Build muscle and get your heart rate up with this quick and effective FULL BODY HIIT Circuit Workout! Each high-intensity interval training circuit contains 4 exercises: an upper body, lower body, core and cardio exercise. You can do this HIIT circuit at home or at the gym — all you need is a set of dumbbells!
YES. HIIT Circuits are an extremely efficient way to maximize energy expenditure (and calorie burn) in a short amount of time. HIIT workouts mean you can spend less time exercising, and still get impressive results in terms of weight loss and increased athletic performance (American Council on Exercise). And you continue to burn calories for hours after the workout, making HIIT circuits great for fat loss.
How Long Should A HIIT Circuit Last?
Between 20 and 30 minutes; including time for a proper warm up and cool down. The goal of high intensity interval training is to give maximum effort for a short period of time. Because of the high intensity, the workout itself will naturally be shorter.
What Is A Good HIIT Routine?
The best HIIT routine is a functional HIIT circuit. Functional HIIT combines upper body exercises, lower body exercises and core strengthening exercises, all while getting your heart rate up into the anaerobic zone (between 80%-90% of your maximum heart rate). You can calculate your max heart rate here.
How Often Should I Do HIIT?
It depends on your personal fitness level and goals. I suggest 1-2 HIIT sessions a week, paired with balanced strength training and lower-intensity exercise. A well-rounded workout program will include a variety of workouts. Download one of my FREE Home Workout Plans here!
35-Minute HIIT Circuit Workout
Circuit training and HIIT collide in this FULL BODY HIIT CIRCUIT at home.
12 full body exercises completed in 40 second work intervals, followed by 20 second recovery periods.
If HIIT training is part of your regular fitness routine, push your pace and weights during the work time.
Note, you can make this circuit training workout friendly for beginners by slowing down each move, increasing rest time between exercises, and dropping weights (completing each move with just your body weight) as needed.
I suggest adding this HIIT circuit to your workout routine 1-2 times a week to build strength and increase your cardiovascular capacity.
Medium to heavy set of dumbbells. We’re using 5, 10, 15 and 20 lb dumbbells.
CIRCUIT ONE: (Repeat x2) 1. Upper Body: Push Ups (20 seconds) and Kneeling Shoulder Press (20 seconds) 2. Lower Body: Split Squat (R/L) 3. Core: 3-Second Lunge Hold and Dumbbell Press Out and 3-Second Balance Hold 4. Cardio: Runner Lunge
CIRCUIT TWO: (Repeat x2) 1. Upper Body: Back Rows (20 seconds) and Bicep Curls (20 seconds) 2. Lower Body: Staggered Deadlift and Clean Squat (R/L) 3. Core: Staggered Woodchop (R/L) 4. Cardio: Lateral Bound and Dumbbell Pick Up
CIRCUIT THREE: (Repeat x2) 1. Upper Body: 1.5 Overhead Tricep Extensions 2. Lower Body: Lateral Squat 3. Core: 3 Side Plank Crunches and 3-Second Side Plank Hold (R/L) 4. Cardio: Lateral Lunge and 2 High Knees
List of 12 HIIT Circuit Exercises
Push Ups and Kneeling Shoulder Press
Targets: Chest, shoulders, triceps, abs and core.
How To Do A Push Up and Kneeling Shoulder Press:
Start in high plank position, shoulders stacked over your wrists, legs shoulder-width apart.
Lower your chest towards the floor, performing a push up. Elbows fall back towards your body.
Exhale as you push back up, returning to high plank position. Repeat this movement for 20 seconds.
Then, pick up both dumbbells and kneel on the floor. Both knees on the mat with legs bent at 90 degrees, toes tucked under and core engaged.
Rack the dumbbells at your shoulders, palms facing in.
Exhale as you press the dumbbells straight overhead, locking out the elbows.
Then lower the dumbbells with control back to the shoulders. Repeat this movement for 20 seconds.
Modification: Perform modified push ups from the knees or option to add an incline. If kneeling is uncomfortable you can always perform the overhead press from a standing position.
Targets: Legs, quads, glutes and hamstrings.
How To Do A Split Squat:
Start standing feet hip-width apart holding one dumbbell in each hand at your sides.
Step your right leg back into a lunge position. Imagine your feet are on train tracks – front left foot planted on the mat and back right toes on the mat.
Your feet will stay planted in this position throughout the entire movement.
Lower your back right knee towards the mat until your front thigh is parallel to the mat. Both knees bent at 90-degrees. Shoulders remain stacked over hips.
