Need to get in better shape? Try this 20-minute dumbbell workout routine for a week. Dumbbell exercises are great for at-home workouts because they don’t require much space. They’re effective for building muscles, strength, and endurance. Together, they boost your metabolism to burn calories and lose fat.
If you have a pair of dumbbells at home and are stuck with doing just biceps curls, this 20-minute dumbbell workout is what you need. Ready to get started? You need a pair of dumbbells about 10-15 lbs each.
Dumbells of this size should work for most of the exercises in the workout. But for the crunch chops, grab a lighter dumbbell. In all cases, be sure to pick appropriate weights for your needs. Commit to performing this workout 3-4 days per week. The more consistent you are, the stronger and fitter you’ll get!
Spend the first 5 minutes doing these stretches and warm-up here before you start.
20-Min Dumbbell Workout for Women
1. All-Around Lunges
Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Grab a pair of dumbbells at the arm’s length at your sides, with your palms facing one another.
With your abs engaged, take a giant step to the right with your right foot, keeping your arms straight.
Land with your heel followed by the rest of your foot. Flex the right knee slightly so that you can lower your hip and body until your thigh is almost parallel to the floor. Keep your left leg only slightly angled.
Hold for 1 second, then push off your right foot and extend your right hip and knee to return to the starting position. Once they are straight, bring your foot back into a standing position.
Now, take a step back with your right leg. Be sure to keep the front knee bent and your toes straight facing forward.
Lunge by bending and lowering the back knee until it almost touches the floor. Keep your arms hanging at your sides and step forward to return to the standing position. Repeat on your left side.
2. Dumbbell Chest Press
Grab a pair of dumbbells, and position your upper back on an “exercise ball” with your knees bent at the 90 degrees.
Keep your feet flat on the floor, and hold the weights right outside of your chest.
Before you begin to press, make sure your elbows are bent and palms are facing each other. Your body should form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders.
With your core contracted, press the weights directly toward the ceiling until your arms are straight. Pause for 1-2 seconds then lower them back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Continue for the prescribed number of repetitions.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Grab and hold a pair of dumbbells in each hand in front of your shoulders with your elbows bent.
Tighten your abs and bend your knees to lower your body down until your thighs are nearly parallel to the ground.
As you come up to the standing position, press the dumbbells overhead until your arms are straight. Return to the starting position and complete the prescribed number of repetitions.
4. One-Arm Dumbbell Rows
Hold a dumbbell in the right hand, and stand on your left leg. Place your left hand on a surface about your waist height and hinge over at the waist. Slowly lift the right leg until it forms a “T” with your body.
Slide the right shoulder blade toward your spine, then bend your elbow to lift the weight towards your body.
Pause for 1-2 seconds, then return to the starting position.
Repeat to complete the prescribed number of repetitions. Switch sides and repeat.
Tips: You can use a Swiss ball to help support your body for balance.
5. Box Lunge
Grab and hold a pair of dumbbells in each hand, and keep your palms facing each other.
Stand hip-width apart with a few feet behind a box.
Step onto the box with your right foot. Stay on the toes of your back foot, using only for balance.
From this position, lower into a lunge by pushing your hips down and bending your back knee.
Hold the bottom position for 1-2 seconds, and push through your front foot to return to the starting position. Switch sides and repeat. Continue for the prescribed number of repetitions.
6. Crunch Chops
Use both hands to hold a 2 to 3 pounds dumbbell. Lie on your back with the arms extended above your head and legs lifted toward the ceiling.
Lift your shoulders off the ground, open the legs, and bring the dumbbell through your legs as if your chopping between the legs. Return to the starting position and repeat for the prescribed number of repetitions.
7. Donkey Kicks
Get down on the ground on all fours with your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly under your hips. Keeping your right knee at a 90-degree angle, slowly raise your leg behind you until your thigh is almost parallel to the floor.
Squeeze your glutes at the top and keep your spine perfectly still. The motion should be small and controlled with the muscles, not with momentum driving the movement.
Lower the leg and return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Continue for the prescribed number of repetitions.
8. Triceps Kickbacks
Grab and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Place your chest on a stability ball with arms hanging alongside the ball and legs extended behind you.
Be sure to keep your body in a straight line from your head to your heels and your head in line with your spine.
Pull your elbows up toward the ceiling to form a 90-degree angle for the start position.
Extend at the elbows to press dumbbells back to lengthen the arms, squeezing triceps along the way. Hold for 1-2 seconds then return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Continue for the prescribed number of repetitions.