Five moves, a set of dumbbells and a full-body workout to build muscle and burn fat

This short dumbbell routine develops muscle all over and gets fat burning results

Woman lifts two dumbbells in a gym
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It can be a time-consuming task trying to train all your major muscle groups in separate workout sessions every week. But there are ways around this, one is finding a workout that works multiple muscles in one session. This five-move dumbbell routine is an excellent way to work your upper and lower body and it will help you burn fat while you're at it.

Not all muscles are as strong as each other so you will want to have a few different weight sizes to work with for this short routine. We recommend using a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells, these modifiable weights save on space and allow you to change the weight load mid-workout.

Personal trainer Lisa Lanceford (opens in new tab) is behind this full-body workout and has provided demonstrations of each exercise. Make sure to watch her demonstrations and take mental note of how she positions herself and the weight for each move. This way you can ensure the correct muscles are being targeted for optimal results and having the correct form helps prevent injury.

Lanceford recommends completing between 12-15 repetitions of each exercise and doing three rounds of each. Try not to rush through the sets, instead make sure you are creating time under tension during each exercise. This makes your muscles work harder and enhances muscular strength and growth gains.

Watch Lisa Lanceford's Five-Move Full-Body Dumbbell Workout

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Lanceford has included a few unilateral exercises in this routine such as the lunges and dumbbell row movements, which allow you to train both sides of your limbs equally. This helps to prevent one side from overcompensating if you have a dominant side and can even out muscle imbalances. Unilateral moves can also help with joint stability.

The workout also includes an isolation exercise, the tricep kickbacks. This move requires you to bend forward and lift your arms behind you while lifting the dumbbells and focusses on your triceps, in the back of your arms. Isolation exercises are useful when you want to target just one muscle group without stressing other muscles.

The push-up section of this full-body workout will assist you in developing strength in both your upper body and core muscles. If you've learned how to do a push up properly and feel confident with this exercise then you should aim to add in Lanceford's additional challenge, which is reaching out one hand after each push up rep.

By the time you reach the weighted Russian twists your core will certainly be feeling the burn. But if you're looking for a full-body workout, you should really include core exercises. Having a strong core helps stabilize your trunk and can make exercise and everyday activities much easier.

Plus, if you are looking to notice more visible benefits from doing core strengthening exercises, you will burn fat during this weight-lifting workout, which can help reveal abdominal muscle.

Jessica Downey
Staff Writer

Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 


When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.