Four moves, two dumbbells, and 20 minutes is all you need to build muscle all over

This short routine increases your heart rate, works muscles across your body, and boosts your metabolism

Woman doing a sumo squat and dumbbell front raises.
(Image credit: Getty)

If you exercise from home with limited equipment, you might find that your workouts become slightly repetitive. However, varied workouts are key to a good exercise routine. 

This will ensure you don't get bored of working out and it will also help you target a wide range of muscles. Thankfully, there are an almost endless amount of exercises you can do with nothing more than a pair of dumbbells.

If you only have one piece of kit at home, dumbbells are a great way to build full-body strength and target specific muscles. We'd recommend investing in a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells so you can change the weight for different exercises.

Then, with weights in hand, this dumbbell routine from personal trainer Rhiannon Bailey is made up of four exercises. You'll work on your cardio fitness and build strength all over with this interval-style session, and it only takes 20 minutes.

You should be able to use the same weight for the entire workout, so it's a great one to try at home or in the gym, or if you're in a rush and looking for a quiet corner where you can workout efficiently.

Watch Rhiannon Bailey's 20-minute HIRT workout

You'll be moving for 45 seconds followed by 15 seconds of rest during this workout, completing five rounds in total.

Try to get through as many reps as possible of each exercise during this time period. But don't rush through the moves too quickly, as it's crucial to think about perfecting your form too.

If your goal is to build strength, it's worth opting for a challenging weight and moving slowly and intentionally, rather than rushing through reps, as this will increase the time your muscles are under tension.

Take a look at Bailey's form and mirror it, which will help you make sure you're getting the most from each exercise. And remember to engage your core whenever you're moving by squeezing your abdominal muscles and tilting your ribcage inwards.

If strength workouts aren't a regular part of your routine, you're likely to experience DOMS (delayed-onset muscle soreness) after a session like this one. Try some stretching exercises after completing the workout to cool down your muscles and make sure you're eating enough protein to build muscle to support your recovery.

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.