It only takes 25 minutes to build stronger arms, shoulder, and chest—here's how

This short routine combines bodyweight and dumbbell exercises to build upper body muscle

Man performing dumbbell curls
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Finding time for an extended training session is not always easy between work, social events, and family commitments. Fortunately, this quick dumbbell workout can strengthen your chest, shoulders, and arms in just 25 minutes.

If you're exercising at home, it's worth investing in a set of the best adjustable dumbbells. These combine several weights in one and are reasonably easy to store. And if you use these beginner strength training tips, you can get similar results at the gym with fixed weights.

You'll want to choose a challenging load that won't affect your form, but the intensity of your training is key to getting results. The workout, developed by fitness YouTubers Tiff x Dan, strengthens your upper body with a mix of dumbbell and bodyweight exercises.

According to the duo, the 25-minute routine "will test your endurance and help you to build strong, lean upper body muscles." There are five sets to target specific areas—including your shoulders, back, chest, biceps, and triceps—with five moves in each set.

You'll do each move for 40 seconds, take a 20-second rest, then start on the next exercise. To get the most from your training and avoid injury, be sure to follow along with Dan's demonstrations to perfect your technique as you go.

Watch Tiff x Dan's 25-minute dumbbell workout

It's an exercise style known as high-intensity resistance training, where the aim is to work your muscles in short, intense bursts with minimal breaks. This helps you get muscle-building results from just 25 minutes of exercise, but there are other benefits, too.

Working out in this way keeps your heart rate high, increasing the energy you burn during your session. And it boosts your metabolism, the amount of energy you burn at rest, for all-day fat-burning effects.

In this way, it's similar to a high-intensity HIIT workout for fat loss, but with a focus on building muscle and developing strength rather than cardio-based exercise. Tiff x Dan also add a 40-second push-up challenge to end the workout with an upper body finisher.

This exercise is a great way to develop shoulder, chest, and arm muscles without weights, but it can be challenging when you first start. If you're after a way to work up to the full move, doing wall push-ups every day can help you perfect your form and build strength.

Alternatively, if you're after another weighted exercise to build muscle and burn fat, pick up one of the best kettlebells and learn how to do kettlebell swings. This multi-muscle move works your whole body, raises your heart rate, and improves your metabolism.

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.