An at-home, full body HIIT workout with weights that includes nine of my favorite strength and HIIT exercises! This full body workout alternates dumbbell strength training exercises with HIIT cardio exercises to build muscle and burn calories.
While bodyweight HIIT workouts are effective and can be done anywhere (no gym equipment needed), I love to add dumbbells for a strength and HIIT workout. Combining heavy strength training with HIIT cardio will help you build muscle AND burn calories.
If you’re looking for a full body workout that’s going to get your heart pumping while pushing you to pick up heavy dumbbells, try this one.
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HIIT Workout FAQs
What Is HIIT Training?
HIIT (high-intensity interval training) is all about efficiency. You exert maximum effort during work periods followed by brief rest periods. So it’s an intense workout. HIIT quickly raises your heart rate and is great for burning calories, both during and after the HIIT routine.
What Are The Best High-Intensity Exercises For Women?
The best HIIT exercises are complex, full body exercises that build strength while raising your heart rate. Think squats and squat thrusters, lunges, deadlifts, push ups, kettlebell swings and chops. You’ll find all of these full body exercises in this 20-minute HIIT workout.
What Are The Benefits Of Combining Strength Training And HIIT For Women?
Strength training is important for increased muscle definition, weight loss and improved bone and joint health. HIIT training with weights can burn fat and calories both during and after the workout, build muscle, and improve heart health.
Are Full Body HIIT Workouts Effective?
YES. They’re some of the most effective workouts you can do in a short amount of time. The efficiency is one of the major benefits of HIIT training – HIIT circuits typically are 20 minutes or under and are still effective for fat loss and conditioning. HIIT exercises also increase endurance and muscle definition (American Council on Exercise).
Full Body HIIT Workout For Women
Nine of my favorite HIIT exercises with weights to build muscle and burn fat at home.
This total body workout combines large, compound movements that engage multiple major muscle groups. The result is a comprehensive 20-minute home workout that’s scalable for fitness beginners to advanced athletes.
1. Lunge and Squat Thruster
2. Push Up and Single Arm Row
3. Burpee and Alternating Single Arm Snatch
4. Single Leg Deadlift and Overhead Press
5. Wood Chop Swing
6. Leg Lowers and Tricep Extensions
7. Front/Back Squat Jump and Bicep Curl
8. Squat and Bicep Curl and Shoulder Press
9. Lateral Shuffles
Targets: Legs, hamstrings, quads, glutes, shoulders, traps, abs and core.
With proper form, squat thrusts can add a cardio element to your strength training workout routine, increasing your heart rate.
How To Do A Lunge and Squat Thruster
Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold one dumbbell in each hand at your shoulders in a front-rack position, overhand grip, palms facing in.
Step your right leg back into a reverse lunge, lowering your hips until both knees reach a 90-degree angle, front thigh parallel to the ground.
Squeeze your left leg glute, driving your back, right leg forward as you stand up back to the starting position.
Then, step your left leg back into a reverse lunge, lowering your hips until both knees reach a 90-degree angle, front thigh parallel to the ground. Again, squeeze your right leg glute, driving your back, left leg forward as you stand up back to the starting position.
Then, with your weight in your heels, sit your hips back as you lower into a squat, striving for a 90-degree angle between your hips and knees.
Then, drive through your heels, squeezing your glutes to stand tall. As you stand, perform a squat thruster, pressing the dumbbells overhead.
That’s one rep. Lower the dumbbells to your shoulders and repeat for the timed interval.
Modification: Option to keep the dumbbells at your sides rather than front racked at shoulder height.
Push Up and Single Arm Row
Targets: Back, chest, shoulders, triceps, abs, obliques and core muscles.
How To Do A Push Up and Single Arm Row
Start in a high plank position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists. Place your left hand flat on the mat and your right hand on a stable dumbbell. Pull your kneecaps up towards your belly, feet hip-width apart.
Hold this plank position, maintaining a straight line with your body, gaze slightly in front of you.
Slowly lower your chest down towards the ground as your elbows fall back towards your hips (not out to the sides).
Once at the bottom of your push up, exhale as you push back up into high plank position.
Once you’re in the high plank position, perform a single arm dumbbell row on the right by pulling your right elbow up to meet your right rib cage; squeezing your back and keeping your shoulder down and back.
Control the dumbbell back down to the starting position. That’s one rep.
Repeat this sequence of a push up and single arm row for the timed interval. Switch sides, performing the single arm row on the left for the second set.
Modification: Option to take the push ups and rows from your knees or add an incline by placing your hands on a chair or bench.
Burpee and Alternating Single Arm Snatch
Targets: Full body with an emphasis on the legs, hamstrings, hips, glutes, back, shoulders, abs and core muscles.
Burpees have been named one of the best fat-burning HIIT exercises, but add a dumbbell snatch and you really increase the intensity.
How To Do A Burpee and Alternating Single Arm Snatch
Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold one dumbbell in your right hand at your side (palm facing in).
Hinge forward at the hips, pushing your hips back as you lower the dumbbell down the front of your body. You should feel a stretch in the back of your legs (hamstrings).
Place the dumbbell on the ground in front of you (between your feet) and perform a burpee. Placing your hands on the mat and jumping your feet back into a high plank position.
