I love dumbbell workouts. They can help you build strength and muscle at home, save you from lengthy queues for equipment in the gym, and offer enough versatility to keep your training fun.
If you want to give one a go, try this session from F45 trainer and Barry's group instructor Klaudia Lucia. It's an accessible-yet-effective routine, with plenty of compound exercises that build full-body strength.
How to do Klaudia Lucia's full-body dumbbell workout
- Squat to press: 3x8-12 repetitions
- Dumbbell reverse lunges: 3x10 repetitions on each leg
- Push-ups: 3x10 repetitions
- Bent-over row: 3x8-12 repetitions
- Glute bridge: 3x15 repetitions
- Russian twists: 3x40 seconds
- Biceps curl to shoulder press: 3x8-12 repetitions
Perform the exercises listed above as straight sets with 60 seconds between each one. This means you'll perform all three rounds of each exercise before moving on to the next exercise.
The only exception to this is the Russian twists, where you'll work for 40 seconds, rest for 20 seconds then repeat until you've finished three rounds. This should take you 30-40 minutes in total.
Lucia also recommends you "warm up properly with some light cardio or dynamic stretches before beginning, to fully prepare your body for the workout".
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1. Squat to press
Sets: 3 Reps: 8-12
- Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand at your shoulders.
- Lower into a squat by pushing your hips back and bending your knees, like you are sitting into a chair.
- When your thighs reach parallel with the ground or below, push through your heels to stand back up. As you do this, press the dumbbells overhead. Try to keep your core engaged and your heels on the ground throughout the movement.
2. Dumbbell reverse lunges
Sets: 3 Reps: 10 on each leg
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand with your arms by your sides.
- Step your right foot back, lowering into a lunge so both your knees form 90-degree angles.
- Push through your left heel to return to your standing position, then repeat on the other leg. Keep your chest lifted and your shoulders back during each rep.
Sets: 3 Reps: 10
- Begin in a high plank position (pictured above) with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Lower your body towards the ground by bending your elbows, and go as low as you can while maintaining proper form (keeping your core engaged and forming a straight line from your head, through your torso and legs, to your heels).
- Push through your hands to press your body back up to the starting position. If full push-ups are too challenging, you can perform them with your knees on the ground.
4. Bent-over row
Sets: 3 Reps: 8-12
- Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. With a slight bend in your knees and a straight back, hinge at your hips to lean forward (as shown in the picture above).
- Pull the dumbbells towards your hips, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.
- To finish, control the weights back to the starting position. Try to keep the rest of your body still in the bent-over position throughout the set.
5. Glute bridge
Sets: 3 Reps: 15
- Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the ground and a dumbbell resting on your hips.
- Lift your hips off the ground by squeezing your glutes and pushing through your heels. Aim to create a straight line from your shoulders to your knees at the top of the movement.
- Hold this position for a second then slowly lower your hips back down to the ground, keeping the core engaged throughout.
6. Russian twists
Sets: 3 Reps: 40 seconds
- Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet off the ground, holding a dumbbell in front of your chest in both hands.
- Balancing on your sit bones, rotate your torso to the right, lowering the dumbbell towards the ground to the right of your hips.
- Return to the starting position then repeat this on the other side. Keep your core engaged to maintain balance, and ensure you’re twisting your whole body, not just the dumbbell. For an extra challenge, lean a little further back, or you can make this move easier by keeping your feet on the ground.
7. Biceps curl to shoulder press
Sets: 3 Reps: 8-12
- Start with your arms by your side and a dumbbell in each hand.
- Perform a biceps curl by bending your elbows to bring the dumbbells towards your shoulders.
- From here, press the dumbbells overhead, fully extending your arms so your biceps end up by your ears.
- Reverse these motions to return to the starting position. Try to maintain an upright posture throughout this movement.
Full-body workout are great if you're short on time. Need more ideas for your weekly workouts? Try doing this beginners bodyweight workout at home or have a go at this full-body resistance band workout
If you want to buy some weights for home workouts, take a look at our roundup of the best adjustable dumbbells.
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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.
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