If you use dumbbells smartly they can be your secret weapon in adding lean mass to all your major muscle groups. The beauty of this five-move dumbbell circuit is that it’s both easy to follow and quick to do. And because it only requires a single dumbbell, you don’t even need to brace the winter weather to get your workout in the bag.

All five moves in the circuit are challenging, working multiple muscle groups at once and raising your heart rate, because that’s the only way to build new muscle and burn belly fat so you make big changes to your body in the shortest possible time. Do this circuit three times a week, or once a week for a high-intensity session as part of a wider training plan.

This workout has five dumbbell exercises that you perform in order in a circuit. You only rest – for two minutes – at the end of the final exercise. You’ll do four circuits in total. To make this workout as effective as possible, follow the form guides closely to ensure your muscles work hard.

1. Squat To Upright Row:

Why? This compound lift works your legs, lower back, abs, shoulders and traps.

Squat To Upright Row

How to:

  • Hold the weight in one hand and squat down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor.
  • Stand up and row the dumbbell up, leading with your elbow.
  • Lower back into the squat.
  • Reps 12 each side Rest 0sec.

Related article: The Ultimate 100 Squat Reps in 10 Minutes Legs Day Challenge

2. Woodchop:

Why? Another multi-muscle move that targets your legs, core and shoulders.


How to:

  • Hold the dumbbell in both hands, then squat down and take the weight out to one side.
  • Stand up and raise the weight across your body until it’s above your head.
  • Reps 12 each side Rest 0sec.

Related article: Can Weights Give You Abs? See For Yourself How To Get Abs With This 7 Move Workout

3. Romanian Deadlift to Overhead Press:

Why? This lift hits your hamstrings and glutes, as well as your core and shoulders.

Romanian Deadlift to Overhead Press

How to:

  • Hold the weight in one hand. Bend at the hips and lower it down your standing leg.
  • Stand up and row the weight up to shoulder height, then press it directly overhead.
  • Reps 12 each side Rest 0sec.

Related article: How Can I Make The Deadlift More Enjoyable? By Trying One Of These Deadlift Variations To Ramp Up Your Workout

4. Overhead Pass:

Why? This move is harder than it looks because your shoulders work overtime to manage the weight.

Overhead Pass

How to:

  • Hold the weight up in one hand. Lower it to one side until your arm is parallel to the floor.
  • Raise it to the top, then pass it to your other hand and lower it to the other side.
  • Reps 12 each side Rest 0sec.

Related article: What Exercises Build a Six-Pack Perfection? 8 Exercises in 2 Full Ab Circuits

5. Seated Russian Twist:

Why? This will work your deep-lying core muscles as well as your upper, lower and side abs.

Seated Russian Twist

How to:

  • Sit holding the weight in both hands with your torso upright and feet off the floor.
  • Rotate the weight to one side then rotate back into the middle then out to the other side.
  • Keep your heels off the floor for the duration of the set to keep your lower abs engaged, making them work far harder.
  • Reps 12 each side Rest 2min.