You don’t need the gym — this workout builds your shoulders and glutes in just 7 moves

a woman performing dumbbell flies
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you're short on time but want to fit in a quick strength training workout, then look no further. We've found a seven move routine that targets two major muscle groups in the body: the shoulders and glutes. 

All you'll need to complete the workout is a pair of the best adjustable dumbbells or a standard pair of dumbbells and a good workout playlist to get you pumped for a solid session. 

The trainer behind this strength circuit is Rachael Sacerdoti, with her guidance these exercises will help you sculpt and strengthen key upper and lower body muscles efficiently.

Keen to give it a go? Keep reading for instructions on how to perform each move, exercise demonstrations and what the benefits of this routine are.

What is the shoulder and glute workout?

woman performing a dumbbell RDL

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

There are seven exercises in total to complete and you will take 30 seconds of rest between each move. The number of reps varies depending on the move you are working on but this will be outlined in the full breakdown. 

You can watch Sacerdoti perform each move in the video below or she has provided Tom's Guide with instructions on how to do the full workout, which you will find underneath the demonstration.

The main thing to note before getting started is that you will repeat the entire circuit three times over. With this in mind, be realistic about what weight you opt to work with.

Alternatively, if you are working with a pair of adjustable weights, you'll have the freedom to easily move the weight up or down depending on the demand of each exercise.

1️. Squat to shoulder press x12

  • Begin by standing hip width apart, with your toes slightly pointing out.
  • Push back into the hips and keep the back straight to lower into a squat holding the weights on the front of the shoulders.
  • When the hips are below the knees in the squat, push both legs into the ground to stand up and at the same time press the dumbbells overhead by straightening the arms.

2. Overhead reverse lunge x10

  • Begin with your feet positioned shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.
  • Inhale as you raise the weight above your head.
  • Keep the weight directly overhead and centred between your shoulder joints.
  • Exhale as you take a comfortable step back into a deep lunge position.

3. Front raises x10

  • Stand with your feet at shoulder-width apart and brace your core to create a strong, stable base to perform front raises. 
  • Raise both weights to shoulder height, so your hands, arm, and shoulder make a straight line.

a woman performing a dumbbell front raise

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

4. Reverse flies x12

  • Begin by standing hip width apart and embracing a strong core.
  • Raise both arms with dumbbells out to your side on an exhale. 
  • Keep a soft bend in your elbows.
  • Lower the weight back to the start position as you inhale. 
  • Avoid hunching your shoulders, and keep your chin tucked to maintain a neutral spine during the exercise.

5. RDL-squat-shoulder press x10

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart.
  • Hold the dumbbells out in front of you, near thighs.
  • Keeping back and legs straight with soft knees, hinge at the hips and focus on sending your hips and butt back as you lower the dumbbells toward the ground.
  • Make sure your weight is in your heels and inhale, engage your glutes, contract your hips, and drive back to the starting position.
  • Squat to shoulder press part: Push back into the hips and keep the back straight to lower into a squat holding the weights on the front of the shoulders. 
  • When the hips are below the knees in the squat, push both legs into the ground to stand up and at the same time press the dumbbells overhead by straightening the arms.

6. Alternating shoulder press x20

  • While maintaining an upright posture, press one dumbbell overhead.
  • Keep the other one tightly in the front rack position. 
  • Return and switch sides.

7. Wall sit (hold for 30 seconds)

  • Place your feet firmly on the ground, shoulder-width apart, and then about two feet out from the wall.
  • Slide your back down the wall while keeping your core engaged and bending your legs until they're in a 90-degree angle — or right angle.

What are the benefits of this shoulder and glute workout?

As with any workout, you should always pay attention to your form. This not only helps to prevent injury but it helps you get more out of your training. Bear this in mind when deciding what weight you are going to work with in the routine. Sacerdoti tells us, "Choose weights that challenge you whilst still allowing for proper form throughout the set."

If you're looking for a bit of daily movement and want to develop strength while you're at it then Sacerdoti says, "You can do this workout 2-3 times per week as part of a strength training routine". Alternatively, it is perfect for building  into a full-body workout 

"As you become more comfortable with these exercises, you can increase weights, repetitions, or reduce your rest intervals," she notes. This is known as progressive overload and is the gradual increase in stress placed on the body during exercise to continually challenge and stimulate muscle growth and strength gains.

A dumbbell shoulder and glute workout offers a range of benefits beyond just muscle growth and strength enhancement. When you engage these specific muscle groups, you can enhance your balance, and refine your coordination. 

Strengthening the shoulders can contribute to better posture while targeting the glutes helps support the lower back. Plus, this workout provides an efficient way to engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, making it ideal if you have limited time for exercise.

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Jessica Downey
Fitness Writer

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her love for keeping fit and fueling her body with healthy and enjoyable food quite naturally led her to write about all things fitness and health-related. If she isn’t out testing the latest fitness products such as the latest running shoe or yoga mat for reviewing then she can be found writing news and features on the best ways to build strength, active aging, female health, and anything in between. Before then she had a small stint writing in local news, has also written for Runners World UK (print and digital), and gained experience with global content marketing agency, Cedar Communications.

Born and raised in Scotland, Jessica is a massive fan of exercising and keeping active outdoors. When at home she can be found running by the sea, swimming in it, or up a mountain. This continued as she studied and trained to become a PPA-accredited magazine journalist in Wales. And since working and living in London, she splits her time between weight training in the gym, trying new fitness classes, and finding scenic running routes. Jessica enjoys documenting this on her fitness-inspired Instagram page @jessrunshere where she loves engaging with like-minded fitness junkies.

She is a big fan of healthy cooking and loves learning more about this area with expert nutritionists she has met over the years. Jessica is a big advocate for building healthy relationships with food rather than building restrictive attitudes towards it. When she isn’t eating or running she also enjoys practicing yoga in her free time as it helps her to unwind and benefits her performance in other sports.