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)
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. 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 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 (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
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This is an example of high-intensity resistance training 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, 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 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 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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