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30-Minute Full Body Dumbbell Only Workout

Build strength and get fit anywhere with this effective dumbbell only workout. I prefer training with dumbbells over using machines in the gym because the exercises are more functional, and naturally build core strength as well. This total body workout includes four circuits of work, each made up of a strength training exercise, a power exercise and a functional core exercise.

I started seeing the results I wanted when I swapped my traditional gym routine for effective, at-home, dumbbell only workouts.

Dumbbell only workouts not only save time (no more waiting around for someone to finish their reps on a machine), but also can be done anywhere – no expensive gym membership necessary.

As a certified personal trainer, I prefer dumbbell strength training workouts over traditional gym workouts.

These workouts are effective and more accessible – and also engage more of the smaller, stabilizing muscles in the lower body, upper body and core.

Today’s workout is a twist on one of our community’s favorite formats: Strength, Power and Isometrics. This workout substitutes an ab exercise for the isometric movement, adding a core focus to the workout with moves like planks, renegade rows and standing crunches.

Combining strength, power and core exercises results in the most effective, efficient workout; allowing us to reap all the benefits of multiple training methods.



Today’s workout features one of our amazing YouTube Community Members – Katie! Katie is a busy mom of three and founding YouTube Member.

For more exclusive workout challenges, live workouts, nutrition chats, and direct support from our team, become a YouTube Member today.
Join Team NML
three women performing a single arm bicep curl as part of dumbbell only workout

30-Minute Dumbbell Only Workout (Full Body)

Build strength at home using just a set of hand weights with this dumbbell only workout.

A complete strength and cardio workout for women targeting every muscle group in the body: the lower body (quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and thighs), upper body (biceps, triceps, back, shoulders, and chest) and core.

Add full body conditioning workouts like this one to your home workout plan one to two times a week to improve cardiovascular health, increase endurance and build strength.

Workout Instructions:

Follow along with the guided Full Body Dumbbell Only Workout Routine on YouTubeled by certified personal trainer, Lindsey Bomgren. 

Your Workout Looks Like This:

  • 4 Full Body Circuits
  • 3 Exercises Per Circuit (one strength exercise, one power exercise and one ab exercise)
  • Timed Intervals (30 seconds work, 15 seconds rest)
  • Repeat Each Circuit x2 Sets

Workout Equipment:

Medium Pair of Dumbbells. I recommend between 5-25 lbs depending on your fitness level. We used 15 and 20 lb dumbbells in today’s workout.

three women performing a farmer carry with dumbbells

Prefer to Watch On YouTube?

youtube icon Dumbbell Only Workout

Workout Outline


  1. Strength: Side-to-Side Squat and Clean
  2. Power: Lateral Push, Dumbbell Squat and Clean
  3. Abs: Plank Knee Drive and Squat Press Out


  1. Strength: Alternating Bicep Curl and Shoulder Press
  2. Power: Dumbbell Burpee and Bent Over Back Row
  3. Abs: Single Leg Deadlift and Farmer Hold


  1. Strength: Lateral Lunge and Reverse Lunge
  2. Power: Prisoner Get Up and Single Leg Bound
  3. Abs: Kneeling Dumbbell Press and Row


  1. Strength: Glute Bridge Hold, Chest Press and Skull Crusher
  2. Power: Single Leg Glute Bridge with Calf Raise and Single Arm Chest Press
  3. Abs: Dumbbell Overhead Crunch and Tricep Extension

4 Best Dumbbell Only Exercises

Side-to-Side Dumbbell Squat and Clean

Targets: Gluteus medius (outer glute that controls hip movement and side-to-side movements), hamstrings, hips, quadriceps, calves and core.

three women performing a squat variation as part of dumbbell only workout

How To Do Dumbbell Side-to-Side Squats and Dumbbell Cleans

  1. Start standing, feet hip-distance apart and knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand in front of your thighs.
  2. Step out to the right as you bend your knees, lowering the dumbbells towards the floor between your thighs as you lower into a squat. Push your knees out towards your outer three toes. Hold for a two-count.
  3. Then, drive through your heels to push your hips forward, squeezing your glutes as you step your right foot in and return to a narrow standing position.
  4. As you press your hips forward to stand up, “clean” the dumbbells up towards your shoulders. Catch the dumbbells at your chest in a front rack position.
  5. Then, step out to the left as you bend your knees, lowering into a squat with dumbbells between your legs. Hold for a two-count.
  6. Press through your heels to stand tall, pulling your left foot in to return to a narrow standing position. As you stand, clean the dumbbells up, catching at shoulder height.
  7. Continue this pattern, alternating a dumbbell clean with a squat out to the left or right.

