You don’t need the gym for a great full-body workout — try these eight dumbbell moves instead

Build muscle all over and boost your strength in just 30 minutes with this time-efficient session

A woman performing a shoulder press
(Image credit: Getty / GradyReese)

If time-efficiency is your top priority when exercising, this is the routine for you. 

It provides a full-body workout in just 30 minutes using a savvy training technique called supersets. What's more, you'll only need a couple of dumbbells (or adjustable dumbbells) to give it a go, so you can choose to do it at the gym or at home. 

The session was created by personal trainer Hayley Madigan. There are eight exercises in total, split into four pairs (otherwise known as supersets) to be performed with minimal rest in between moves. 

To start, complete 12 sumo squats followed by 12 neutral presses. Once you're done with both moves, rest for 60 seconds then perform 10 of each exercise. Take another 60-second break before finishing with eight more repetitions of each exercise. 

This is the first of the four supersets, followed by pairings of split squats and bent-over rows, Romanian deadlifts and biceps curls, and hammer curls and lateral raises. 

Watch Madigan's video below to find out how many repetitions you'll need to perform of each move, and how they should be executed with perfect form. 

Watch Hayley Madigan's full-body dumbbell workout

Most resistance workouts tell you to perform one strength training exercise then rest for a minute or more to let your muscles recover. But, by pairing exercises that target different muscles, Madigan allows fatigued body parts to rest while others are put to work. This is why supersets are such a fantastic time-saving training tool.

For example, in the first superset of sumo squats and neutral presses, the squats will hit your lower body muscles like the glutes, hamstrings and quadriceps. Then, rather than rest, you move straight on to the presses to strengthen your shoulders and triceps (the long muscles running down the back side of your arm) while leaving your legs to recuperate. 

This allows you to perform more work in a fraction of the time, helping Madigan provide a workout that hits your legs, arms, back and shoulders in just 30 minutes. And you'll also boost your metabolism, meaning your body burns more energy throughout the day. 

After a heavy resistance training session, particularly one that targets muscles across your whole body, you'll need to take a day or two to allow your muscles to recover and grow. So, the day after this session, consider swapping your weights for this recovery day workout, or some less intense anti-aging yoga moves

Harry Bullmore
Fitness Writer

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.