Four moves, two dumbbells and 20 minutes are all you need to build full-body strength at home

Slip this quick routine into your weekly plans to develop your strength, muscle and cardio fitness

A woman performing a renegade row with dumbbells
(Image credit: Getty / Maridav)

While it's definitely helpful to have access to gym equipment to create a fun, varied workout, you don't need a gym membership to build muscle. You can still make plenty of progress at home with minimal equipment . 

This routine from fitness trainer Rhiannon Bailey is designed to strengthen your whole body in 20 minutes using just a pair of dumbbells. It features four different compound exercises, which target multiple muscle groups at once, so that you can build strength all over in a short space of time. 

NordicTrack iSelect Adjustable Dumbbells: was$429, now $221.03 at Amazon

NordicTrack iSelect Adjustable Dumbbells: was $429, now $221.03 at Amazon 

Save $207.97 It's still October, but there are already some early Black Friday weights deals available. We like this pair of sleek NordicTrack adjustable dumbbells, which is now almost half price. Each dumbbell has 10 weight options from 5lb to 50lb, which you can switch between using the dial on the docking tray or Alexa voice controls. 

Watch Rhiannon Bailey's four-move dumbbell strength workout

There are four exercises in this circuit. Perform each exercise for 40 seconds, rest for 20 seconds, then move on to the next one. Repeat the sequence five times to complete the workout.

Need some guidance on what dumbbell weight to choose for this routine? Pick something that will challenge you for the 40 seconds of work, but don't pick something that's so heavy it negatively affects your form.

What is a HIRT workout?

Bailey's workout falls under the high-intensity resistance training (HIRT) umbrella. This training style is characterized by short bursts of effort broken up with minimal rest periods. It also weaves strength training exercises into the mix, which means that you're challenging your muscles and your cardio fitness in one go. 

Full-body workouts like this one are a top option for people with busy schedules as they allow you to train a wide range of muscles in a short space of time. 

So, if you want to give strength training a go but don't have several hours to spare, try sprinkling full-body workouts like Bailey's session into your week to reap the physical rewards.

Need help choosing your weights? Our guide to the best adjustable dumbbells can help

Harry Bullmore
Fitness Writer

Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.

Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.