This Full-Body Workout Only Needs One Dumbbell—I Tried It And It Took No Time At All

Woman lies on an exercise mat holding a dumbbell behind her head
(Image credit: Andrea Gjestvang / Getty Images)

Spending hours at the gym using every available piece of equipment isn’t the only way to have a worthwhile workout. Sometimes you just don’t have the time or, quite frankly, you can’t face it. 

That’s summed up my week. With hours of DIY to tackle and travel days interrupting my schedule, I don’t have a lot of time to spend at the gym, nor did I have the energy. But I still wanted to move my body, so I was relieved when I saw this short dumbbell routine from PT Andrew Bustos. It was a burst of activity that would fit my schedule.

I pulled out my trusty dumbbell from the back of my wardrobe, where it has remained since gyms reopened (2020 flashback), and got going.

The routine includes well-known dumbbell exercises, but I’ve listed them below and linked to Coach’s exercise guides if you need to brush up on your technique.

  1. High pull 10 each side
  2. Arnold press 10 each side
  3. Lunge-lunge-squat 10
  4. Single-arm row 10 each side
  5. Burpee snatch 5 each side

The lunge-lunge-squat combines three movements into one rep: a reverse lunge on each side followed by a squat, holding the dumbbell in the goblet position throughout.

I took between 15-20 seconds rest between each exercise and then 30 seconds between each circuit. Three rounds took me around 15 minutes to complete and it wasn’t too intense because of the weight of the dumbbell I had to hand. However, it definitely raised my heart rate and got my body moving—just right for a busy day.

Dumbbell workouts are not in short supply on Coach. This 30-minute dumbbell workout targets your whole body, as does this single dumbbell workout. If time is in short supply, turn to this 15-minute dumbbell workout.

Lois Mackenzie
Fitness writer

Lois Mackenzie is a fitness writer working on news, features, reviews and buying guides for Coach and sister site Fit&Well. Lois is a hill walker and avid runner who has just completed her first marathon. Before joining Coach, Lois worked as a senior SEO reporter at Newsquest Media Group.