The Background of this Question is, that at the current point in time i can not leave the house and have only very limited time for training. What i can do, is plug in some very short sessions during the day, were i grab a pair of dumbbells, make some movements and call it a day. (possibly multiple times per day, but not necessarily)

So what i am looking for, is a routine which fits the following constraints:

  1. Fullbody - At least to some degree every muscle should have a stimulus
  2. Each movement has to be done with the same two Dumbbells, or possibly an added weight west. Nothing else. The actual weight is chosen by me depending on point 3.
  3. The movements should be chosen in a way which allows me to do 5-10 Reps per movement before form failure, using the same weight. Hard movements could be made easier by using some inertia (push press vs. strict overhead press for example)
  4. Total Time for all movements, Repetitions and possibly Rest max. 5 Minutes!

To be totally clear. The only goal of this routine is to get some weight training in, on a VERY time constraint schedule. No Bodybuidling, no Crossfit, no Powerlifting. Just some weights for fitness.

What i currently use:

  1. Deadlift into Deep Squat into Push Press (Basically a Clean and Jerk with Dumbbells) - That's basically the fullbodiest move of fullbody moves i know. Everything is needed at least as stabilizer muscle and muscles which move the weights up/down are directly impacted. It can even be made inefficient during parts of the movement to shift focus towards different muscle groups.
  2. Romanian Deadlift into Bent over Row (the Romanian feels light compared to the row, maybe some better alternative?) - adding the missing back muscles to the equation
  3. Dumbbell Bench Press - well, chest...

Biceps is never directly trained but is included in the Row and Clean and Jerk. Hamstrings seem a little lacking, but don't know how i could fit them in. I have tried combining 2. and 3. by doing Pushups (scaled with weight vest) into Renegade rows but oh boy... doing renegade rows with the same weight as my Clean and Jerks.... wasn't the best idea i had. But maybe with some additional fine tweaking of the Weights (more weight on the vest, less on the dumbbells) it could work. For sure it would be good for my core.

I chain all of those together without rest. Weight is chosen in such a way which allows me to skip the warmup sets without getting into injury land. Depending on the Time i have i go through 1-3 Iterations.

To keep this Question a Q/A. I would like you to add not only your suggested Movements and put them in the right order, but also include some background information on why you chose those movements and which muscles might be lacking.

2 Answers 2


Obviously, you should make sure you're warmed up before attempting any of these.

Answer 1:

I can do you one better, I'll give you full body training in 4 minutes! Enter, the tabata protocol (thank me later).

Honestly, Dan John does a much better job of explaining it than I can. I believe he now only recommends front squats, so I'll use that as an example (yes, you can front squat with dumbbells). Essentially for 20 seconds, you're going to do as many reps of the front squat as possible, then rest for 10 seconds and repeat 7 more times for a total of 4 minutes.

Once you've picked yourself off the floor, go back to whatever it was you were doing before.

Answer 2:

Let me introduce you to something you touched on in your question, complexes. A complex is basically a set of movements performed back to back without putting the weights down.

The movements are performed for the full set of reps before moving on to the next one and, again, don't put the weights down between movements.

A barbell example I'm particularly fond of is:

  • Deadlift x 8
  • Romanian deadlift x 8
  • Bent over row x 8
  • Power clean x 8
  • Front squat x 8
  • Overhead press x 8
  • Back squat x 8 (on the last rep of the overhead presses, pass the bar backwards onto your shoulders)
  • Good morning x 8

The weight you use is limited by the weakest exercise, so for me in the complex above, that's my overhead press. (The first time you try this, go a lot lighter than you think, maybe just use the bar).

For a dumbbell version, you could try something very similar:

  • Romanian deadlift x 8
  • Bent over row x 8
  • Bicep curl x 8
  • Dumbbell power clean x 8
  • Dumbbell front squat x 8
  • Overhead press x 8
  • Overhead tricep extension x 8
  • Dumbbell farmers walk (for however far you can)

In the above, the arm exercises are going to be your weight limiter, so feel free to play with the reps there. Likewise, I suggest 8 reps as that's what I've always used and if you go too heavy, your form definitely starts to break down towards the end.

The trick is to use a pattern of movements that flows one into the other. A sequence like:

  • Dumbbell bench press x 8
  • Pull ups x 8
  • Dumbbell front squat x 8

Might make sense from a training perspective (a push, a pull, a squat), but it doesn't exactly flow from one to another.

Answer 3:

Dumbbell man makers for 45 seconds, 30 second rest, repeat 4 times.

Note: The author of this answer accepts no responsibility for you losing your lunch all over the floor from attempting any of these ideas... especially the tabata front squats...

  • This! So many good Ideas. Will try them all. Especially the man makers basically look like my training routine. pushups with renegade rows and a clean and jerk at the end. Rinse and repeat until your lunch comes up. Need to fine tune my weights for that.
    – user32996
    Mar 25, 2020 at 15:12
  • @KevinKötz Happy to help. Since you're new here, if you feel that an answer has successfully answered your question, mark it as the solution (sorry if that sounds a bit tech support like, I've spent all morning answering calls from people who don't know how to use computers)
    – Dark Hippo
    Mar 25, 2020 at 15:38

"Is there a Fullbody Training which can be done in 5 Minutes or less?"

No. Sorry.

  • Not exactly a helpful answer. Why is there not a full body training split that can be done in 5 minutes or less? Here's a video of a guy doing a full body fitness challenge and completing it in just over 7 minutes. Now I would argue against the effectiveness of using this challenge as the entirety of a workout plan, but it shows promise in the idea. I would also argue against most people as being able to do it this quick, but here it is regardless - the AX1 400 Challenge (100 Pushups, 100 Situps, 100 Inverted Rows, 100 Squats - Any order, as fast as possible) youtu.be/Ed2Y4Ao5aC8 Mar 25, 2020 at 2:19
  • There is a body weight only split, which can be done in 7 minutes. businessinsider.com/7-minute-workout-science-2017-4 it's a little different in the sense that there are much more moves involved, which are split up over multiple sessions. But for my weighted example above, it feels like it is possible in 5 or less, as weighted moves are much more challenging overall.
    – user32996
    Mar 25, 2020 at 9:00

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