Build core strength and burn fat with this 30-minute dumbbell workout

All you need is a set of dumbbells and 30 minutes to build muscle and boost your metabolism

Group of people working out with dumbbells
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Bicep curls and bench presses are great for building muscle but not so good when you're tight on time. Rather than spend hours at the gym, you can develop strength, work your core, and burn fat in just 30 minutes with this dumbbell routine.

All you need is a set of the best adjustable dumbbells to start. These flexible weights combine several dumbbells in one for easy storage, and you can quickly adjust the load, making them an ideal companion for progressive overload training.

That's great for when you're at home, but most gyms have a rack of fixed-weight dumbbells. To work out what dumbbell weight you should use, the key is to find a load that'll challenge you but won't affect your form.

With weights at the ready, you can take on fitness duo Juice & Toya's (opens in new tab) 30-minute routine. There are 12 strength-training moves, and you'll repeat the set for an effective, time-efficient muscle-building workout.

If you're new to resistance training with weights or after a refresher, you can follow along with Juice and Toya's demonstrations to perfect your technique, avoid injury, and get the most from your session.

Watch Juice & Toya's 30-minute dumbbell workout

The duo includes plenty of multi-muscle compound exercises, which work your whole body, and several core strengthening exercises to develop your mid-body muscle and improve your balance and workout performance.

You'll aim for a specific amount of repetitions for each move, but with a minute to hit that target. If you get through the reps quicker, you'll have more time to rest between exercises. This is known as an EMOM workout (Every Minute on the Minute).

This workout style allows you to adjust the intensity or load to make the routine more or less intense. For instance, if you choose a heavier weight, you might take 50 seconds to hit the rep target, leaving you just 10 seconds to recover between moves.

It's similar to a high-intensity resistance training (HIRT) workout, where the aim is to train intensely in short bursts with minimal rest. You work your muscles hard and elevate your heart rate to burn more energy.

Sustaining this intensity boosts your metabolism, the amount of energy you burn at rest, for all-day fat-burning results, too. If you prefer exercising without weights, a high-intensity HIIT workout for fat loss can also help you drop pounds.

To support muscle growth, you need to get enough protein for your recovery. The best protein powders for weight loss help keep you topped up. And you can use one of the best blenders for protein shakes for a convenient post-workout drink.

James Frew
Staff Writer

James is a London-based journalist and Staff Writer 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.