also getting your heart rate up.
How To Do A Woman Maker
Start in a high plank position, both hands on your dumbbells, shoulders stacked over wrists, core engaged.
Perform a push up by lowering your chest to the ground, letting your elbows fall back towards your hips, then exhale, pushing back up to starting position.
Then, perform a single arm plank row (or renegade row) on each side, pulling first your right elbow to right hip, then planting it on the ground and pulling left elbow to left hip before returning it to the ground.
Then, step or jump your feet up to meet your hands, landing in a low squat position.
Press through your heels to stand tall, pulling the dumbbells up your body as your hips drive forward.
As you stand, curl the dumbbells up to shoulder height, then press overhead, stacking dumbbells over shoulders and keeping your core tight.
Reverse the movement, bringing the dumbbells back to shoulder height, lowering the dumbbells to your hips, and bending your knees to lower into a squat.
Plant the dumbbells on the mat between your feet at the bottom of your squat, and step or hop your feet back, landing in high plank position.
Modification: Omit the plank and push ups, performing instead two alternating bent over rows, a squat and then curl and press the dumbbells overhead.
Lunge Hold with Halo
Targets: Quads, hamstrings, glutes, core and shoulders.
This is also a great exercise to increase shoulder mobility.
How To Do A Lunge Hold with Halo
Stand with your feet under hips, holding a dumbbell horizontally between both hands.
Step your left leg back into a reverse lunge, dropping your left knee down towards the ground as you lower your hips until both knees reach a 90-degree angle, front thigh is parallel to the floor.
Hold this lunge position, then perform a dumbbell “halo,” bracing your core as you pull the dumbbell in a smooth motion from your right hip to left shoulder and then behind and around your head, ending with the dumbbell at your left hip.
Repeat, alternating direction of your halo, keeping core tight and hips straight and even as you rotate through the shoulers.
Modification: Perform the dumbbell halo from a standing position, staggering your feet for balance support.
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