You only need 30 minutes and 10 moves to strengthen your whole body and boost your metabolism

Build muscle all over with this efficient and effective routine

person doing dumbbell workout
(Image credit: Getty Images/Thomas Barwick)

Think you don't have time for a total-body workout? Think again. 

This routine strengthens your upper and lower body in just 30 minutes—warm up and cool down included. What's more, it can be done at home using only a few dumbbells (or a pair of adjustable dumbbells), scoring it extra points for efficiency. 

Created by NASM-certified personal trainer Sydney Cummings Houdyshell, the workout combines 10 muscle-building, cardio-boosting moves for a comprehensive fitness hit.

Follow along with the routine via the video below, paying close attention to Cummings Houdyshell's form to help you nail your technique. 

Watch Sydney Cummings Houdyshell's workout routine

To make sure you're getting extra bang for your buck, Cummings Houdyshell uses the superset format, grouping complementary exercises together with little rest in between.

This shortens the workout, allowing you to do more work in less time. It also tests your endurance and raises your heart rate by increasing the intensity of the session, leading to improved cardio fitness and heightened calorie burn.  

Several of the exercises in this workout, such as the squats, also feature in our guide to the top strength training exercises for weight loss. This is because they can help you build muscle which, as a metabolically active tissue, requires energy to maintain. As a result, building muscle will boost your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories at rest. 

If you're not used to strength training workouts like this one, you'll probably feel the effects of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) the following day. This is normal, and is the result of tiny tears in your muscle fibers that form when you challenge them by lifting weights. 

Your body uses protein to help repair these tears, growing and strengthening your muscles, so it's important to include several sources of protein in your diet. Make sure you take a rest day, too, so that your muscles have time to recover. 

Lois Mackenzie
Fitness Writer

Lois Mackenzie is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering strength training workouts with weights, accessible ways to stay active at home, and training routines for runners. She joined the team from Newsquest Media Group, where she was a senior sports, trends, and lifestyle reporter. She is a dedicated runner, having just completed her first marathon, and an advocate for spending time outdoors, whether on a walk, taking a long run, or swimming in the sea. 

Lois holds a Master's degree in Digital Journalism, and has written for Good Health, Wellbeing & The Great Outdoors,, and Newsquest Media Group, where her reporting was published in over 200 local newspapers.