It only takes five exercises and a pair of dumbbells to burn fat and build strength in your full body.
You don’t need hours in the gym to work every muscle and rev up your metabolism to burn fat. If you work the right way and enlist the right exercises, you can turn 5 exercises and two dumbbells into an effective 20-minute workout at home.
A pair of dumbbells is an excellent workout companion, especially at home. They allow dynamic movements and you can adjust the weight according to your fitness level and strength.
They are the perfect free weights for any strength training and muscle-building workouts. You can also pair them with any training style and method.
20-Minute Muscle-Building Workout to Burn Fat
This at-home workout is done in a fast, high-intensity HIIT format where you circuit through five exercises with little rest.
Each exercise targets the different regions of the body and muscle groups to allow active rest during the circuit. After each round, you take a 90-second break and repeat to complete 4 sets.
This workout is designed to hit all your major muscles from your legs, and glutes, to the core and back.
Perform each exercise according to the instructions below for 30-40 seconds depending on your fitness level. After each circuit, take about 90 seconds of rest. You can adjust the time as needed.
Complete 4 sets of each circuit.
Here is how to perform each exercise.
1. Dumbbell Squat to Shoulder Press
The dumbbell squat-to-shoulder press is an effective all-in-one move that targets your full body from your legs to the arms.
This exercise comes in two parts: squat and press.
The dumbbell squat targets all your glutes, hips, and hamstrings, while indirectly working the core and abs.
The shoulder press works the arms and shoulders, but they also engage the hip flexors, core, abs, and back for stability and power.
It’s a great exercise to wake up your body and get the whole body moving.
Here is how to perform the dumbbell squat to press.
- Grab a dumbbell in each hand and hold them at your shoulders with palms facing each other. Get into a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Engage your abs and things on your hips and lower yourself to a squat position. Don’t let your knees past the toes.
- Driving from your legs, come out to a standing position and press up dumbbells over your head.
- Lower your dumbbells to your shoulder height and hinge your hips to prepare yourself to squat. That’s one rep. Repeat for 30-40 seconds.
2. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are one bodyweight exercise that’s done with much intensity and speed. It not only trains you for coordination, and exertion but also for anaerobic cardio that gets your heart pumping.
They are also a no-equipment strength-building exercise that fires up every muscle from your shoulders to your legs.
You don’t need dumbbells for this exercise. It’s the only bodyweight move in this circuit.
Here is how to perform the mountain climbers.
- Begin in a pushup position with your hands directly under your shoulders.
- Using your core strength, pull your right knee into your chest.
- Return to the starting position and switch sides by pulling your back knee into your chest.
- Alternate legs as you speed up the movement for a higher intensity with a moderate pace. Perform 30-40 seconds.
3. Dumbbell Swings
If you are familiar with kettlebell swings, this is the same exercise except you use a dumbbell in place of a kettlebell.
The dumbbell swings use the resistance to train for power and lower body strength while activating the core and back.
It’s a great way to build strength and power in your legs and glutes for better mobility, functionality, and balance.
You only need one dumbbell for this exercise, and you hold it between your legs to start.
How to Perform
- Stand in front of the dumbbell and grip it with both hands. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and engage your core.
- Shift your body weight into your heels as you lower your glutes back and down, swinging the dumbbell between your legs.
- Drive your heels into the ground as you rise to stand, extending through your hips. Swing the dumbbell to chest height, keeping your arms extended.
- As the dumbbell descends, return your body to the starting position and let the weight swing between your legs. That is one rep. Repeat until you complete 30-40 seconds of this exercise.
4. Dumbbell Renegade Rows
The renegade rows are an advanced core move that activates multiple major muscles simultaneously. They not only hit the entire core including the obliques but also the spine stabilizers in the back and arms.
When done correctly, they can generate and build upper body strength while working your stability and balance.
If the dumbbells used for the squat and swings are too heavy for the renegade rows, you can go lighter on this exercise.
Here’s How to perform a dumbbell renegade row
- Grab dumbbells with your hands and get into a high plank position. Adjust your hands so they’ll be directly below your shoulders. Your body should be forming a straight line from your head to tow. Keep your feet about hip-width apart.
- Tighten your abdomen and glutes. Tuck in your core, so your back isn’t curving. Keep your torso still. Pull one dumbbell up toward your rib cage from your shoulder blade while keeping it close to your body.
- Return the weight to the starting position and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Repeat for 30-40 seconds.
5. Dumbbell Russian Twists
The dumbbell Russian twist is a rotational core exercise that primarily targets the obliques.
As secondary target muscles, this exercise also engages your back, rest of the abs, and arms.
How to Do the Dumbbell Russian Twist:
- Sit upright with your knees bent. Hold a light dumbbell with both hands. Extend your arms and hold the weight in front of your chest.
- Engage your abs and core and decline your torso about halfway.
- Without moving your legs and knees, twist your upper body to one side using your abdominal muscles. Twist back to the center and repeat on the other side. Complete 30-40 seconds.