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20-Minute Dumbbell Workout for Women

20-Minute Dumbbell Workout for Women
Scott Whitney
Sports Therapist and S&C Professional3 years ago
View Scott Whitney's profile

Whether you’re working from home or trying to fit a workout into a busy schedule, we can all agree that we feel better and more energised after we’ve done some exercise for the day. This quick 20-minute circuit will get your heart rate up and your muscles working hard, ensuring you’re able to get a good workout in well under an hour.

20-Minute Dumbbell Workout for Women

Expect to get a bit sweaty with this workout, since you’ll be packing all this work into just 20-minutes, which means less rest between sets and exercises! If you have access to a range of dumbbells, then we’d recommend using heavier weights for the first 2 exercises, reducing the weight for exercises 3 and 4, then again for 5 and 6. Remember to be strict with the technical execution of each exercise too!


1. Goblet Squat

Muscles Worked: Quadriceps, Glutes, Spinal Erectors Reps: 20

Technique: Start standing with your feet around shoulder-width apart, or whatever is most comfortable for you when executing a squat. Hold one dumbbell in front of your chest using both hands. Keeping your chest upright and your spine in a neutral/straight position, bend at the hips and knees and lower yourself to the bottom of a comfortable squat. Keeping strict technique, stand back up to the start position and squeeze your glutes at the top before initiating the following rep. Each rep should take around 3-4 seconds to complete.


2. Romanian Deadlift

Muscles Worked: Hamstrings, Glutes, Spinal Erectors Reps: 20

Technique: Standing upright with a dumbbell in each hand at your sides, make a slight bend in your knees. Keeping the dumbbells close to your legs throughout the movement, bend at your hips – maintaining the same angle at your knees throughout and lower the weight until you feel a good stretch in your hamstrings. Your back should remain flat throughout this exercise. Contract your hamstrings and glutes, then squeeze your glutes once you reach the top/starting position before initiating the following rep.


3. Bent-Over Row

Muscles Worked: Spinal Erectors, Rotator Cuff, Lats, Biceps Reps: 20

Technique: Holding a dumbbell in each hand, start standing in an upright position. Bend at your hips until your torso is at around 45-degrees or slightly lower (closer to parallel with the ground). The dumbbells should be dangling with your arms outstretched fully. Maintaining a flat back, pull (or row) the dumbbells up and back towards your hip crease, pulling your elbows back towards the ceiling. Squeeze at the top position before lowering to the start position in a controlled manner, then initiate the next rep.


4. Overhead Press

Muscles Worked: Triceps, Deltoids, Rotator Cuff Reps:20

Technique: Start seated or standing with your torso upright and one dumbbell held in each hand. The dumbbells should be held with your elbows flexed, but down at your sides, and your hands just to the side of your shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and press the weight straight up, keeping your wrists stacked over your elbows, which should be directly over your shoulders once you reach the top of the movement. Lockout your elbows at the top, then slowly lower to the start position in a controlled manner.


5. Hammer Curls

Muscles Worked: Biceps, Forearms Repetitions: 20

Technique: Place one dumbbell in each hand. Rotate the hands so that the palms face the thighs. By doing so, you'll notice that the thumbs face forward. Keeping the elbows in a fixed position, flex (bend) at the elbow so the lower arms lift up and toward the shoulders. Keep the shoulders relaxed as you work. Keep your grip firms and wrists in line with the forearm. At the top of the movement, thumbs will be close to the shoulders, palms facing in toward the midline of the body.


6. Tricep Extensions

Muscles Worked: Triceps Reps: 20

Technique: Start standing or seated with your torso in an upright position. Press the dumbbells fully overhead, like with the overhead press. Keeping your elbows stationary and close to your head, bend only at the elbows, allowing the weights to descend behind your head. Contract your triceps, keeping your elbows stationary, until you return to the start position. Squeeze for 2 seconds before initiating the following rep.

Our articles should be used for informational and educational purposes only and are not intended to be taken as medical advice. If you're concerned, consult a health professional before taking dietary supplements or introducing any major changes to your diet.

Scott Whitney
Sports Therapist and S&C Professional
View Scott Whitney's profile
Scott developed a passion for sport and performance through competing in long‐distance running and bouldering prior to attending university. Scott’s academic achievements include a BSc honours degree in Sports Therapy and an MSc degree in Strength and Conditioning. He is also a member of The Society of Sports Therapists and CIMSPA. Previously, he has worked with amateur and elite athletes, ranging from university sports teams to elite rugby league athletes and Team GB rowers. He currently works with various gyms in developing and delivering training programmes for amateur athletes and gym‐goers. While passive treatments remain in his arsenal as a Sports Therapist, Scott uses his skills to promote physical activity for combatting obesity, lower back pain and other sporting injuries, and simultaneously providing programmes for athletic development. Being a recent graduate, Scott strives to gain experience wherever possible, offering advice and sharing knowledge along the way. He believes it is important to practice what you preach, so in his spare time, Scott practices Olympic Weightlifting and enjoys being active outdoors in all weathers, although he still believes it is important to make ample time for social activities.