Then drive up through your front heel to stand tall, returning to the top of the movement.
Lunge Hold, Dumbbell Press Out and Balance Hold
Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, shoulders, abs, obliques and core.
How To Do A Lunge Hold, Dumbbell Press Out and Balance Hold:
Start in a low lunge: right leg forward, left leg extended behind you, both knees at 90-degree angles, holding a dumbbell horizontally at your chest.
Brace your core as you press the dumbbell out in front of you, holding it at shoulder height. The further the dumbbell is from your body, the more challenging this move will be. Hold for 3 seconds.
Then, bring the dumbbell back to your chest, and press through your front heel to drive your back knee forward, hovering it so your thigh is parallel to the ground, knee bent at 90 degrees, foot flexed. Press the dumbbell overhead and hold for 3 seconds.
Return the dumbbell to your chest as you step your left leg back, returning to a low lunge.
Targets: Legs, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves.
How To Do A Runner Lunge:
Step your right leg back into a reverse lunge, dropping your right knee down towards the ground as you lower your hips until both knees reach a 90-degree angle, front thigh parallel to the floor.
Keeping your torso upright, jump with enough force to drive your right foot ahead of your left foot. Think of your feet as being on parallel train tracks.
“Run” your feet for two counts (like you’re cross-country skiing). Once you reach the third count, drop your left knee back into a lunge.
Repeat this movement, alternating lunge drops on each leg.
Dumbbell Back Row and Bicep Curl
Targets: The lower back and upper back, specifically the lats and rhomboids as well as the bicep muscles.
How To Do A Dumbbell Back Row and Bicep Curl:
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Grip a set of dumbbells, palms facing out away from the body.
Hinge at the hips until your chest is parallel to the floor.
Pull the dumbbells back towards your hips, performing a bent over back row. Feel your shoulder blades squeeze together with each row. Repeat this movement for 20 seconds.
Then, stand tall and squeeze your bicep muscle to curl the weights up to shoulder-height as you exhale, performing a standard bicep curl. Repeat this movement for 20 seconds.
Staggered Deadlift and Clean Squat
Targets: Legs, glutes, hamstrings, hips, quads, core and low back muscles.
How To Do A Staggered Deadlift and Clean Squat:
Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold one dumbbell in each hand at your hips, palms facing in towards your body.
Stagger your feet, so your right leg is slightly in front of your left foot. Kickstand your back left foot, left heel floating off the ground. Keep 80% of your weight in your front foot, 20% in your back left toe.
Maintain a staggered stance as you hinge at the hips. Pushing your hips back towards the wall behind you as you glide the dumbbells down the front of your legs; core tight.
Then, drive through your front heel to stand tall, bringing your left foot parallel to your right foot.
As you stand, bring the dumbbells up towards your chest (this is the “clean” portion of the clean squat).
Holding the dumbbells in a front racked position, lower down into a squat position; hips parallel to knees. Driving your knees out toward your outer three toes.
Drive through your heels to stand tall again, finding a staggered stance again by stepping your left foot back. That’s one rep.
Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position and repeat this sequence of one staggered deadlift and one clean squat.
Targets: The deep transverse abdominis muscle, oblique muscles, glutes, hips, back and shoulders.
How To Do A Staggered Woodchop:
Start standing in a staggered stance, right foot slightly in front of left, soft bend in your knees, core engaged. Hold one dumbbell horizontally between your hands.
Slightly bend your knees as you bring the dumbbell to the outside of your left knee.
Then exhale as you use your legs, hips and glutes to drive the dumbbell crossbody, extending your arms up overhead on the right side. Think left knee to right shoulder.
Lower the dumbbell with control back towards your left knee, returning to the starting position. Repeat this movement.
Lateral Bound and Dumbbell Pick Up
Targets: Calves, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors and glutes (specifically your outer glutes that assist with side-to-side movements).
How To Do A Lateral Bound and Dumbbell Pick Up:
Start by placing two dumbbells horizontally on the mat in front of you; about two feet apart.
Stand with feet hip-distance apart, one foot on each side of the dumbbell on the right side of the mat. Sit your hips down and back into a loaded squat position as you reach your right hand down to pick up the dumbbell on the mat between your legs.
Drive through your heels to stand tall, pulling the dumbbell between your legs up towards your hips. Then perform another squat to return the dumbbell back to the mat.
