penny barnshaw garage fitness girl

5 Killer Dumbbell Workouts to Build Muscle and Strength

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It’s one thing to go through the motions of a randomly chosen workout, it’s another to intentionally challenge your body to build muscle and strength.

Strength training is not only satisfying (I love the feeling of knowing I can lift heavy things), but it’s also the best way to change body composition. Cardio alone will ‘shrink’ your body, but it won’t add muscle or tone. 

Here are 5 of my killer dumbbell workouts I’ve especially designed to build muscle and strength for women. I’ve included a mix of full body, upper body and lower body that would be perfect for a weekly strength routine with two rest days. 

#1 40 Minute UPPER BODY HIIT WORKOUT 

This upper body HIIT workout with dumbbells is designed to build strong and toned arms, abs, back and chest, fast. There are 2 circuits of 10 supersets that make up this upper body workout, and we complete each superset twice through. 

At the end of each circuit of supersets, just when you think you’ve had enough, we’ll be doing an AMRAP of as many push-ups as possible😮. I used  1 set of 3kg + 5kg + 7kg  dumbbells for this workout, but you may want to use something lighter or heavier depending on your strength and fitness level.

Let’s get started on those renegade rows, pike push ups and commando planks!

#2 45 Minute LOWER BODY STRENGTH WORKOUT

Ladies, never skip leg day! Get Ready to feel the burn with this lower body workout designed to build strong, lean legs at home with just a set of dumbbells and a bench or chair.

There are 2 circuits that make up this dumbbell leg workout, followed by a bonus 4-minute bodyweight Tabata HIIT to really get those leg muscles fired up. The exercises we’ll be doing include deadlifts, dumbbell swings, hip thrusts and a variety of squats and lunges. 

I used 1 set of 5kg + 7kg + 10kg dumbbells, but you may want to use something lighter or heavier depending on your strength and fitness level.

#3 35 Minute FULL BODY DUMBBELL WORKOUT

All you need is 35 minutes and your dumbbells to get an efficient full body strength workout. I’ve packed this full body dumbbell circuit training workout with some of my favourite dumbbell exercises for weight loss and strength to help you sculpt, tone and achieve your body goals as quickly as possible. 

You’ll need a variety of weighted dumbbells to complete this workout. I used 1 set of 5kg dumbbells but you may want to use something lighter or heavier depending on your fitness and strength level.

There are that 3 circuits that make up this workout. Complete each circuit twice through, with 45 seconds work and 15 seconds rest. We’ll have 30 seconds rest between circuits.

#4 60 Minute FULL BODY NO REPEAT

If you love strength workouts with loads of variety and no boring repeats, this full-body dumbbell workout may turn out to be one of your favourites. It has the added benefit of being low impact, which means there’s no jumping around to bother the neighbours! 

There are 3 circuits that make up this full body workout. We’ll complete each exercise with 60 seconds work and 20 seconds rest (it’s a tough one!). There’s a 1-minute rest between circuits

You’ll need a variety of weighted dumbbells to complete this full body workout at home. I used  1 set of  5kg + 7kg + 10 kg dumbbells but you may want to use something lighter or heavier depending on your strength and fitness level.

Get ready to lunge, press, plank, wood chop and frog jump your way to a stronger body. 

#5 16 Minute HIIT TABATA BOOTCAMP

Short on time but still want to feel the burn and add strength? This is a great workout for keeping on track with your strength and fitness goals when life is too busy for a longer workout. 

There is 1 circuit that makes up this intense HIIT tabata workout. We’re moving fast; together we’ll be completing each exercise with 20 seconds work and 10 seconds rest.

You’ll need 1 set of moderately heavy to heavy dumbbells (I used 8kg) + 1 plate (I used 10kg) + 1 kettlebell (I used 16kg), but you may want to use something lighter or heavier depending on your fitness and strength level. 

Don’t worry if you don’t have the various pieces of equipment. I’ll show you dumbbell and bodyweight alternatives for all the moves💪.

For more videos like these make sure to hit subscribe to my YouTube channel and tick the notification bell so you never miss another intense strength workout. I’d also love for you to follow me on Instagram and Facebook

Many of these workouts are part of my 6-Week Fit Lean & Strong Challenge! It’s not too late if you’d like to join, sign up to get your FREE workout schedule and challenge guide.😘

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