Burn fat and build muscle all over with this 25-minute workout

You only need five exercises and two dumbbells to work every major muscle group in your body

A man performing a dumbbell thruster as part of a full-body workout
(Image credit: Getty)

Instagram tells us that celebs can spend hours in the gym each day, particularly when they're preparing to don superhero suits for a Marvel or DC movie role. However, if you train the right way, you can fit an effective home workout into just half an hour. 

You don't need a fully-stocked gym either. A pair of the best adjustable dumbbells (opens in new tab) make for a compact, versatile at-home training tool, allowing you to change the weight to suit your strength level and up the load as you become stronger. 

This is ideal for making the most of the muscle-building progressive overload (opens in new tab) principle. However, if you don't have a pair of these, a fixed weight set or even a couple of kettlebells will suffice. 

A prime example of time-efficient training is this full-body dumbbell workout from yoga, wellness and fitness trainer Rhiannon Bailey (opens in new tab). It's a circuit of five moves that hit every major muscle group in your body using just a pair of dumbbells and your bodyweight. 

Perform the first exercise (alternating devil press) for 45 seconds, rest for 15 seconds, then start on the next movement. Once you've completed all five exercises, that's one round. Repeat this five times to finish the workout. 

Watch Bailey's video below to find out the four other exercises that await you, and follow her lead to nail down your form. Make sure you can perform each movement with good technique, then get ready to sweat. 

Watch Rhiannon Bailey's full-body dumbbell workout

A post shared by Rhiannon Bailey (@rhiannoncbailey) (opens in new tab)

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With its intense bursts of work and short rest times, Bailey's session has all the hallmarks of a HIIT workout for fat loss (opens in new tab). This partly explains why she's able to fit an effective workout into only 25 minutes, keeping the intensity elevated throughout to spike your heart rate and boost your metabolism. 

However, with the addition of weighted movements like the devil press and squat to overhead press, we think this session can more accurately be defined as high-intensity resistance training (opens in new tab) or HIRT. This newer twist on HIIT maintains the calorie-burning intensity of its predecessor while adding weighted movements to develop strength and build muscle at the same time. 

If you're looking to give this workout a go but don't know where it should sit among your existing training plans, we recommend using it as a standalone daily session. You'll also want to give your muscles a chance to recuperate the following day, to get the best results. 

So, swerve resistance training in favor of a recovery session with one of the best foam rollers (opens in new tab) or a slower run (like one of the early workouts from our running plan for beginners (opens in new tab)). 

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.