Improvisor / Shutterstock
There’s something intensely satisfying about lifting with barbells. After all, there’s nothing like loading up a bunch of steel and conquering a new personal best in the deadlift. But when push comes to press, dumbbells offer a lot more versatility. They don’t need much space, and you can find them anywhere, from the dinkiest hotel fitness center to your uncle’s garage.
With just a few pairs of weights, this dumbbell-only routine will hit the major muscle groups in your body, and in only 30 minutes a day.
Why it works
Dumbbells allow you to train one side of your body at a time, which is great for curing any strength imbalances you’ve developed. And because each limb moves independently, your core has to brace harder to prevent you from tipping to one side. Hello, six-pack.
Frequency: Do this workout three times per week, in the following sequence, resting at least a day between each session.
How to do it: Perform as straight sets, completing all the prescribed sets for one exercise before moving on to the next. On all one-handed (or one-legged) moves, repeat with opposite limb. That’s one set.
NoTopics: Mass buildingTotal-body workouts