Seven moves, a pair of dumbbells, and this strength workout to build muscle all over

This strength-building routine uses just seven moves to work your upper and lower body in a short period of time

Woman trains with dumbbells
(Image credit: Getty)

Not everyone has the time to dedicate different days to working out different muscle groups and therefore will like to train multiple muscle groups in one session. Thankfully, this is easy to do with the right exercises and this seven-move dumbbell routine makes for a great place to begin.

It doesn't matter if you prefer to train at home or exercise at the gym, you only need to use a pair of dumbbells for this workout. These are usually well stocked up in the free weights section of any gym or if you're looking for a weight that will take up minimal space at home, try using a set of the best adjustable dumbbells.

This short full-body conditioning session comes from personal trainer and owner of the Get It Done workout app, Bradley Simmonds. If you aren't already familiar with how to use free weight exercises to build muscle then this workout is a good introduction to the effectiveness of using dumbbells to grow your muscles and improve overall fitness levels.

To complete this workout you will do 10 reps of each exercise and 20 for one unilateral exercise. Factor in 30 seconds of rest in between each exercise and don't start too heavy on the dumbbells as you should aim to complete five whole rounds of this routine. Longer one-minute breaks should be had in between each round to allow your muscles time to recover for the next lot of moves.

Watch Bradley Simmonds Full-Body Dumbbell Workout

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Simmonds demonstrates this routine in full with fellow trainer, Georgia John (opens in new tab), by his side. It's a great workout to complete with a family member at home or with a gym buddy as you can complete the exact same workout despite having different strength abilities. Just make sure you tailor the dumbbell size to each of you individually.

You can also modify certain moves to make them a little easier or more challenging. For example, for the dumbbell push-up you can choose to have your knees off the floor like Simmonds or make the move slightly easier and kneel on the ground as Georgia does in the demonstration.

All of the exercises you or you and your partner will need are listed below. Be sure to correct your form for each move as this will help prevent injury and make the workout more effective.

  • Push-ups - 10reps
  • Squat curl press - 10reps
  • Bent over rows - 10reps
  • Reverse lunges - 20reps
  • RDL’s - 10reps
  • X2 curls + press - 10reps
  • Deep squats - 10reps

If you haven't been consistent with exercise for a while or perhaps you suffer from injury a lot in other sports such as running then your bones and muscles can benefit from taking up strength training. 

According to research in the Sports Medicine (opens in new tab) journal, increasing strength and endurance across your body through resistance training can improve various things such as range of motion, and the mobility of your muscles, tendons, and ligaments. As a result, major joints that are more prone to injuries such as hips, knees, and ankles will be able to offer more support against injury.

Perhaps you want to increase mobility in other important areas of the body such as the upper body. This yoga for shoulder mobility routine requires no weight to help build up greater strength in your arms and shoulders. Plus you can keep your best yoga mat rolled out and also try this hip mobility yoga flow.

Jessica Downey
Jessica Downey

Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 


When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.