Think an effective workout requires a gym full of kit? This session, featuring just one pair of dumbbells, shows you otherwise.

How to: The following exercises are to be done back to back, with no rest between each move. Perform 10 reps of each exercise and rest for 60-90 secs once the whole circuit is complete. Repeat the whole thing 3-5 times.

full-body dumbbell workout Men's Fitness UK

1a. Deadlift

Muscles worked: glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, core, traps, rhomboids, lats

  • Stand tall with soft knees, shoulders back and a pair of dumbbells at your side.
  • Press your hips back, keep your chest up and slowly lower the dumbbells towards the ground.
  • Once the dumbbells are midway down your shin, pause, squeeze your glutes and return to the starting position.

full-body dumbbell workout Men's Fitness UK

1b. Dumbbell Press-Up

Muscles worked: pecs, triceps, delts, core 

  • Begin in a press-up position, with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width and your hands gripping the dumbbells in a neutral position. 
  • Now, perform a deep press-up while keeping your hips level.
  • Press yourself back up to the top and go again.

full-body dumbbell workout Men's Fitness UK

1c. Windscreen Wipers

Muscles worked: abs, obliques, pecs, triceps, delts, lats 

  • Lie on your back with your arms extended, a dumbbell in each hand and your feet together.
  • Keeping your arms straight throughout, lift your legs up then move them towards your right hand.
  • Return your feet to the ground and immediately lift them back up to your left hand. That’s one rep.

full-body dumbbell workout Men's Fitness UK

1d. Thrusters

Muscles worked: quads, hamstrings, glutes, core, delts, traps, triceps 

  • Hold a pair of dumbbells on your shoulders, with your hands in a neutral position.
  • Do a deep squat, keeping your back in good alignment.
  • Drive up through your heels and punch the weights straight up in the air.
  • Drop down into the next squat and repeat the process.

full-body dumbbell workout Men's Fitness UK

1e. Alternating Reverse Lunges

Muscles worked: quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, core 

  • With a pair of dumbbells at your side, take a big step backwards until your knee lightly grazes the floor.
  • Keeping your shoulders back, return to the starting position and go again on the other leg. That’s one rep.

full-body dumbbell workout Men's Fitness UK

1f. Bent-Over Row

Muscles worked: core, lats, rhomboids, posterior delts, erectors, biceps 

  • Holding the weights in front of you, bend your knees, press your hips back, keep your chest up and your shoulders down. This is your starting position. 
  • Row the weights up to your side, turning your hands as you go and keeping your elbows tucking in.
  • Pause at the top, then return to the start.

full-body dumbbell workout Men's Fitness UK

1e. Dumbbell Swing

Muscles worked: glutes, quads, hamstrings, core 

  • Holding the dumbbells close together, hinge your hips backwards, then snap them forwards.
  • Allow the weights to swing up to about shoulder level and then fall back down into the next swing.
  • Keep your posture in check throughout the move and make sure you’re not lifting the weights with your arms. All the momentum should come from your hips.

full-body dumbbell workout Men's Fitness UK

1f. Power High Pull

Muscles worked: traps, delts, biceps, quads, glutes, calves, core 

  • Begin with your hips back and chest up, holding a pair of dumbbells just above your knees.
  • Drive your hips forward, come up onto your toes and drag the weights up in the air, pausing briefly at the top of the move with elbows wide.
  • Return to the start position and go again.

 

Words: Luke Grainger, online PT and weight-loss coach, @mrlukegrainger