Build full-body strength with two dumbbells and these four exercises

Get stronger and build some muscle while you’re at it, with this simple home workout

Woman doing dumbbell push press
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If the cold weather has stopped you from heading out to the gym, then this workout is for you! Perfect for doing from the comfort of your home, it will work all the major muscle groups in your body to build strength and, in time, some muscle too. Better still, it only takes 15 minutes. Just grab a pair of dumbbells and towel, or an exercise mat, so you have something soft beneath you.

There’s often a misconception that home workouts aren’t as effective as training in a gym, but this isn’t true. You can still develop strength and muscle at home using free weights or even just your bodyweight. A study which looked at two groups using free weights and gym machines actually found no difference in strength and muscle mass between the groups. While a 2019 study found that even using resistance bands provided similar strength results to using traditional gym equipment. The takeaway? Not to underestimate the power of home workouts!

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For this workout you've got four dumbbell exercises to get through. If you don't own a pair of dumbbells, grab two big water bottles or a single kettlebell (always try and find an alternative). You're going to do each exercise back-to-back for 10 to 12 reps each. Once you've completed one round, rest for 30 to 40 seconds, then repeat three more times. Here's your workout: 

  • Dumbbell floor chest press
  • Dumbbell squat and press
  • Dumbbell pullover
  • Single leg Romanian deadlift (do reps on both legs)

Quick and effective! Fancy more home workouts like this one? Then we've got another strength building full-body workout that you can try. If, however, you don't own any equipment and just need a bodyweight workout, give this 8-move workout a go. For those who want to focus more on losing weight healthily, this four-move bodyweight workout burns lots of calories and builds strength.

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.