30-minutes, a set of dumbbells, and a strength-building workout that burns lots of calories

Pick up some weights and set aside half an hour to blast through some lower body strengthening exercises

A man and woman perform a dumbbell workout together on mats
(Image credit: Getty)

Cardio and weight training tend to be separated into two different boxes when it comes to exercise. But both are great for burning fat and when combined, you can aid weight loss and build muscle at the same time. This lower body dumbbell workout will do exactly that and it only takes 30 minutes.

If you're just starting out, a set of the best adjustable dumbbells will come in handy. This type of weight is customizable so that you can change the weight as you work out rather than require the use of lots of different-sized weights. 

With a pair of these space-efficient weights, you can jump straight on into this 30-minute lower body routine designed by Penny Barnshaw, also known as the Garage Fitness Girl (opens in new tab). There are six circuits involved in the routine and each exercise will be performed for 30 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest.

Barnshaw demonstrates the workout in full and uses a mix of dumbbell sizes including sets of 11lbs (5kg), 15lbs (7kg), and 22lbs (10kg) but to ensure you complete the workout with proper form and avoid any injury just lift with what feels challenging enough for you personally.

This workout will help to build and strengthen the muscles in your glute and leg muscles while burning calories. Barnshaw says that she burned a total of 282 calories doing this dumbbell routine but she notes, "Total Calories burned will vary depending on your body composition, workout intensity and also fitness level."

Watch The Garage Fitness Girl's 30-Minute Lower Body Workout

Dumbbells are great for building strength and muscle mass and they are also good for loading the skeletal system to boost bone density. Our bones can weaken with age, or through lack of exercise, so it's a really good idea to keep up with workouts like the one above to reduce the risk of breaks or fractures. Taking one of the best vitamin D supplements can help support the function of your bones too.

Moreover, when you incorporate dumbbells into aerobic workouts this helps to raise your heart rate, which leads to calories being burned in your body. Your body is still working after an aerobic-style workout as it continues to draw oxygen and burn calories at a faster rate. One study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (opens in new tab) journal found that following a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout some people burned nearly 200 additional calories in the 14 hours after the training. 

Whether you are working out regularly or not it's important you aim to consume a protein-rich diet not only because it aids muscle growth and recovery but also because it helps with weight loss. Protein is a great source of food for keeping you fuller for longer and you can top up your daily intake using one of the best protein powders for weight loss.

Jessica Downey
Jessica Downey

Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 


When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.