Getting at least 30-minutes of exercise each day is key to maintaining good health. It also helps you to focus, manage stress and releases endorphins which generally make you feel better. For Michelle and I, finding the time to get over to the gym is mostly a near impossible task in the midst of our manic lives.  So, I went looking for a 30-minute full body workout that we could do at home, saving at least a very valuable hour or 2 trying to make it to a gym class. It also gives us the freedom to squeeze in a workout any time we choose without having to stick to a gym timetable.

I like working out with weights. As you get older, it becomes increasingly important to workout with weight to maintain bone density and metabolism-boosting muscle mass. All you’ll need for this workout, is a pair of moderate weight (2-5kg) dumbbells.

This brilliant 30-minute full body workout is courtesy one of my favourite online fitness sites, Popsugar Fitness and really does work every muscle.



The workout consists of 3 circuits. Each circuit consists of 3 exercises. Repeat each circuit twice. Don’t forget to do a solid 5-minute warm-up and stretch properly afterwards. If you’re unsure about what stretches to do, you can try this 5-minute full body stretch routine.


Circuit 1

30-Minute full body workout

Goblet Squat: 15 Reps

Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width apart, toes pointed out slightly. Hold a dumbbell at chest level with both hands, elbows bent. Keeping your back straight, push your hips back, bend your knees, and sit back into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor and your elbows touch your knees.

Pushing your weight through your heels, straighten your legs and push yourself up to the starting position. That’s 1 rep.


Deadlift with Back Row: 15 Reps

Stand upright holding a dumbbell in each hand, with your palms facing in and your knees slightly bent.

Keeping your arms straight and knees slightly bent, slowly hinge forward, bending at your hips (not your waist), lowering the weights to your shins without rounding your back.

Keeping your back almost parallel to the floor and abs pulled to your spine, bend your elbows toward the ceiling, squeezing your shoulder blades together and performing a back row.

Maintain the position of your torso as you lower the weights back to your shins.

Squeeze your glutes to return to standing, keeping your back straight.


Bridge with Chest Press: 20 Presses, holding bridge

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet hip distance apart. Hold your dumbbells at your chest, arms bent.

Squeeze your glutes as you push your pelvis toward the ceiling to form a bridge. Keep your ribs aligned with your pelvis.

Holding the bridge, press the weights straight up to the ceiling directly above your shoulders. Repeat 20 times while maintaining your bridge.

Lower your pelvis down the mat. That’s 1 set. Raise your pelvis and repeat 20 more reps.


Circuit 2

30-minute full body workout

High-to-Low Woodchop: 12 Reps each side

Start by standing with your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart, holding a dumbbell in your hands. Keeping your arms straight, swing the dumbbell upwards and to the right above your head and right shoulder.

Exhale and slice the weight diagonally back down across your body, ending twisted to the left with the dumbbell outside your left thigh, pivoting on your right foot. Control the weight back up to the starting position to complete one rep.

Keep the movement slow and deliberate. Don’t give into the momentum of swinging the weight around.


Reverse Fly: 15 Reps

Stand with knees slightly bent, holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms pointed out. Keeping your back flat, bend forward at the hip joint.

Exhale and raise both arms out to the side, maintaining a slight bend in the elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Then, with control, lower the dumbbells back toward the floor, and starting position. That’s 1 rep.


Split Squat with Overhead Press: 10 Reps each side

Start by pressing the weights above your shoulders with palms facing out, feet slightly apart.  Step backward with your left foot into a lunge while lowering the weight to your shoulders as you bend your knees, making 90-degree angles with both legs.

Straighten both legs as you press the weights back toward the ceiling. This completes one rep. Do 10, then switch legs.


Circuit 3

30-minute full body workout

Bicep Curl with Side Lunge: 20 Reps, alternating sides

Holding a pair of dumbbells, stand with your feet and knees together. Perform a bicep curl by bending your elbows to bring the weights to your shoulders

Lower your arms toward the floor as you take a large step to the left with your left foot, lunging toward the floor. Make sure your left knee does not extend past your toes, and keep your right leg relatively straight.

As you push off through your left foot to return to standing, perform a bicep curl. That’s 1 rep.


Lawn Mower: 20 Reps, alternating sides

Holding one dumbbell in your left hand with your right hand on your hip, squat, dropping the dumbbell toward the floor.

Exhale and straighten your legs as you pull your elbow back behind you, bringing the weight to your chest. Your torso will twist to the left.

Bend your knees and squat as you return to the starting position to complete a rep. Repeat on the other side, and continue alternating sides for 20 reps.


Overhead Reach with Leg Lower: 20 Reps, alternating legs

Lie on your back. Bend your left knee and place your left foot on the floor. Extend your right leg parallel to the floor, not touching it. Holding a dumbbell with both hands, extend your arms overhead.

Keeping your right leg straight, raise your right leg and toes toward the ceiling while at the same time raising the dumbbell towards the ceiling.

Exhale and lower your arms and leg toward the floor, keeping your lower back touching the mat. That’s 1 rep.





(RELATED POSTS: Find more of our fabulous workout posts here.)


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