Whether you’re tight for time, or simply have limited access to equipment, this dumbbell workout targets practically every muscle on your body in just 5 different movements.

Far too often I see people overcomplicate their fitness routines, thinking they need every piece of equipment under the sun to get a good workout in, or that they need to be doing 10 different exercises every workout. Simplifying the process can be make life much easier.

For this dumbbell workout, perform all 5 movements in a row without as little rest as possible until you’ve completed all the exercises. From there, rest for 1 – 2 minutes, and repeat the exercises again. Complete the routine 3 – 5x depending on your time available/fitness level. You may need multiple sets of dumbbells to complete the required reps of each exercise, or be able to switch them out quickly.

As you progress through the dumbbell workout multiple times, you should aim to complete more reps on each exercise. Once you’re working at the high end of the recommended reps, increase your weight and decrease your reps. Try to maintain good form throughout the movements, and control the weights the entire way. If you’re limited with the amount of weight you have available, check out this article on how to increase workout intensity without adding weight or watch this video

The Total Body Dumbbell Workout


Repeat 3x through, resting 1 minute between each exercise and 90 seconds between each set


Repeat 4x through, resting 30 seconds between each exercise and 1 minute between each set


Repeat 5x through, no rest between exercises, with 1 minute rest between each set

DB Goblet Squats

10 – 15 reps

Coaching Tips:

  • Set up with your feet about shoulder width apart
  • Keep your weight balanced between your heel, your big toe and small toe
  • Push your butt back before bending your knees
  • Instead of trying to keep your back straight, think about keeping your hips aligned with your shoulders
  • Try to get your butt below your knees
  • Spread the floor with external pressure – Imagine you’re stepping on a long sheet of paper and trying to tear it in half with your feet
  • If just beginning, use a bench or box behind you to add extra stability and support

DB Single Leg Deadlifts

6 – 10 reps per side

Coaching Tips:

  • Use a surface (wall, bench, beam) to brace yourself for balance
  • Don’t lift your back leg as high as possible, instead think about pushing it backwards
  • Hinge at your hips, not at the lower back – feel a stretch in the back of your leg (hamstring)
  • Don’t reach with your arm, try to keep your shoulders pulled back and strong
  • Try to keep the hips as even as possible without the non-working leg flaring out to the side. Keep your toe pointed towards the ground.

DB Overhead Press

8 – 12 reps

Coaching Tips

  • Sit on a bench if you feel unstable lifting the weight overhead
  • Have the elbows slightly in front of the shoulders at the bottom of the movement
  • Hold the dumbbell handle right against the inside of the head. This will add more stability to the movement
  • As you press overhead, do not allow your ribs/chest to flare up (arching the low back). Keep your core strong, and squeeze your butt if you find this happening, or regress the weight
  • Maintain a strong shoulder position, not allowing your neck to creep up towards your ears as you lift the weight up

DB Bent Over Row

8 – 12 reps

Coaching Tips

  • Keep your feet about hip width apart or narrower
  • Use and maintain a hip hinge to get into proper position. Don’t just bend forward
  • For each rep, attempt to reach as close to the ground as possible to get a stretch through your back muscles. If you’re hitting the ground, try standing on a small platform
  • Pull your shoulders back and puff your chest up at the top of each rep to prevent the shoulders from rounding forward.

DB High Plank Pull Through

5 – 10 reps per side

Coaching Tips:

  • To prevent the hips from moving too much, squeeze your leg/butt muscles. Your goal is to keep the body as still as possible
  • Keep your hands under your shoulders for the entirety of the reps

Do this dumbbell workout 1-3x per week either on its own, or as part of a weekly program.

In Closing

Overtime your body will adapt to the stimulus this dumbbell workout puts onto it, meaning you will have to switch things up as you go. This can either be doing more reps, more sets, more weight, slower/faster reps, using less rest or modifying the exercise to be more difficult. Learn more about how to modify your intensity without adding weight here

If you’re new to the gym and you’re looking for a program to get you started check out my free Fresh Start Fitness Program for a 6-week eBook program that includes: the workout program, exercise breakdown videos, a nutritional resource, and mobility/warm-up routine.

Need more accountability? Or looking for a more advanced program?

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