This 10-Minute Dumbbell Workout Uses The Latest Science To Help You Get Stronger, Faster

Shirtless bodybuilder in gym holding dumbbells
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If you only have 10 minutes to fit in your workout, then you need to train smart, and this 10-minute dumbbell workout from personal trainer Adam Enaz will certainly encourage you to do just that.

The workout uses two strategies based on studies that have proven them effective—antagonist supersets and stretch-mediated hypertrophy.

“Antagonist supersets mean you work opposing muscle groups with little rest to save time,” says Enaz. “By doing this, it allows one unrelated muscle group to rest while the other gets worked.”

“We are also going to use the most effective exercise for each muscle group that stimulates the most growth using the latest ‘stretch-mediated hypertrophy’ method, which has shown that the more a muscle is worked in the stretch position, the more it grows.”

About Our Expert
About Our Expert
Adam Enaz

Adam Enaz is a level 3 qualified personal trainer and a registered clinical dietitian working in the NHS. Enaz has a BSc in Dietetics and more than 10 years of experience working as a personal trainer, and uses his clinical background to help offer a science-based approach to his training and nutrition advice.

10-Minute Dumbbell Workout

After a quick warm-up set of squats, the workout involves doing two supersets and then a tri-set, where you’ll be resting for a maximum of 15 seconds between each exercise in the sets. For each move Enaz says to go close to failure, aiming for at least 12-15 reps, so choose your weight with this in mind.

If you’re going to fit this into 10 minutes, you will need to move fast and take minimal rest, so it’s worth lining up the equipment you need for each exercise in advance—you’ll have to use a bench and a preacher bench, as well as having the dumbbells you need to hand.

10-Minute Dumbbell Workout Overview

  • Warm-up Unweighted squat x 25
  • 1A Bulgarian split squat x 12-15+ each side
  • 1B Lateral raise x 12-15+
  • 2A Dumbbell bench press x 12-15+
  • 2B Single-arm row x 12-15+ each side
  • 3A Preacher curl x 12-15+ each side
  • 3B Triceps overhead extension x 12-15+ each side
  • 3C Dumbbell sit-up x 12-15


Unweighted squat

Reps 25

“Start by doing 25 warm-up bodyweight squats, crouching up and down to get your heart rate up,” says Enaz.

Superset 1

1A Bulgarian split squat

Reps 12-15+ each side

Targets Glutes, quads, hamstrings

Hold dumbbells by your sides, stand with a knee-high platform such as a bench or sofa two to three feet behind you. Extend your right leg behind you and rest your toes on the bench. From this starting position, bend your front knee to lower until your front thigh is horizontal. Push through your front foot to return to the start. Do all the reps on one leg then switch to the other.

1B Lateral raise

Reps 12-15+

Targets Shoulders

Hold dumbbells by your sides with your palms facing you. Lift the dumbbells out to the sides to shoulder height, pause then lower under control. Maintain a slight bend in your elbows throughout.

Superset 2

2A Dumbbell bench press

Reps 12-15+

Targets Chest

“Lie back on a bench and keep the dumbells close to your chest,” says Enaz. “Press the dumbbells to lock out at the top and bring them back down, holding for two seconds in the stretched position at the bottom.”

2B Single-arm row

Reps 12-15+ each side

Targets Back

“Holding a dumbbell in your right hand, bend over to place your left knee and left hand on a bench to support your body weight,” says Enaz. “Your hand should be placed directly under your shoulder and your knees should be positioned directly under your hips. Now pull the dumbbell towards your hips and then slowly lower.”

Do all your reps on one arm then switch to the other side.


3A Preacher curl

Reps 12-15+ each side

Targets Biceps

“Grab a dumbbell with your left hand and place the upper arm on top of the preacher bench, which you should have at a 60° angle,” says Enaz. “The dumbbell should be held at shoulder height. This will be your starting position. Slowly lower the dumbbell until your upper arm is extended and the biceps is fully stretched and then bring it back up to the starting position.”

Do all your reps on one arm then switch to the other side.

3B Triceps overhead extension

Reps 12-15+ each side

Targets Triceps

“Grab a dumbbell with one hand and position it behind your head with your elbow flexed to 90°,” says Enaz. “Contract your triceps and press the dumbbell upwards until your arm is fully extended. Pause and return the weight to the start.”

Do all your reps on one arm before switching to the other.

3C Dumbbell sit-up

Reps 12-15+

Targets Abs

“Lie down on a mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor,” says Enaz. “Hold a dumbbell to your chest. Engage the core and slowly roll up so that the dumbbell touches your knees. Lower back down with control.”

Need help choosing? Our guide to the best dumbbells will help.

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.