Five moves to strengthen your whole body

Grab a pair of dumbbells and build muscle with this efficient circuit workout

person holding a kettlebell
(Image credit: Getty Images/EF Volart)

You don't need to spend hours in the gym to get a full-body workout. You can build all-over strength in just 25 minutes with this short weights routine from Rhiannon Bailey.

All you need to do the workout is a set of weights (Bailey uses kettlebells, but dumbbells will work just as well). There are only five exercises to master, which you can see demonstrated below.

Make sure you watch the video at least once before you start, and pay close attention to Bailey's form so you can copy her technique.

Watch Rhiannon Bailey's workout

There are only five moves to follow in this routine. Each one needs to be performed for 40 seconds, then you can have a 20 second rest. After your quick breather, you'll need to move onto the next exercise in the sequence. Bailey recommends repeating the whole thing for four or five rounds to get a full workout. 

This workout is particularly time-efficient because it features plenty of compound exercises. These moves (which make up the bulk of Bailey's routine) target multiple muscles at once, meaning you're getting plenty of bang for your buck from each exercise. 

In Bailey's words: "[You'll be] working multiple muscle groups at once to make your workout productive without taking up a lot of your time."

Bailey also advises that this workout is suitable for beginners. While that may be true, any newcomer to strength training might need a little guidance on what dumbbell weight to choose. Our advice? Pick something that feels challenging to you, but not something that's so heavy that you can't maintain a good form.

For example, if you find yourself arching your back in the sumo squat pull high move, you're probably lifting too heavy a weight. Go for a lighter load and focus on perfecting your form. 

If you suffer from delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) the next day, give yourself a break and take a rest day. You could always try these 10 yoga stretches for beginners to limber up your body, if you still want to tackle some gentle movement. 

Lois Mackenzie
Fitness Writer

Lois Mackenzie is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering strength training workouts with weights, accessible ways to stay active at home, and training routines for runners. She joined the team from Newsquest Media Group, where she was a senior sports, trends, and lifestyle reporter. She is a dedicated runner, having just completed her first marathon, and an advocate for spending time outdoors, whether on a walk, taking a long run, or swimming in the sea. 

Lois holds a Master's degree in Digital Journalism, and has written for Good Health, Wellbeing & The Great Outdoors,, and Newsquest Media Group, where her reporting was published in over 200 local newspapers.