10 moves, 20 minutes, and a set of dumbbells to build core strength

This short Joe Wicks dumbbell workout will get your heart pumping for fat-burning, muscle-building results

Man performing dumbbell bicep curls
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're short on time but still want to fit in a fat-blasting workout, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a time-efficient way to exercise. And by adding dumbbells into the mix, you can also use this Joe Wicks routine to build core strength.

The best adjustable dumbbells are ideal for at-home exercise as they combine multiple weights into a single dumbbell. You can quickly switch the weight mid-workout as well, allowing you to train at a comfortable but challenging level.

Whether you're after a way to step up your regular workouts or want to begin to develop a stronger core and build practical muscle, this short Joe Wicks HIIT dumbbell workout is a great place to start.

You can use weights to train specific muscles in what's known as "isolation exercises". For example, a bicep curl will train your bicep and nothing else. However, this routine focuses on "compound moves", where you work multiple muscle groups simultaneously. That's why it's such an effective routine you can still fit around your schedule.

The key to HIIT is to keep the intensity high throughout the session, so you'll train for 40 seconds and take a 20-second rest before starting the next move. There are 10 exercises in total, and you'll do the routine twice for an intense 20-minute workout.

Watch Joe Wicks' 20-minute dumbbell HIIT workout

Joe Wicks, also known as the Body Coach, gained international recognition for his PE with Joe live YouTube workouts in the early days of the pandemic. His routines are accessible for all fitness levels, even if he is famed for his HIIT workouts.

You can modify the exercises in most of his training, but if you're suffering from sore joints, you might prefer Wicks' low-impact joint-friendly workout instead. Helpfully, it'll still get your heart pumping, build strength, and blast fat.

Wicks demonstrates each of the moves and does the workout along with you, but if you'd like to try things out on your own or mix some of the activities into your regular routine, all the exercises you need are listed below.

Joe Wicks' dumbbell HIIT routine

  • Up-down plank to high steps
  • Dumbbell front squats
  • Dumbbell snatches (right)
  • Dumbbell snatches (left)
  • Push ups
  • Two-dumbbell reverse lunge
  • Two-dumbbell bicep curls
  • Bear crawls
  • 5x single dumbbell swings
  • 5x shoulder press (right)
  • 5x single dumbbell swings
  • 5x shoulder press (left)
  • Bicycle crunches

To build core strength, you can complement Wicks' routine with this five-move kettlebell workout. It uses a similar time-efficient high-intensity technique, where the aim is to complete as many rounds as possible in the time.

All you need is one of the best kettlebells to get started. Then you can alternate between the two at-home workouts for fat-burning, muscle-building results without having to invest in expensive machines or pricey gym subscriptions.

James Frew
Fitness Editor

James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.

In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.