Build muscle all over and boost your metabolism with just four dumbbell moves

Improve your balance, develop your core, and burn fat with this short, four-move dumbbell workout

A woman performing a squat with dumbbells as part of a leg workout
(Image credit: Getty)

It's not always possible to put aside an hour of your day to go to the gym. However, with this quick dumbbell workout you can still raise your heart rate and work your muscles in a matter of minutes, all without leaving the comfort of your own home. 

The session from popular fitness trainer Alexia Clark (opens in new tab) contains just four moves which are performed as a circuit for four total rounds. This means you can hit the finish line in less than 20 minutes, but that doesn't mean it's not effective. 

All you need is a set of dumbbells to get started. If you plan to regularly train at home, we'd recommend investing in a set of the best adjustable dumbbells (opens in new tab) as you can increase the weight as you get stronger. 

Clark combines movements like the reverse lunge and the curl to create new compound exercises (opens in new tab) that will hit multiple muscle groups at once. As a result, her workout provides a full-body blast, engaging your arms, legs, shoulders, and core.

You'll do each exercise for a specific number of repetitions, resting as little as possible between them. It's essential to get your technique right to get the most from your workout, so perfect your form using Clark's demonstrations first. 

Watch Alexia Clark's full-body dumbbell workout

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This format is an example of high-intensity resistance training (opens in new tab)(HIRT). By combining two training styles, this method offers the best of both worlds; the metabolism-boosting benefits of high-intensity HIIT workouts (opens in new tab) with the strength-building element of resistance training.

Clark's session is also a good choice if you're looking for a core workout (opens in new tab). There is only one targeted core exercise, but all four moves will work your midsection muscles as they're challenged to help you stay balanced and support your spine. 

After your session, you'll likely feel the effects of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS (opens in new tab)). You'll need protein to promote recovery and reduce the pain, so it's worth making a post-workout shake with one of the best protein powders for weight loss (opens in new tab)

And if you like this type of training, why not try this four-move bodyweight HIRT workout (opens in new tab)? Or, if you're looking for something less intense, consider having a go at these anti-aging yoga moves (opens in new tab) to boost your flexibility.

Harry Bullmore

Harry Bullmore is a fitness writer covering everything from reviews to features for LiveScience, T3, TechRadar, Fit&Well and more. So, whether you’re looking for a new fitness tracker or wondering how to shave seconds off your 5K PB, chances are he’s written something to help you improve your training.

When not writing, he’s most likely to be found experimenting with a wide variety of training methods in his home gym or trying to exhaust his ever-energetic puppy.

Prior to joining Future, Harry wrote health and fitness product reviews for publications including Men’s Health, Women’s Health and Runner’s World. Before this, he spent three years as a news reporter with work in more than 70 national and regional newspapers.