You Need Just Four Moves And 12 Minutes To Build Muscle All Over

Group of women in gym performing kettlebell deadlift
(Image credit: Thomas Barwick / Getty Images)

Effective strength workouts don’t have to be complicated, especially if you’re relatively new to resistance training. Incorporating a few compound exercises that target a range of muscles with a weight that challenges you is one of the best ways to increase your muscle mass, particularly if you follow the progressive overload method by making one variable harder each time you repeat the workout.

Health and fitness coach Chris Hover recently shared a workout in that mold. It's made up of four kettlebell exercises but targets the quads and glutes in your legs, the lats in your back, and your shoulders.

It's an EMOM-style workout, which stands for every minute on the minute. This means you have one minute to complete the reps required for one exercise, resting for any remaining time, before moving on to the next exercise.

Hover recommends aiming for three or four rounds in total, which makes for a quick but effective workout that should take between 12 and 16 minutes.

Watch Hover's Instagram Reel where he walks through each of the moves in the workout.

Ideally, you’ll have access to a kettlebell rack or an adjustable kettlebell (you can also use dumbbells if you have them), because to build muscle you want to choose a weight that makes the final few reps of each set a challenge. And, if you’re like most people, your legs will be able to comfortably squat more weight than your shoulders can press.

Coach has exercise guides that explain each movement in more detail. The crucial thing to remember with the Romanian deadlift is that you should only lower as far as your hip hinge allows without rounding your back. Focus on keeping your chest up during the goblet squat, and lifting the weight straight up, not letting it drift to the side, during the kettlebell press. Finally, the key to a successful one-arm kettlebell row is a stable starting position

If you’re after more short workouts, try this 10-minute kettlebell workout next.

Use our guide to the best kettlebells to choose the right weight for you.

Alice Porter

Alice Porter is a journalist who covers health, fitness and wellbeing, among other topics, for titles including Stylist, Fit & Well, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, VICE and Refinery29. When she’s not writing about these topics, you can probably find her at her local CrossFit box.