Five moves, one kettlebell, and a 25-minute workout to build muscle and burn fat

This short session works your whole body, strengthens your core, and boosts your metabolism

Man exercising with a kettlebell outside
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Finding time for an hour-long gym workout isn't always easy, but that doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your fitness goals. Instead, use this 25-minute full-body workout to build muscle and burn fat at home with a single weight. 

The minimalist nature of this session makes it ideal for when you're tight on time—all you need is a kettlebell. Some of the best kettlebells are adjustable, making them great for home workouts as you can change the weight as you get stronger. However, if you don't have one to hand, you can always use a dumbbell instead.

This short, intense workout from personal trainer and yoga instructor Rhiannon Bailey is designed to build strength, work your core and boost your metabolism with just five rounds of five moves. 

To fit all that into a 25-minute workout, you'll do each exercise for 40 seconds, take a 20-second rest, then start the next move. Repeat the five-move circuit five times for a muscle-building, fat-burning session. 

It's important to get the technique of each exercise right to get the most from your training and avoid injury, especially when working with weights. Helpfully, you can use Bailey's demonstrations to help you practice and perfect your form before you start.

Watch Rhiannon Bailey's five-move kettlebell workout

One of the reasons this workout is so effective is the way the exercises are structured: a training style known as high-intensity resistance training (HIRT). This is where you exercise in short, intense bursts with minimal rest. This works your muscles hard, but has other benefits too. 

Keeping the intensity high raises your heart rate and boosts your metabolism, so you burn more energy than during an equivalent steady-paced routine. 

According to Bailey, you should "aim to repeat this workout two or three times a week, and with consistency and hard work, you'll start to see and feel changes". 

It's essential to give your muscles time to recover between workouts, so don't perform this workout on back-to-back days. But you can still move your body in other ways between sessions. 

These beginner yoga exercises for building strength help connect your body and mind, or you could head outside for a walk to get all the benefits of outdoor exercise. Keeping active doesn't have to look a certain way, so do what feels right for your body in the moment. 

James Frew
Fitness Editor

James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor 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.