Workout Routines

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.

by
Man performing pushups on dumbbells
Westend61 / Getty
Westend61 / Getty
Duration 30
Exercises 8
Equipment Yes

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.

The total-body dumbbell workout Do 3 times per week

Exercise 1.

Floor Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Floor Press thumbnail
3 sets
10 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 2.

Bentover Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Bentover Dumbbell Row thumbnail
3 sets
15 (each side) reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 3.

Weighted Situp You'll need: Weight Plates How to
Weighted Situp  thumbnail
2 sets
5 (each side) reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 4.

Renegade Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Renegade Row thumbnail
3 sets
10 (each side) reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 5.

Goblet Squat You'll need: Kettlebells How to
Goblet Squat thumbnail
3 sets
15 reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 6.

One-Arm Overhead Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
15 (each side) reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 7.

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift thumbnail
3 sets
8 (each side) reps
As little as possible rest

Exercise 8.

Dumbbell One-Arm Swing You'll need: Dumbbells How to
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
15-20 (each side) reps
As little as possible rest
Work up to 5 sets.
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