You might imagine that you need a gym full of equipment and hours of training to build muscle. Luckily, if you’re short on time or prefer shorter workouts, there are alternatives, like this 20-minute full-body dumbbell workout.
If you work out at home, we think it’s worth investing in a set of the best adjustable dumbbells (opens in new tab). These customizable tools offer multiple weight options in a compact package, making them an ideal space-saving training companion. You can also easily adjust the load as you get stronger, allowing you to reap the benefits of muscle-building progressive overload (opens in new tab) Principle, without having to buy new fixed load weights.
Whether at home or in the gym, the goal is to choose weights that will challenge your muscles without breaking your form. Once you’ve found the right weights, you can start using the Body Coach (opens in new tab) 10-stroke dumbbell workout to build functional, full-body muscles.
You do each exercise for 35 seconds, rest for 25 seconds, and then start the next movement until you reach the end of the round. Repeat this 10-movement circuit for two rounds for a 20-minute full-body session.
Since you’re working with heavy weights, it’s important to perfect your technique to avoid injury. You can follow the Body Coach’s demonstrations to practice your technique, and it’s also worth brushing up on the dumbbell deadlift (opens in new tab) before it begins.
Check out The Body Coach’s 10-movement dumbbell workout
Part of the reason this session is so effective, despite its short duration, is the exercise style known as high-intensity resistance training (opens in new tab) (SHEPHERD). The goal is to perform resistance training exercises while working intensely in short bursts with minimal rest to get the most out of the session.
This trains your muscles hard, but there are other benefits as well. Keeping rest periods to a minimum will increase your heart rate, allowing you to burn more energy than an equivalent steady-paced routine. Maintaining your elevated heart rate has the added benefit of boosting your metabolism (the amount of energy you burn at rest).
The movements themselves also play a crucial role as the body coach designed this routine around compound exercises (opens in new tab). These work multiple muscles at the same time, making them an extremely efficient way of training compared to single-muscle isolation movements like bicep curls.
As a result, you can pack in a fat-burning, muscle-building workout in just 20 minutes—all you need is a set of dumbbells and some space. Since there are a few bodyweight exercises like burpees, we think it’s worth rolling out a yoga mat (opens in new tab) if you have one for extra grip and support.
To get the most out of your workout, it’s important to provide your body with the right nutrients. Adding one of the best protein powders for weight loss (opens in new tab) Incorporating it into your post-workout routine is a great way to help your body repair and build muscle.
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