Dig Out Your Dumbbells For This Full-Body Home Workout

Man holding dumbbells
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If your home workout well is starting to run dry, give this simple but effective full-body circuit a go. All you need is a set of dumbbells. The workout has been put together by Dan Price, head of nutrition and PT at London gym SIX3NINE, who recommends doing it twice a week at first.

“This five-part circuit targets every major muscle group and, with minimal rest between each exercise, will get the heart rate pumping,” says Price.

How To Do This Workout

“Perform one set of each exercise with minimal rest between sets,” says Price. “Rest for one minute after the fifth set, then repeat the circuit for a total of three rounds. The workout should take 15-20 minutes to complete.”

How To Progress This Workout

If you’re flying through the below without really breaking a sweat but don’t have access to heavier weights right now, then try increasing the difficulty in one of these three ways recommended by Price.

  1. Gradually increase the reps each time you work out from 10 to 15.
  2. Increase the number of rounds from three to five.
  3. Do the circuit four times a week rather than twice.

Reverse lunge

Reps 10 each side

Muscles worked: Glutes, quads and hamstrings

Stand holding dumbbells by your sides. Take a big step back and lower until both knees are bent at 90°. Then drive back up to standing.

“Keep your weight on the standing foot,” says Price. “There should be a slight forward lean in your torso as your hips travel back. Drive through the heel of your standing leg to return to the start position.” Complete all the reps on one side, then switch.


press up

(Image credit: Unknown)

Reps 10

Muscles worked: Chest, shoulders and triceps

Start in a high plank position. Lower your chest towards the floor, then push back up.

“Your hands should be outside shoulder-width apart, and keep your shoulders rolled back and down with the chest proud,” says Price. “Keep your core and glutes tight throughout the movement so your body moves as one. As you lower, make sure your elbows aren’t tight to your body but don’t let them flare out to the sides either. Breathe out as you press back up.”

Romanian deadlift

Reps 10

Muscles worked: Hamstrings and glutes

“Unlike the squat this movement doesn’t involve your knees travelling forwards,” says Price. “This is a backwards and forwards movement for your hips, rather than up and down.”

Stand holding dumbbells by your thighs with a slight bend in your knees. “Push your hips back, allowing your torso to come down towards the floor,” says Price. “Make sure your back stays flat throughout the movement and your knees aren’t travelling forwards. Squeeze your glutes and thrust forwards to return to the start position.”

Bent-over row

Reps 10

Muscles worked: Back and biceps

“Stand with soft knees and push your hips back, allowing your torso to come down towards the floor,” says Price. “Keep your chest high and back flat – maintain this position throughout.” Let your arms hang down, then row the weights up by pulling your elbows back towards and past your hips.

5 Toe taps

Reps 10 each side

Muscles worked: Core

Put the weights to one side. “Lie on your back with your left leg extended, right knee bent and right foot on the floor,” says Price. “Keep your left hand by your side and right arm extended behind you. Keeping your lower back on the ground, bring your right hand and left foot to meet above you, keeping your leg straight if possible. Your upper back and head will come up off the floor during this movement.” Complete all the reps on one side, then switch to work your left hand and right leg.

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.