Alternating Bicep Curl and Shoulder Press

Targets: The long head of the bicep as well as the brachialis (another muscle in the upper arm located at the elbow joint), shoulders, and the brachioradialis (a forearm muscles).

three women performing a dumbbell bicep curl and shoulder press

How To Do Alternating Bicep Curls and Shoulder Presses

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Grip a set of dumbbells at your sides, palms facing in towards each other (neutral grip, or hammer curl grip).
  2. Starting on the right side, squeeze your right bicep to curl the weight in your right hand up to your right shoulder, keeping your elbow locked into your side.
  3. Then, press the weight straight overhead, aiming to fully extend the elbow near your ear, performing a dumbbell shoulder press.
  4. Slowly and with control, lower the dumbbell first to shoulder height, then reverse the curl, lowering the weight to your hip and returning to the starting position.
  5. Repeat, this time performing a dumbbell bicep curl and shoulder press on the left side.

Lateral Lunge and Reverse Lunge

Targets: Glutes (gluteus medius), quads, hip adductors (inner thighs), hamstrings and core.

three women performing a dumbbell lateral lunge and reverse lunge as part of dumbbell only workout

How To Do Dumbbell Lateral Lunges and Reverse Lunges

  1. Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart. Hold one dumbbell in your right hand, dumbbell resting against your right shoulder.
  2. Step your right foot back into a reverse lunge (also called a split squat), bending both knees at 90-degree angles and aiming to get your front thigh parallel to the ground.
  3. Push through your front heel to stand tall, returning your right foot to the starting position.
  4. Then, step your left foot out wide to the left. As you step out, sit your hips back, bending your left knee while leaving your right leg straight. Think of performing a single leg squat with your left leg while your right leg remains straight. Lower the dumbbell towards your left foot.
  5. Push off your left foot to return to starting position, cleaning the dumbbell up to your right shoulder as you stand tall, feet under hips.

Glute Bridge Hold, Chest Press and Skull Crusher

Targets: Legs, glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs, chest, triceps (back of the arm) and core.

three women performing a combination of glute bridges, chest presses and dumbbell skull crushers as part of dumbbell only workout

How To Do Glute Bridge Holds, Chest Presses and Skull Crushers

  1. Lie flat on your back with your legs bent at 90 degrees (heels on the ground).
  2. Holding one dumbbell in each hand, fully extend your arms so the dumbbells are directly overhead, palms facing away from your body.
  3. Press through your heels to lift your glutes off the mat, squeezing your glutes as you lift. Think about keeping your core tight and engaged and knees in line with your hips. Maintain this position, performing a glute bridge hold.
  4. Then, bending at the elbows slowly lower the dumbbells towards your chest (chest puffed out and weights in line with nipples, bending arms at 90 degrees at sides).
  5. Then exhale, pushing the dumbbells back overhead, completing a dumbbell chest press. Repeat, performing a total of three chest presses.
  6. After the third chest press, rotate your palms in towards each other, finding a neutral grip.
  7. Then, bend at the elbows to slowly lower the dumbbells towards your head. Elbows stay in line with shoulders.
  8. Squeeze through the back of your arm to straighten your elbows, pressing the dumbbells overhead to perform a skull crusher.

Dumbbell Only Workout FAQs

Is It Okay To Only Workout With Dumbbells?

Yes! Dumbbell exercises are an effective way to add resistance training to your workouts and build muscle. Compared to using gym machines (such as a leg press machine or lat pull down machine), dumbbells engage more of the smaller, stabilizing muscles in the lower body, upper body and core. They also allow you to strength train in multiple planes of motion, mimicking real life movement patterns.

Can I Get A Full Body Workout With Dumbbells?

Yes, especially if you include a combination of compound exercises and isolation exercises. Compound exercises are more efficient, meaning you can often lift heavier weights and burn more calories. Whereas isolation exercises (or exercises that focus on a specific muscle group, such as glute exercisesback exercises or chest exercises) can improve muscle definition and address muscle imbalances or weaknesses.

Pin This Workout: Strength, Power and Abs Dumbbell Workout

woman performing lateral squat as part of dumbbell only workout

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