You only need 30 minutes and a set of dumbbells to build muscle all over

You can workout your whole body using a set of dumbbells, just use this 30-minute routine

Woman doing dumbbell lunges onto a step
(Image credit: Getty)

It doesn't matter if you are a gym warrior and like to train every day or if you're newer to fitness and looking to ease yourself into a training program, everybody loves having a convenient workout to hand. By convenient, we're talking one that allows you to target various muscles in one session and doesn't take long to complete.

You'll just need some dumbbells to work with for this 30-minute full-body session. If you're a regular gym goer it's likely your gym will have a whole range of dumbbells to work with in its free weights section. Or if you train at home you should consider investing in some of the best adjustable dumbbells, these save on space and you can adjust the load during your workout.

This dumbbell workout comes from Krissy Cela (opens in new tab), personal trainer and the co-founder of the popular women's workout app EvolveYou (opens in new tab). Not only does it require minimal equipment but it's equally ideal for those hectic days that all too easily fill up with various commitments and push exercise to the bottom of the heap.

Training with just these five exercises will engage and challenge muscles in both your upper and lower body and help to improve strength and muscle mass. Cela recommends performing each exercise for 15 reps and repeating the entire workout three times over.

If you're new to working out with weights read these beginner strength training tips and go easy with what weight you use for this dumbbell session. You will want to pick a load that will challenge your muscles but also one that you will be able to stick with for each rep and set of the routine. Don't forget that different muscles will be stronger than others so you might need to switch weight per exercise if you have the option to.

Watch Krissy Cela's Five-Move Full-Body Dumbbell Routine

A post shared by Krissy Cela (@krissycela) (opens in new tab)

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Cela calls this her '30 Mins Full Body Express Workout' and advises using it three times a week. You might be wondering what exercises you will work using this routine. We've listed all of the exercises below outlining what muscles are worked during each.

  • Romanian deadlift - lower back, core, glutes, and hamstrings
  • Alternative lunges - quads, glutes, hamstrings
  • Assisted push-ups - triceps, chest, shoulders, and core
  • Dumbbell flyes - chest and shoulders
  • Russian twists - core, abdominals, and spine muscle

For those who enjoy this kind of strength session where you can target muscles all over your body and wish to grow muscle this way, you should look to introduce progressive overload into these sessions. This is when you gradually increase the challenge of your workouts, whether that be upping the weight you are training with or by increasing the number of reps you complete, this help promotes muscle hypertrophy.

When you aren't deep in dumbbell lunges and deadlifts, you can also be promoting muscle gain via your diet. That's right, just by eating a generous amount of protein every day you can aid the repair and growth of your muscles via the amino acids present in protein. Some people like topping up their daily intake using one of the best protein powders for weight loss.

Jessica Downey
Staff Writer

Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 


When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.