A trainer recommends doing these three simple dumbbell moves to build full-body strength when you're short on time

This eight minute workout packs a serious punch

Man doing renegade rows with dumbbells in a gym
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If there's one thing that stops most of us from exercising as often as we'd like, it's a lack of time. Finding an hour or two each day to go to the gym can feel impossible when you're busy, but that doesn't mean you have to skip exercise altogether. 

This three-move dumbbell routine from personal trainer Rhiannon Bailey only takes eight minutes. It targets the core, legs, arms and shoulders with just three compound exercises

Bailey recommends doing this routine on its own, to give you a quick full-body blast, or you can tag it onto the end of a longer strength training session. 

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Watch Rhiannon Bailey's three-move dumbbell workout

To do this workout, tackle each exercise for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds before moving onto the next move. Complete this circuit five times in total.

The movements in this workout are dumbbell cleans, push-up renegade rows and Russian twists. You can see Bailey demonstrating each move in the video above. 

During the cleans, think about keeping your chest up throughout the entire movement and avoid arching your back. For the renegade rows, keep your body in a straight line when planking, and try to keep your hips straight even when lifting the dumbbells.

Finally, for the Russian twists, keep your chest high and try to move from your shoulders, rather than swinging the hips when moving the dumbbell from side-to-side. If the full Russian twist is too difficult, you can do this exercise with your feet on the floor.

What is HIRT?

Bailey classifies this as a HIIT workout, but it falls within the category of high-intensity resistance training (HIRT) too. 

These interval training styles are very similar, both requiring you to work for intense, short periods of time, rest briefly, then resume exercising. However, HIRT includes strengthening moves, while HIIT is focused on energy expenditure and calorie burn.

The benefit of HIRT is that it can help build muscle mass and boost your muscular endurance, which is your muscles' ability to work for a prolonged period of time. Like HIIT, it will also boost your cardio fitness and help you burn calories, so it's a super-efficient way to work out. 

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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.