If you want to get stronger and fitter, dumbbell workouts are a great place to start. You can do them at home or in a quiet corner of the gym. They're also easy to adjust to your fitness level—just grab a lighter or heavier dumbbell when you need.
This workout from Sweat app fitness instructor Britany Williams is made of six dumbbell exercises that strengthen the entire body. Its fast pace will get your heart rate up and leave you feeling sweaty, improving your endurance at the same time as testing your muscles.
Some of the compound exercises in this routine are fairly complex, combining multiple movements. This makes it a super efficient workout for building strength, as it allows you to hit a wide range of muscles in a short space of time.
Watch Britany Williams' full-body dumbbell workout
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Complete ten repetitions of each movement, or ten on each side of the body if it's a unilateral exercise. Go for three rounds of each exercise in total, taking rest as needed.
It's essential to prioritize your form while completing these exercises. Think about bracing your core by squeezing your abdominal and gluteal muscles and avoid arching your back.
When choosing a dumbbell, opt for something that is challenging but manageable. If you can't complete ten repetitions without compromising your form, it's a good idea to lower the weight.
You may also have to switch weights between moves. If you don't already own a pair, it's a good idea to invest in some good-quality adjustable dumbbells for this reason, as they allow you to change loads quickly.
Why do full-body workouts?
You may have heard some people talk about a training split. This is where you divide your weekly workouts into upper- and lower-body sessions. While this might work for some dedicated body builders, the average gym-goer won't see many benefits from working out this way.
"Full-body workouts offer several advantages over split routines," says Tom Brownlee, a sports scientist and assistant professor at the University of Birmingham, who spoke to Fit&Well about this subject last year.
"This style of training engages multiple muscle groups in a single session; it’s time-efficient and it enhances cardiovascular health, due to the intense nature of the workouts.
"Additionally, full-body routines can help prevent muscle imbalances, reduce the risk of overuse injuries—when programmed correctly—and are adaptable to various fitness goals, making them a versatile choice for many individuals."
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Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.
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