Emerge From Your Home in Great Shape With This Full Body Dumbbell Workout!

Emerge From Your Home in Great Shape With This Full Body Dumbbell Workout!

For the majority of us, a full-body home workout is the best approach to strength training. All you really need is a pair of dumbbells, and when you target your entire body each time you exercise, you ensure that you build balanced strength and that every muscle is challenged often enough to optimize your results. Plus, if you miss a session, you don’t fall far behind. That’s not the case when you hit each muscle group just once a week.

Full-body home workouts also save a ton of time. Just three sessions per week likely won’t cut too far into your work or family time, but they can give every muscle the stimulus it needs to strengthen and grow. And since you’re working out at home, you don’t lose valuable time commuting to the gym and back.

The workout below is an excellent example of a challenging session you can do at home. It’s scalable, meaning it’s appropriate for anyone from beginners to longtime athletes. Perform it up to three times per week on nonconsecutive days for an energizing, head-to-toe blast.

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Required Equipment for At-Home Full-Body Workout

For this workout, you’ll need:


Directions for Your At-Home Full-Body Workout

  • Before the workout, warm up for 5-10 minutes using a combination of easy calisthenics and dynamic stretching, focusing on areas that feel tight.
  • Perform the nine exercises below in three-move circuits (or trisets), resting 15 seconds between exercises and 60 seconds between roundsIn the first triset, for example, you’ll perform a set of the plyo lunge, rest for 15 seconds, perform a set of close the book, rest for 15 seconds, and then perform a set of the bear row before resting for 60 seconds and repeating the triset.
  • On the single-arm movements in Triset 3, switch sides halfway through the set.
  • Perform as many reps as possible with good form during each work period.
  • After the workout, cool down with 3-5 minutes of light stretches and easy cardio (think: walking or jogging).
  • Determine your work periods and number of rounds for each triset using this chart:
LEVEL Work Period Number of Rounds Per Triset
Beginner 15 seconds 1-2
Intermediate 30 seconds 2-3
Advanced 45 seconds 3-4

Triset 1

  • 1A. Plyo Lunge
  • 1B. Close the book
  • 1C. Bear Row

Triset 2

  • 2A. Dumbbell Bent-Over Row
  • 2B. Crab Switch and Hold
  • 2C. Triceps Push-up

Triset 3

  • 3A. Forward and Backward Bear Crawl
  • 3B. Overhead Dumbbell Press
  • 3C. High Knees

Here are the nine moves you can use to assemble your at-home full-body workout.


1. Plyo Lunges

  • From a standing position, take a big step back with your right leg.
  • Keeping your torso upright, bend your knees and hips, dropping your right knee until it’s a few inches from the ground (both knees should be bent about 90 degrees).
  • Jump up, switching leg positions in midair so that you land softly with your right leg forward and left leg back.
  • Immediately drop into your next rep. Continue switching legs with each rep.

Make it easier: Perform the reverse lunge (no jump) instead, alternating legs with each rep.


2. Close the Book

  • Lay on your back with your legs extended upwards, holding a light dumbbell with both hands (one on each end) above your chest. This is the starting position.
  • Keeping your arms and legs straight, your feet flexed, and your lower back pressed to the floor, slowly lower the dumbbell overhead and your legs towards the floor, stopping both when they are a few inches from the ground.
  • Reverse the move, raising your arms and legs back to the starting position, and then pulsing the dumbbell towards your toes by lifting only your shoulders off of the floor.
  • Lower your shoulders and immediately begin your next rep.

Make it easier: Perform the move without weights and (or) keeping your knees bent.


3. Bear Row

  • Get on your hands and toes with your knees bent 90 degrees directly beneath your hips and your hands gripping a pair of dumbbells directly below your shoulders, arms straight. (Don’t let your knees touch the floor.) This is the starting position.
  • Keeping your core engaged, back flat, and elbow tucked, row the dumbbell in your right hand to your side.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat with the dumbbell in your left hand.
  • Continue alternating sides.

Make it easier: Perform the move with your knees on the floor.


4. Dumbbell Bent-Over Row

  • Stand with your feet hip- to shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your back flat and core engaged, push your hips back, bend your knees slightly, and lower your torso until it’s nearly parallel to the floor.
  • Let the dumbbells hang at arms length with your palms facing each other. Engage your shoulder blades to keep your shoulders pulled back (i.e., don’t hunch). This is the starting position.
  • Without moving your torso, row the weights to your sides as you squeeze your shoulder blades together.
  • Pause, and then lower the weights back to the starting position.

Make it easier: Use lighter dumbbells — or no weight at all! — squeezing your shoulder blades for a two-count at the top of each move.


5. Crab Switch and Hold

  • Sit on the floor with your feet flat, knees bent, and hands flat on the floor behind you.
  • Raise your hips off the floor and keep them there throughout the move.
  • Simultaneously raise your right hand and left leg, and touch your knee.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat with your left hand and right leg.
  • Continue alternating sides.

Make it easier: Every two reps, alternate between having your butt raised and on the floor.


6. Triceps Push-ups

  • Assume a push-up position with your arms straight, hands aligned with (and no wider than) your shoulders, and your body straight from head to heels. This is the starting position.
  • Keeping your body straight and elbows tucked, lowering your chest until it’s a few inches from the floor.
  • Reverse the move, pushing yourself back to the starting position.

Make it easier: Perform the same move with your hands elevated on a table, chair, or countertop.


7. Forward and Backward Bear Crawl

  • Assume an all-fours position with your arms straight (hands beneath your shoulders), back flat, and knees bent 90 degrees directly below your hips.
  • Keeping your knees elevated and core engaged, simultaneously step your left hand and right foot forward.
  • Repeat the with your right hand and left foot.
  • Continue crawling forward for six steps, and then reverse the movement to crawl backward for six steps.
  • Repeat for the duration of the set.

Make it easier: Perform the move with your knees on the floor.


8. Overhead Dumbbell Press

  • Stand upright, holding two dumbbells at shoulder height with your elbows tucked and palms facing inward. This is the starting position.
  • Press the weights directly above your shoulders.
  • Pause, and then return to the starting position.

Make it easier: Perform the move with lighter weights, or with no weights at all.


9. High Knees to Mountain Climber

  • Run in place, alternately lifting each knee to at least waist height.
  • Halfway through the set, drop down into a push-up position to perform mountain climbers, alternately bringing each knee toward your chest.

Make it easier: Don’t lift your knees as high, and perform the move more slowly.


Ready for more?

The Openfit member library has a variety of workouts and programs for all fitness levels, including:

  • Rough Around The Edges – A team of professional stuntwomen guides you through 30 days of workouts that include cardio, MMA conditioning, strength training, and dance to help you become fierce, empowered, and fighting fit.
  • 600 Secs – Get maximum results in minimal time. These workouts will help you meet your fitness goals no matter how busy you are.
  • Xtend Barre – Sculpt a lean, long, dancer’s physique with Andrea Rogers’ signature barre series.
  • T-Minus 30 – This program was designed to help anyone get in shape for a Tough Mudder, but you don’t need to have an obstacle course race in your future to benefit from its total-body workouts. Get lean, strong, tough, and ripped with this comprehensive program designed by one of Tough Mudder’s top athletes.
Andrew Heffernan CSCS, GCFP


Andrew Heffernan, CSCS, GCFP is a fitness coach, Feldenkrais practitioner, and an award-winning health and fitness writer. His work appears regularly in Men's Health and Experience Life. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children. Learn more at andrewheffernan.com