Hold the loaded squat position as you drive off your outside, right leg to bound laterally to the dumbbell on the left side of the mat. Performing a lateral jump squat and landing softly with one foot on each side of the dumbbell.
Again reach down to pick up the dumbbell, this time with your left hand. Drive through your heels to stand tall, pulling the dumbbell between your legs up towards your hips. Then perform another squat to return the dumbbell back to the mat.
Repeat this side to side pattern.
1.5 Overhead Tricep Extensions
Targets: The long head of the triceps and all the stabilizing muscles in the shoulders, core, glutes and lower back muscles.
How To Do 1.5 Overhead Tricep Extensions:
Stand with feet hip-distance apart, core engaged and soft bend in your knees.
Hold one dumbbell vertically between your palms overhead.
Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle, bringing the dumbbell behind your head. Think ‘hide the dumbbell, show the dumbbell’, if you were watching yourself in a mirror. Keep your elbows close to your ears throughout the entire movement (don’t let your elbows flare out as you fatigue).
Raise the dumbbell halfway up, then lower back behind your head.
Then raise the dumbbell all the way up, overhead.
Think: all the way down, half way up, back down and to the top.
Targets: Gluteus medius (outer glute that controls hip movement and side-to-side movements), quads, inner thighs (or hip adductors), hamstrings and calves.
How To Do Lateral Squats:
Start with your feet wider than your hips (think a wide squat stance squat), with your knees and toes pointing forward. Or toes just slightly turned out away from your body.
Hold one dumbbell at your chest like you would during a goblet squat (vertically so dumbbell is touching your collarbone and sternum), elbows tucked in.
Shift your weight into your right heel as you push your hips back, bending your right knee while leaving your left leg straight. Think of performing a single leg squat with your right leg while your left leg remains straight.
Then, drive through your right foot to reverse the movement, pushing you back up to center.
3 Side Plank Crunches and 3-Second Side Plank Hold
Targets: Obliques, hip abductors, upper abs, lower abs, glutes and shoulders.
How To Do 3 Side Plank Crunches and 3-Second Side Plank Hold:
Begin in a side plank position, left forearm on the mat and shoulder stacked over elbow. Option to bring your bottom knee to the mat for extra stability or increase the challenge by fully extending your left leg, balancing on the outside edge of your foot.
Keeping your hips high and core stable, extend your right arm overhead and right (top) leg off the mat. Flex your extended right foot to engage your leg muscles. Hold this side plank position for 3 seconds.
Then, perform a side plank “crunch” by pulling your right knee in to meet your right elbow, before extending back out. Repeat x3 reps.
Continue this pattern of a 3 second side plank hold, followed by 3 side plank crunches.
Lateral Lunge and 2 High Knees
Targets: Gluteus medius (the outer part of your butt used for side-to-side movements), quads, hamstrings, hip adductors and abductors, hip flexors, calves and core.
How To Do A Lateral Lunge and 2 High Knees:
Stand with feet hip-distance apart.
Step your right leg out to the side as you push your hips back, bending your right knee while leaving your left leg straight. Think of performing a single leg squat with your right leg while your left leg remains straight. Knees and toes are pointing forward.
Then, drive off your right foot to reverse the movement, exploding back up to center.
Perform two high knees, driving your left knee up to chest height, then your right knee. Core is engaged.
Repeat this lateral lunge movement on the right leg; then switch sides for the second set.
Beef: High-Quality Protein For Muscle Recovery
A 3-ounce serving of lean beef provides 25 grams of high-quality protein, which is the optimal amount to help active individuals recover from exercise (Beef Council Strength Guide).
As a trainer I know the importance of refueling with high-quality protein to repair muscle tissue.
And I believe a balanced diet includes high-quality protein AND other nutrient-rich foods for building and maintaining strength. Which is why I love the list of essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients included in one serving of beef:
Zinc — supports the immune system and metabolism function.
Iron — supports many vital functions in the body — including energy production, immune system, and regulation of body temperature.
Vitamin B12 — helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy.
Riboflavin — is needed for overall good health. It helps the body break down carbohydrates, proteins and fats to produce energy.
Niacin — boosts brain and skin function.
Vitamin B6 — helps the body turn food into energy.
Selenium — is important for thyroid health and boosts the immune system.
The Minnesota Beef Council is dedicated to strengthening beef demand by responsibly providing a safe, wholesome, healthy and delicious eating experience.
This is a sponsored post in partnership with the Minnesota Beef Council. All words and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting Nourish Move Love, making the content you see on this blog possible.
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