You only need nine moves and one dumbbell to build muscle all over and boost your balance

Develop full-body muscle, strengthen your core, and improve your stability with this short dumbbell routine

Woman doing a squat with two dumbbells
(Image credit: Getty)

If you want to build strength at home, then a humble dumbbell is your new best friend. You can use this bit of kit to target all the major muscle groups without ever venturing to the gym. 

You'll need to use increasingly heavy weights in order to get stronger, which is why we recommend investing in a set of the best adjustable dumbbells. They combine several weights into one, making them an ideal space-saving home workout companion. 

Plus, these specialized dumbbells allow you to slowly increase their weight, which means that you can keep challenging yourself with heavier lifts. This is known as progressive overload and it's one of the best ways to increase muscle mass.

Then you're ready to take on personal trainer Britany Williams' single-dumbbell workout that consists of nine simple moves. It's a full body session, targeting most of the major muscle groups, which will also put your balance to the test.

There are nine moves and the aim is to do 10-12 repetitions of each, or eight on each side, and repeat the entire circuit three times for a full session. You can practice your technique before you start using William's demonstrations to get the most from your training and avoid injury. 

Watch Britany Williams' one-dumbbell workout

If you're new to strength training, try doing the moves without any weight first. This will help you nail each exercise with the correct form, which is crucial when it comes to preventing injury and targeting the right muscles.

Once you're ready to pick up a weight, make sure you know which dumbbell weight to use. Williams says that you can use the same weight throughout but she recommends swapping between a lighter and heavier dumbbell for the lower and upper-body exercises. 

There are plenty of moves here to challenge your balance, too, which need to be completed while standing on one leg or in an unstable plank position. If you find these too difficult, try doing the plank-based exercises on your knees and the standing exercises with both feet on the floor.

But make sure you still think about squeezing your core muscles, which will help you progress to the balancing versions of the exercises. You could also try balance board exercises which are great for coordination and stability or some core exercises for balance.

You'll likely feel the effects of delayed-onset muscle soreness after this session, so make sure you get plenty of protein to help your body recover. The best protein powders for weight loss are a great way to increase your intake without adding extra fat or sugar into your diet. 

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.