The 12-Move Dumbbell Workout You Can Do Anywhere

Kirsten Curtis |

Do this circuit at home, at work, or even a hotel

This workout features a 12-move whole body circuit using a pair of 10kg dumbbells (or whatever pair of dumbbells you have access to). You do each move for as many quality reps as you can in a minute with no more than 15 to 30 seconds of rest between moves. After completing each move in the circuit, rest 1 to 2 minutes. That’s 1 round. Do 3 to 5 rounds.

What I love about this routine is you only need a pair of dumbbells and you can ensure steady gains all over your body by gradually progressing to a heavier pair of dumbbells over time. Plus, if you only have access to a single pair of dumbbells, you can progressively complete more reps within each minute and/or more total reps each session to stimulate more lean muscle mass.

Why 10kgs? Because not only is that a good weight for the average guy but it’s typically a weight that’s available in almost any gym setting (home, commercial, or hotel). Of course, you can adjust the weight up or down based on your current fitness level and equipment access.

How do you know if you’re picking the right weight for the full circuit? If you’re able execute moves 1 to 6 for a minute without needing to rest/pause too much (you want to a hit a minimum of 6 to 8 reps), then you will be able to complete moves 7 to 12 without a problem.

1.Dumbbell twisting biceps curl
2.Dumbbell twisting overhead triceps extension
3.Dumbbell modified upright row
4.Dumbbell Bulgarian hip hinge, left side
5.Dumbbell Bulgarian hip hinge, right side
6.Dumbbell overhead press
7.Double dumbbell front squat
8.Dumbbell bent-over row
9.Dumbbell push up
10.Dumbbell Bulgarian split squat, left side
11.Dumbbell Bulgarian split squat, right side
12.Dumbbell overhead skier swing

Progress Tracking

There are 3 unique ways that you can track progress with this workout:

Option A- The weight of the pair of dumbbells you use

Progressing from a 10kg to 12kg pair of dumbbells will stimulate more muscle and strength gains, even though initially you’ll get less total reps for each move than you did with the lighter pair of dumbbells. Please note that sometimes 5 kilogram jumps can be too aggressive. Consider purchasing a pair that’s only 1 or 2 kilograms heavier, especially with lighter weights.

Option B- The average reps/minute you complete for each move

You can track your per move progress by adding the total number of reps you can complete for each move and dividing that by the number of circuits you complete.

Option C- The total number of reps each workout

You can track your overall progress by adding the number of reps you complete for each move in each circuit. It’s a lot of counting, but if your total number of reps per session goes up using the same weight, you will build muscle, burn fat, and get stronger.

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