You only need two dumbbells, six moves, and 30 minutes to strengthen your arms at home

Boost your metabolism and build upper-body muscle with this quick strength training session

Woman performing a single-arm dumbbell row
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Home workouts can become pretty repetitive, especially if you’re exercising with minimal equipment. But, with just a pair of dumbbells, you can freshen up your fitness routine with a range of fun, effective exercises. 

This workout from personal trainer Rhiannon Bailey contains six such dumbbell movements designed to strengthen your arms, chest, shoulders and back. All you need is a set of weights, although we recommend adjustable dumbbells as they allow you to change their weight to suit the exercise you're doing. 

Bailey uses a weight bench for a few exercises, like triceps dips, but if you don't have one you can simply swap this out for a regular bench or chair. The routine is split into three supersets — pairs of exercises performed back-to-back without a rest.

You'll do both moves in the superset for up to 12 repetitions each, take a 60-second rest, then start on the next superset. Repeat the three-superset circuit three times for a muscle-building workout that'll strengthen your arms, chest, and back. 

Make sure you can perform each one with good technique to get the most from your training and avoid injury. You can perfect your form with Bailey's demonstrations before you start. 

Watch Rhiannon Bailey's six-move upper-body workout

This is a time-efficient way to train, halving the amount of breaks you need as you only rest after every other exercise. This means you can hit your whole upper body in about 30 minutes. 

Bailey's session is an example of a strength training workout, with the primary goal of helping you build strength and muscle. However, it can also increase your resting metabolic rate (the amount of energy your body burns at rest).

This helps you lose body fat, improve your physical performance in exercise and everyday tasks, and even boost your walking speed, according to a study published in the Current Sports Medicine Reports journal. 

If you want to try a strength training session but don’t have any equipment at home, try this 15-minute bodyweight workout, which will help you build muscle without any equipment. Or, opt for this five-minute Pilates-style session for a quick upper-body blast.

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

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.