30 minutes, four moves and two dumbbells is all you need to build full-body strength

Skip the gym and try this 30-minute strength-building home workout instead

Woman doing biceps curls with a dumbbell
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you want to build strength at home rather than at the gym, you can't go wrong with a set of dumbbells. These versatile weights can be used for different exercises that target a broad range of muscles: bicep curls to grow your arms, squats to strengthen your legs, overhead presses to work your chest—the list goes on and on. 

Dumbbells are also a great way to practice compound movements, which are exercises that target multiple muscles at once.

This workout, created by personal trainer Berenice Salazar, is made up of just four compound movements that will help you build muscle all over. It takes 30 minutes to complete, so it works well as a standalone workout—or you can combine it with a short cardio HIIT session, so that you'll increase your strength and fitness.

Watch Berenice Salazar four-move dumbbell workout

Complete 10 repetitions (reps) of each move and rest for between 30-40 seconds after going through all of the exercises in the sequence. The aim is to complete as many rounds as possible within 30 minutes. Remember to workout within your fitness limits though—if you're not used to doing these kind of circuit workouts, aim for a shorter time period and opt for a light dumbbell weight.

If you're not sure how to squat or how to lunge, remember to keep your chest high even as you bend into the movement. Try to squat as deeply as your knees will allow and when lunging, aim to touch your back knee to the floor, which will help you target a wide range of lower-body muscles.

When it comes to the deadlifts and bent-over rows, hinge at the hips rather than squatting down and think about keeping your core tight so that you avoid arching your back.

If you're not used to strength training, you might experience DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) after completing this session, as your muscles recover and grow. Do some stretching exercises after working out to keep yourself feeling supple and ensure you're eating enough protein to build muscle, which could help with recovery. 

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.