Forget running – fire up your metabolism and strengthen your lower body with two dumbbells and this 6-move workout

This workout will ramp up your heart rate and accelerate your metabolism in as little as 20 minutes

A man performing suitcase deadlifts with dumbbells at a crossfit gym
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Running may crunch the most calories and strengthen our glutes, quads, calves and hamstrings, but it's not the only way. In fact, this workout does both, but without placing your joints under a ton of stress. What's better is you'll have it over and done within 20 minutes (no more than 30) and it's suitable for doing at home or in the gym. You'll just need two weights - a pair of dumbbells or kettlebells will do - and don't forget to swap your running shoes for a stable pair of workout shoes!

This workout packs a calorie-burning punch as it's made up of a combination of exercises. These are exercises that combine two movements into one, so you work multiple muscles in less time. By working more muscles, you’ll ramp up your heart rate and kickstart your metabolism, helping you burn more calories. Adding in some extra resistance, in the form of dumbbells, will accelerate this further, not to mention improve your overall lower body strength and build some muscle.

For this workout you're aiming to complete 8-12 reps of the six exercises below (make sure you do this on both sides where applicable, such as the lunges). Rest for 30 to 60 seconds between each exercise then, 90 seconds once you've completed one entire round. Try and complete three to four rounds in total then, you're done! Here are your exercises:

  • Squat into calf raise
  • Suitcase deadlift
  • Overhead reverse lunges
  • Glute bridge with a pulse
  • Sumo squat to deadlift
  • Curtsey lunges

Remember, if you don’t have any weights you can always fill a backpack up with some household items and wear that for some resistance.  Looking for similar workouts? Here’s another lower body one, but it’s five exercises using just your bodyweight. It’s an Arnold Schwarzenegger workout, so you know it’s going to work you hard. Otherwise, if you need something that takes minimal time that you can blast your way through, checkout this four-move, one-weight workout

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.