Build full-body strength with these seven efficient dumbbell moves, which target multiple muscles at once

Try this quick, effective training routine to boost your muscle mass

Man doing bicep curl in the gym
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're looking to get stronger and increase your muscle mass, you might assume that you need to spend hours in the gym to see results. But strength training doesn't need to be time-consuming or complicated.

This full-body workout created by personal trainer Lauren Burgess is made up of seven moves and targets a wide range of muscles in the upper and lower body. The best bit? All you need are a few sets of dumbbells to do it, which means you can do it from home or a quiet corner of the gym. 

To effectively challenge your muscles, opt for two pairs of dumbbells; a light pair for the front and lateral raises as they isolate smaller muscles, and a heavier set for moves such as the reverse lunge, as they recruit bigger muscle groups so you should be able to lift a bigger load. Make sure the weights you choose for each exercise are challenging but manageable.

If you're working out from home, it might be worth investing in a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells, so that you can change the weights you're lifting without needing more equipment. 

Watch Lauren Burgess' full-body dumbbell workout

This is a circuit-style workout where you complete 30 seconds of each exercise, followed by 15 to 30 seconds of rest. Move through the entire circuit two to four times, depending on how much time you have.

The exercises in the routine are as follows:

  • Romanian deadlift to upright row
  • Dumbbell thruster
  • Push-ups (or knee push-ups as a modification)
  • Lateral and front raise
  • Jump squat
  • Reverse lunge
  • Side-lying clamshell 

Benefits of this workout

Full-body training sessions like this one are ideal if you're short on time. They a wide range of muscles, thanks to the compound movements such as thrusters and push-ups, so you'll develop strength throughout your entire body.

Exercises such as the Romanian deadlifts to upright row and the lateral and front raises will help you improve your coordination too, as well as build strength in large and smaller muscle groups.

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.