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The 30-Minute Dumbbell Workout Program to Build Muscle

You don't need fancy equipment to build muscle strength. Sculpt a better body right now with just a few pairs of these everyday weights.

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Man-Wearing-Hat-Bicep-Dumbbell-Curl
Improvisor / Shutterstock
Man-Wearing-Hat-Bicep-Dumbbell-Curl
Improvisor / Shutterstock

There’s something intensely satisfying about lifting with barbells. After all, there’s nothing like loading up a bunch of steel and conquering a new personal best in the deadlift. But when push comes to press, dumbbells offer a lot more versatility. They don’t need much space, and you can find them anywhere, from the dinkiest hotel fitness center to your uncle’s garage.

With just a few pairs of weights, this dumbbell-only routine will hit the major muscle groups in your body, and in only 30 minutes a day.

Why it works

Dumbbells allow you to train one side of your body at a time, which is great for curing any strength imbalances you’ve developed. And because each limb moves independently, your core has to brace harder to prevent you from tipping to one side. Hello, six-pack.

Directions

Frequency: Do this workout three times per week, in the following sequence, resting at least a day between each session.

How to do it: Perform as straight sets, completing all the prescribed sets for one exercise before moving on to the next. On all one-handed (or one-legged) moves, repeat with opposite limb. That’s one set.

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Routine

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The total-body dumbbell workout

Do 3 times per week

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 8

Floor Press

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
3
Reps
10
Rest
As little as possible
Exercise 2 of 8

Bentover Dumbbell Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
15 (each side)
Rest
As little as possible
Exercise 3 of 8

Weighted Situp

Equipment
Weight Plates
Sets
2
Reps
5 (each side)
Rest
As little as possible
Exercise 4 of 8

Renegade Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
10 (each side)
Rest
As little as possible
Exercise 5 of 8

Goblet Squat

Equipment
Kettlebells
Sets
3
Reps
15
Rest
As little as possible
Exercise 6 of 8

One-Arm Overhead Press

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
15 (each side)
Rest
As little as possible
Exercise 7 of 8

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
8 (each side)
Rest
As little as possible
Exercise 8 of 8

Dumbbell One-Arm Swing

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
3
Reps
15-20 (each side)
Rest
As little as possible
Work up to 5 sets.
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