Jump your feet back in, landing with the dumbbell between your feet. Grab the dumbbell with your left hand and ‘snatch’ the weight overhead with your left arm (using the power and momentum created by your legs and hips). You should finish standing tall with your left arm straight overhead; lock out your elbow.
With control, lower the dumbbell back down to shoulder height.
That’s one rep. Repeat for the timed interval, alternating the arm that performs the overhead snatch.
Modification: Perform a walking burpee and deadlift stand up rather than a burpee snatch. Option to add an incline by placing your hands on a chair or bench and performing burpees from an incline. Additional option to omit the burpee and perform alternating snatches.
Single Leg Deadlift and Overhead Press
Targets: The posterior chain (backside of body) — glutes, hamstrings, hips, lower back and core muscles as well as the biceps and shoulders.
How To Do A Single Leg Deadlift and Press
Start standing with feet hip-width apart, knees bent. Transfer your weight into your left foot and kickstand or float your right foot off the ground. Balancing on your left leg, holding a dumbbell in your right hand.
With your left knee bent, hinge at your hips (hip flexors), extending your right leg long behind you as you lower the dumbbell down the front of your body; balancing on your left leg. Keep your hips square to the mat.
You should feel a good stretch in your left hamstring (back of your left leg) at the bottom of this movement.
Then drive through your front left heel, squeezing your glutes and hamstrings to push your hips forward. As you do so, curl the dumbbell up to shoulder height, then perform a single arm press by pressing the dumbbell in your right hand overhead, right bicep near right ear.
As you press the dumbbell overhead, perform a knee drive on the right knee, continuing to balance on the left leg.
That’s one rep. Switch sides on the next set.
Modification: Option to perform a double leg deadlift or staggered stance deadlift into a single leg knee drive and overhead press.
Wood Chop Swing and Jack
Targets: Legs, hip adductors (inner thighs), arms, shoulders, back, abs, obliques and core.
Wood chops keep your back and core strong and stable while also improving muscular and cardio endurance.
How To Do A Wood Chop Swing and Jack
Stand with your feet wider than shoulders, knees slightly bent.
Hold one dumbbell vertically in both hands, hands stacked on top of each other.
Raise the dumbbell overhead, then “jack” your legs out as you “chop” the dumbbell down your body between your legs.
With control, “jack” your legs back in as you swing the dumbbell back overhead to return to the staring position and repeat this pattern.
Modification: Make this low impact by omitting the jack.
Leg Lowers and Tricep Extensions
Targets: Triceps (back of the arms), lower abs, upper abs, hip flexors and core.
How To Do Leg Lowers and Tricep Extensions
Lie on your back, holding a dumbbell horizontally in both hands, dumbbell extended straight overhead. Legs are also extended long above you, slight bend in the knees.
Engage your core. With control, lower your legs to the floor. As you do so, perform a tricep extension by bending at the elbows to lower the dumbbell down towards your face.
Exhale as you use your abs to pull the legs back while simultaneously pressing the dumbbell back overhead, straightening the arms.
Modification: Option to shorten the range of motion by bending the knees, tapping the ground with your toes. You can also perform a glute bridge and skull crushers or standing tricep extensions.
Front/Back Squat Jump and Bicep Curl
Targets: The long (outer) head of the biceps, and the short (inner) head of the biceps as well as the legs, glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves.
How To Do A Front/Back Squat Jump and Bicep Curl
Start standing in an athletic stance, feet wider than shoulder-width distance apart, slight bend in the knees. Place a set of dumbbells between your feet.
Perform a squat hop to the front of your mat by bending at the knees to lower down into a squat position, then exploding up in a squat jump, propelling yourself forward. Land softly to protect your joints.
As soon as you land, perform a squat jump to the back of your mat, landing softly in the position you started in.
Reach down to grab the dumbbells and perform a standard bicep curl, squeezing your bicep muscle to curl the weights up to shoulder-height as you exhale and stand tall.
With control, slowly lower the dumbbells down to the ground and repeat this sequence.
Modification: Option to make this low impact by stepping forward and back rather than jumping. Or perform a sumo squat an bicep curl.
Squat and Bicep Curl and Shoulder Press
Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, arms, biceps, shoulders, abs and core.
How To Do A Squat and Bicep Curl and Shoulder Press
Start standing, feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent. Hold one dumbbell in each hand at your sides (palms facing in).
Sit your hips back as you lower into a squat, striving for a 90-degree angle between your hips and knees.
Then, drive through your heels to stand tall (legs straight).
As you stand, perform a standard bicep curl to overhead shoulder press. Squeeze your bicep muscles to curl the weights up to shoulder height, palms facing in towards your shoulder. Then, flip your palms out as you press both arms overhead performing a dumbbell shoulder press.
Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position and repeat the sequence for the timed interval.
Targets: Calves, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors and core.
A great side-to-side movement that increases coordination, agility and raises your heart rate.
How To Do Lateral Shuffles
Start in an athletic stance, feet hip-width apart and knees bent.
Perform two large shuffles to the right side of your mat. On the final shuffle, bend your knees, bringing your left hand down to tap the mat.
Then, perform two large shuffles to your left. On the final shuffle, tap down towards the mat with your right hand.
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