Why not use your next lunch hour to try this 30-minute full-body dumbbell Tabata workout? As far as dumbbell workouts go, you won’t forget this one in a hurry. Besides, you’ll have the rest of your lunch break to recover.
This dumbbell Tabata workout has clocked up over half a million views since its YouTube debut in July 2022, so grab a set of the best adjustable dumbbells and follow along with the spicy addition from Juice and Toya (opens in new tab). It’s a high-energy masterclass, combining HIIT-style cardio and strength training into a sweaty full-body workout designed to burn calories and build strength from head to toe.
Some of the moves are advanced, but one-half of the duo — Toya — has you covered by demonstrating the modified version of the workout as a scaling option. I’ve completed a similar workout by the duo using the 10-minute shoulder workout, and this one is my favorite by a long shot, closely resembling CrossFit-style HIIT classes that leave you dripping in sweat. We recommend opting for a medium weight, just be prepared for achy muscles the next day.
In typical Tabata style, the dumbbell Tabata workout follows speedy rounds of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds rest so be prepared to move fast. Many exercises like the Arnold push press combine two exercises to work your major muscle groups in 30 minutes with maximum efficiency and effort.
If you fancy training like Arnie himself, learn how to do the Arnold press to nail down your form first and save time during the workout. You can also scale each move to your ability by lifting lighter or heavier weights, but make sure you recover properly afterward — we recommend this one move for hip flexor pain or this deeply relaxing bedtime yoga routine to help soothe sore muscles post-sweat.
Watch the 30-minute full-body dumbbell Tabata workout
Like many of the best Tabata workouts, the dumbbell workout is split into four groups of strength and HIIT exercises to build strength all over. Each group contains four exercises that target the upper body, lower body, and core muscles. You’ll complete the exercises in one group for three rounds before taking a 60-second break and moving to the next group, completing each group once.
Compound movements are the most efficient exercises for building full-body muscle when used several times a week as part of regular training. These exercises are multi-joint moves meaning that they recruit multiple joints and muscle groups throughout, like a squat. Juice and Toya double down on compound movements by sometimes combining them into one exercise — like the glute bridge chest press and side lunge with bicep curls, for example.
If you haven’t got weights or you want to experiment more with compound exercises, this calisthenics workout only uses four exercises to build full-body strength. Whether you add weights or not, compound exercises can improve your mobility and core strength, and regularly performing exercises like snatches, push-ups, and squats can contribute to hypertrophy (the process of building muscle) and developing power and strength in your muscles.
Research (opens in new tab) has even shown that regularly performing compound exercises in strength training can improve bone strength and counteract osteoporosis as you get older, making these sorts of workouts potentially preventative when performed with good form.
Verdict? It’s a 30-minutes well spent, and I’m still spent afterwards.
Next up: If this type of exercise isn’t your bag, our fitness editor just tried Pilates every day for a month and reported the changes to her body. I also swear by Chris Hemsworth’s 70-rep bodyweight workout for some HIIT circuit-inspired torture (I mean, fitness fun), and this bodybuilder’s mobility exercises to wind down. after.