Two dumbbells, 15 minutes and five exercises to build total body strength

Build your strength and develop muscle all over with this simple home-dumbbell workout

man doing dumbbell thrusters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We love a full-body workout here at T3, as they work all the muscle groups in your body, making them a great starting point for beginners. They’re also very time efficient too, just like this 15 minute one, which will help develop your strength and, in time, build muscle. Just grab a pair of dumbbells and your workout shoes (you'll be cursing yourself if you drop a dumbbell on your toe).

Full-body workouts often consist of compound exercises, those that work multiple muscles in the body. These aren’t only great for building strength and muscle, but also improving your cardiovascular health too. According to fitness brand, Centr: “Compound exercises increase the heart rate more than isolated exercises, because the body needs to oxygenate more muscles at one time, meaning the heart has to pump more blood around the body. To do that, the heart rate has to rise.” So, basically, you're getting the best of both worlds.

This workout is made up of five combination exercises (two exercises combined into one movement), to challenge your body even further. You want a pair of medium dumbbells, as you've got quite a few reps to get through, so you don't want anything that's too heavy or too light. Take a 30 to 45 second rest between each movement. Once you've completed one round of the workout, rest for 90 to 120 seconds, then repeat two more times. Here's your exercises:

  • Front squat into an Arnold press 10 to 12 reps
  • Lateral lunge into a dumbbell row 10 to 12 reps each side
  • Reverse lunge into a hammer curl 10 to 12 reps each side
  • Squat with a clean press - 10 to 12 reps
  • Cross-body mountain climbers - 30 seconds

If you liked this workout then we've got plenty more! After all, we did say they're our favourite. Try this four-move full-body workout that's a little shorter than this one but, again, you will need a pair of dumbbells for it. If you have more time on your hands then try this 30 minute workout, which only requires one dumbbell (or you could even use a single kettlebell) which is great for building muscle.

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.