Two dumbbells, six moves and 20 minutes for a full-body burn

You don't need to spend hours in the gym to build full-body muscle

Man pressing dumbbells over his head
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Looking for a speedy strength workout that you can blast through in less than 30 minutes, but will still help you build muscle? You’ve come to the right place. This dumbbell workout will work everything, from your glutes to your shoulders, core and back. Just grab a pair of two medium sized dumbbells, have your gym water bottle to hand and get ready to graft for 20 minutes. 

To make sure you get more bang for your buck in minimal time, this workout is made up of compound exercises, so that you’re working multiple muscles all at once. But compound exercises also elevate your heart rate a lot quicker than isolation exercises, so this workout is also going to benefit your cardiovascular fitness too. 

For this workout you've got six exercises to work through in total. Don't worry if your dumbbells are too light, you can just increase your reps to make it more challenging. Do each exercise for the reps listed below, with a 30-45 second rest in between each one. Once you've done one round, take a minutes rest and then repeat the workout two more times. Here's your workout:

  • Front squats - 10 reps
  • Bent over dumbbell rows (under hand grip) - 10 reps
  • Lunge with a knee drive - 10 reps each side
  • Dumbbell swings - 10 reps
  • Push press - 10 reps
  • Renegade rows - 6 reps

Do this workout a couple of times a week, followed by a well-balanced diet, and you'll be building muscle in no time. If, however, you do fancy switching up your sessions, here's another full-body workout, but this one will only take 15 minutes (although don't let that fool you into thinking it's easier). Also, you don't have to use weights to build muscle, this 15 minute bodyweight workout also uses compound exercises and will leave your body feeling on fire.

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.