You don't need a gym to build full-body muscle, this 10-minute strength workout can be done at home

Pick up a pair of dumbbells and get to work (it won't take long)

A woman performing a lunge and curl with dumbbells during a home workout
(Image credit: Getty)

Making it to the gym over the festive period can be tricky. Fortunately for you, we're here to help you build muscle at home with minimal equipment. 

Don't believe us? Then we challenge you to try this strength workout from fitness trainer Anna Dima (opens in new tab). Using just four moves, you should feel the burn in your legs, shoulders, chest, back, arms and core — all in just 10 minutes. 

The only kit you need to complete this session is a pair of dumbbells. A set of the best adjustable dumbbells (opens in new tab) would be our preference as you can adjust the load to suit your strength level, but fixed weight ones or even a couple of filled water bottles will do the trick too. 

Dima uses a circuit of four compound exercises (opens in new tab) (movements that use multiple joints and muscle groups) to create a time-efficient workout. To start the session, complete the prescribed number of repetitions for each exercise (found in the video below) before moving on to the next one without taking a break. 

After you've finished all four exercises, rest for 60 seconds. To finish the workout, repeat this circuit for three rounds if you're new to strength training, or four if you want to push yourself. This should take you about 10-12 minutes. 

Watch Dima's video below to find out how many repetitions you have to complete and learn how to perform the four exercises (the squat to press, dumbbell back lunge, renegade row and curtsy lunge with curl) with perfect form. Then you're ready to give this workout a go for yourself. 

Watch Anna Dima's full-body strength workout

A post shared by Anna Dima - HOME WORKOUTS (@anna_dima) (opens in new tab)

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This is an example of high-intensity resistance training (opens in new tab) or HIRT. It shares many similarities with its better-known relative, high-intensity interval training (HIIT), using intense bursts of exercise and short rest periods to spike your heart rate and burn calories at an impressive rate. 

It's for this reason many people turn to HIIT workouts for fat loss (opens in new tab), but they can also boost your aerobic endurance and reduce cardiovascular disease factors.

Thanks to their similarities, HIRT shares these benefits, but it also boasts additional advantages. By including more resistance training movements than traditional HIIT sessions (such as weighted exercises or challenging bodyweight moves) it places your muscles under greater stress, helping increase their strength and size. 

This workout from Dima also has some hidden benefits. While you might not find any sit-ups or other well-known examples of the best abs workouts (opens in new tab) in there, each exercise is designed to engage your core at the same time as several other muscles in your body. 

For example, renegade rows will hit your back and biceps by requiring you to pull a dumbbell towards your midline. However, they also require you to hold a plank position throughout, engaging your core muscles including the rectus abdominis (or six-pack muscle), obliques and the stabilizing transverse abdominis.

This is also true of the squat to press and dumbbell back lunge. They primarily work your legs, but by holding the dumbbells on your shoulders your core is called into action to maintain balance and stability. 

Harry Bullmore is a fitness writer covering everything from reviews to features for LiveScience, T3, TechRadar, Fit&Well and more. So, whether you’re looking for a new fitness tracker or wondering how to shave seconds off your 5K PB, chances are he’s written something to help you improve your training.


When not writing, he’s most likely to be found experimenting with a wide variety of training methods in his home gym or trying to exhaust his ever-energetic puppy.


Prior to joining Future, Harry wrote health and fitness product reviews for publications including Men’s Health, Women’s Health and Runner’s World. Before this, he spent three years as a news reporter with work in more than 70 national and regional newspapers.