The Hardest 20-Minute Dumbbell Workout for Total-Body Strength

Dumbbells let you utilize more range of motion and weight, allowing you to quickly build lean muscle.
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Dumbbells are super versatile because you can use them in any gym or home setting. They are great when you want to start advancing your programming with single-arm movements or a combination of compound movements.

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They also allow you to work through a greater range of motion because you can easily hold your dumbbells in different positions as you exercise. This is key to building overall strength in a more advanced program because you'll need to combine power, push, pull and core exercises. Working in a rep range of 8 to 12 reps is ideal.

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Try this 20-minute full-body advanced dumbbell workout using a moderate-to-heavy weight to help build all-around strength and kick your workout sessions up a notch! This workout can be done one or two times per week as an addition to your regular routine.

Do 3 sets of each exercise for the number of reps listed below. Rest 30 to 45 seconds between sets if the number of reps is high (10 to 20) and rest about 45 to 50 seconds between sets if the number of reps is low (2 to 8).

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Double Dumbbell Sumo Squat

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Sets 3
Reps 12
  1. Start standing with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, holding two dumbbells between your legs.
  2. To squat, bend your knees as you push your hips back to lower toward the floor. Focus on lowering your body as if you were going to sit on a chair, taking 3 seconds to lower down as far as you can.
  3. Stand back up and repeat.

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift to Clean

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Sets 3
Reps 10
  1. Stand on your right leg while holding a dumbbell at your side in your right hand.
  2. Keeping the right knee slightly bent, perform a deadlift by bending at the hip, extending your left leg behind you for balance.
  3. Continue lowering the dumbbell until your upper body is parallel to the ground
  4. Return to the upright position, driving your left knee up toward your chest.
  5. Finish with your left knee up toward your chest, foot up, toe pointed toward the ceiling.
  6. Float the dumbbell up to your shoulder.
  7. Repeat.

Tip

If you can't keep your balance you can place your back foot on the ground.

Lateral Lunge to Row

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Sets 3
Reps 12
  1. Start standing with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in your right hand in front of your right thigh.
  2. Step your right leg out to the side as far as you can, pushing your hips back and bending your right knee into a squat position.
  3. Keeping your chest high, rotate your right wrist and elbow outward and draw it up to perform a dumbbell row. The dumbbell should come in line with the inside of your hip.
  4. Return to starting position and repeat.

Tip

Perform 12 reps per leg.

Overhead Dumbbell Double Knee Tuck

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Sets 3
Reps 10
  1. Start seated with both legs straight out in front of you.
  2. Hold the dumbbell in your right hand and lift it straight up over your head.
  3. Hold your left arm out straight to the side to stabilize your body.
  4. Keeping your chest high and the dumbbell up overhead, bring your knees up toward your chest in a tuck position.
  5. Extend your legs back out away from your chest, keeping them a few inches above the ground.
  6. Pull your legs back into your chest.
  7. Continue to repeat.

Tip

If you can't keep the dumbbell overhead, you can place it on your shoulder.

​Check out more of our 20-minute workouts here — we’ve got something for everyone.

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