One Dumbbell, Four Moves and 20 Minutes

Whether you’re looking to blow the dust off of that pandemic purchase dumbbell that’s been acting as a door stop all winter or just need a quick fire, minimalist workout that’ll see you in and out of the gym in under 30 minutes, you’re in the right place.

This 20-minute, total-body muscle builder requires just a single dumbbell (or kettlebell), but promises to work everything from your shoulders, to your lats, to your legs and core.

After a thorough warm-up, start a countdown timer for 20 minutes and work your way through as many high-quality rounds as possible of the following four-move, full-body burner. If your weights are a little on the light side, crank up the reps, but focus on keeping your form sharp and resting only as necessary to keep your reps tight.

Make a note of how many rounds you manage to complete at the buzzer and aim to beat your score the next time you repeat the workout in order to ensure progressive overload and majorly increasing your chances of seeing serious gains.

push press

1. Push Press x 5 (each side)

Clean your dumbbell onto your shoulders, palms facing in. Take a breath and brace your core. (A) Dip at the knees and use your legs to help (B) press your dumbbell overhead. Lower under control to your shoulder and repeat. Perform five reps on your weaker side before repeating with the opposite arm.

chainsaw row

2. Single Arm Row x 10 (each side)

Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in your left arm, take a staggered stance and hinge at the hips until your arm is hanging at full stretch. Squeeze your opposite arm to create tension through your body(A). Keeping your torso still and avoiding excessive motion, row your ‘bell up towards your hip (B). Pause briefly, then lower the weight under control until your arm is straight. Perform 10 reps and then switch sides.

goblet squat

3. Goblet Squats x 15

Hold your ‘bell close to your chest (A). Sink your hips back and descend into a squat (B). Your elbows should come in between your knees at the bottom. Drive back up explosively. Repeat. Keep your shoulder blades locked down and back throughout and focus on keeping your torso long and upright.

dumbbell sumo deadlift

4. Sumo Deadlift x 20

Lower your dumbbell to the ground between your legs, assume a wide stance and with your back straight squat down. With the dumbbell standing upright, grip it with both hands by the ‘head’, or handle if using a kettlebell (A). Keeping your chest up and core braced, push the floor away, driving back upwards to a standing position (B). Repeat. The burn will start to kick in here, but push through it for maximum

Headshot of Andrew Tracey

With almost 18 years in the health and fitness space as a personal trainer, nutritionist, breath coach and writer, Andrew has spent nearly half of his life exploring how to help people improve their bodies and minds.    

As our fitness editor he prides himself on keeping Men’s Health at the forefront of reliable, relatable and credible fitness information, whether that’s through writing and testing thousands of workouts each year, taking deep dives into the science behind muscle building and fat loss or exploring the psychology of performance and recovery.   

Whilst constantly updating his knowledge base with seminars and courses, Andrew is a lover of the practical as much as the theory and regularly puts his training to the test tackling everything from Crossfit and strongman competitions, to ultra marathons, to multiple 24 hour workout stints and (extremely unofficial) world record attempts.   

 You can find Andrew on Instagram at @theandrew.tracey, or simply hold up a sign for ‘free pizza’ and wait for him to appear.

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