Forget the Gym. You Only Need This 20-Minute, Five-Move, One-Dumbbell Workout To Build Muscle All Over

One dumbbell workout to build muscle

Build muscle all over and boost your metabolism with this one-dumbbell, 5-move workout. You don’t need hours in the gym to work your whole body.

You only need 20 minutes of an effective strength training workout to get stronger and maximize your results.

If your goal is to build muscle all over and gain strength, you need weighted exercises. While barbells and other fancy gym equipment are effective too, you only really need one dumbbell to get a super effective workout in.

Dumbbells are not only convenient, space-saving, and best of all, can be used for dynamic movements.

They adapt to almost any movement to develop strength while improving functionality.

If you are ready to get started, here is the 20-minute, five-move, one-dumbbell workout you really need to build your ultimate body.

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Five-Move, One Dumbbell Workout to Build Muscle All Over

Five-Move, One Dumbbell Workout to Build Muscle All Over

Dumbbell Single-Arm Snatch

Dumbbell Single-Arm Snatch

Much like the clean and press, the snatch is an Olympic lift. This exercise emphasizes many leg and shoulder muscles, as well as a few throughout the trunk.

How to Perform:

  • Starting in standing, hold one dumbbell in your left hand.
  • Using your whole body, power the weight up above your head in a single move.
  • Then, carefully return the weight close to the ground.
  • Perform 10-15 reps on both sides, for 3 sets per session, 2 sessions per week.

Dumbbell Double Arm Swings

Dumbbell Double Arm Swings

The kettlebell swing is an amazing exercise for virtually every muscle in the body. Luckily, you don’t even have to have a kettlebell to complete this move; a dumbbell works just fine!

How to Perform:

  • Grasp the top of the dumbbell with both hands, keeping your feet about hip-width apart.
  • Using your glutes and hamstrings to power the movement, swing the weight forward.
  • Once you’ve got it to about waist height, allow the weight to swing back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for 10-15 repetitions per set, 3 sets per session, and 2 sessions per week.

Dumbbell Single-Arm Bench Press

Dumbbell Single-Arm Bench Press

Bench pressing with one arm, instead of two, provides a few different benefits. 

First off, it can increase abdominal muscle activation. Secondly, it can help to identify whether one side is weaker than the other. 

By addressing these issues, you can increase your overall bench pressing strength.

How to Perform:

  • Lie down on a flat bench, with one dumbbell in each hand.
  • Press the right arm up toward the ceiling, leaving the left arm down by your side.
  • Then, return the right hand to the starting position, and push the left arm to the ceiling.
  • Repeat for 10-15 reps per side, per set, for 3 sets per session, and 2 sessions per week.

Dumbbell Pullover

Dumbbell Pullover Exercise

This move is great for the lats. In fact, this is one of the easiest ways to build up the lats when you can’t perform pullups.

How to Perform:

  • Hold one dumbbell in both hands while lying flat on your back on a bench.
  • Lift the weight over your head, allowing it to fall down toward the ground.
  • Once you feel a stretch in your lats and pecs, reverse the motion and pull the weight back up to above your chest.
  • Repeat this motion for 10-15 reps per set, 3 sets per session, and 2 sessions per week.

Dumbbell Wood Chops

Wood Chops

Wood chops are great for athletes whose sports require rotation. For instance, golfers, tennis players, and many others can benefit from this move. It’s an awesome exercise for building core power and strength.

How to Perform:

  • Grab one dumbbell with both hands.
  • Twist toward your right and bend your knees so that you can bring the weight close to your right foot.
  • Next, twist toward your left as you simultaneously push the weight toward the ceiling. 
  • Repeat for 10-15 reps per side, per set, for 3 sets per session, and 2 sessions per week.

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Bennett Richardson, DPT, PT, CSCS
Bennett Richardson, DPT, PT, CSCS

Bennett Richardson is a physical therapist and writer out of Pittsburgh, PA. He has maintained certification as a strength and conditioning coach (CSCS) since 2014. He then went on to earn a BS in exercise science and a doctorate degree in physical therapy, both from Slippery Rock University. In his free time, Bennett likes to read and exercise.

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