This high intensity workout allows you to TRAIN LIKE AN ATHLETE — in your own home! A total body workout combining dumbbell strength training with bodyweight speed and agility drills. Exercise like an athlete with this full body HIIT workout!
What makes this the BEST High Intensity Workout At Home?
High intensity workouts combine max effort training with short periods of active recovery for an effective home workout that accomplishes a lot in a short period of time.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT Workouts) are a popular type of exercise for a reason. There are several benefits of HIIT workouts:
HIIT training is an effective way to burn calories in a short amount of time (fat burning workout, great for weight loss).
Your metabolic rate stays elevated for hours after exercise (meaning you continue to burn fat hours after your workout; great for losing weight).
HIIT workouts can improve your cardiovascular endurance (unlike steady state cardio, your heart rate will travel through various heart rate zones).
AND this athletic HIIT workout adds weights to HIIT exercises so you BUILD muscle while you BURN fat.
Strength training builds muscles and maximizes your cardio routine. The more muscle you have, the more calories your body is going to burn, including during your HIIT workouts (Mayo Clinic).
Of course, we work out for so many more reasons than just burning calories. This full body dumbbell workout is designed to increase your muscular endurance, move you through all planes of motion, and make you feel like an athlete in your own home.
How Often Should You Do High Intensity Workouts?
It depends on your current fitness routine and goals.
I suggest 1-2, 30 minute HIIT workouts per week, paired with 2-3 strength training workout per week.
You want to be able to push yourself to the max during your HIIT workouts — and that level of effort simply isn’t sustainable for daily workouts!
Since this HIIT session is a bit longer (40 minutes), it does pair high intensity exercises with moderate intensity exercises to let your heart rate recover.
12 High Intensity Exercises At Home (with Modifications)
1. 3 Squats + 3 Second Squat Hold
Targets: Legs, glutes, quads, hamstrings, inner thighs, hip flexors and core.
How to do 3 Squats + 3 Second Squat Hold:
Start standing, feet shoulder width apart, knees bent. Hold one dumbbell in each hand at your sides.
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). Repeat x3.
Then, lower into a squat and hold at the bottom of the squat for 3 seconds, before standing tall.
2. Single Leg Deadlift Taps
Targets: Posterior chain (backside of body) — hamstrings, glutes, low back, hips, abs and core.
How to do Single Leg Deadlift Taps/Variations:
Start standing in a staggered position, right foot slightly behind your left foot, core engaged. Frame your front left foot with your dumbbells, making an “L” shape around your foot (pictured above).
Float or kickstand your right foot behind you, balancing on your left foot.
Hinge at your hips to perform a single leg deadlift on your left leg. Extending your right arm to tap the dumbbell in front your left foot. Press through your left heel to stand tall.
Then, hinge at your hips and reach your right arm crossbody to tap the dumbbell outside of your left foot (challenging your balance and core strength). Again, press through your left heel to stand tall.
Modification: Kickstand your foot instead of floating it behind you; performing a staggered stance deadlift instead of a single leg deadlift.
3. 3 High Knees + 2 Single Leg Plyo Lunges
Targets: Legs, glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, hip flexors, abs and core. While also challenging your balance, coordination, speed, agility and power.
How to do 3 High Knees + 2 Single Leg Plyo Lunges:
Start in a neutral stance, feet under hips and core engaged.
Step your left foot back into a reverse lunge, then explode up, driving through the heel of your right foot as you pull your left knee towards your chest. Repeat x2.
After performing 2 single leg plyo lunges, alternate high knees for a 3-count before stepping back into a low lunge and repeating.
Modification: Perform 2 reverse lunges with knee drives, then do 3 slow high knees; alternating pulling each knee towards your chest.
4. Down Dog to Bear Crawl + Push Up
Targets: A full body exercises with an emphasis on the arms — shoulders, chest, triceps, abs and core.
How to do Down Dog to Bear Crawl + Push Up:
Start in a high plank position, hands under shoulders, core engaged.
Lower your chest towards the ground to perform a push up; elbows fall back towards your body. Exhale as you push back up into a high plank position.
Then hop your feet into a “bear crawl position”. Knees hover off the mat at a 90 degree angle (think if it as a floating table top hold).
Then, press your hips up and back, pushing evenly through your hands to find down dog.
Inhale to return to bear crawl, then hop your feet back to high plank to return to the starting position.
Modification: Omit the bear crawl, going instead from down dog to a push up on your knees.
5. 1 Back Row + 1 Straight Arm Tricep Kickback
Targets: Arms, upper back, mid-back, lats, triceps and core.
How to do a Back Row + Straight Arm Tricep Kickback:
Start in a neutral position, feet under hips, core engaged. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in towards each other.
Hinge at the hips to bend over to a 45 degree angle.
Squeeze you’re back to pull the dumbbells up towards your ribcage, performing a back row. With control, lower the dumbbells back to starting position.
Then, keep your arms straight as you extend the dumbbells straight behind you. Think about bringing the dumbbells back towards your hips with straight arms.
With control, lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
6. Lunge Hold + Curl + Press + Lunge Jump Switch
Targets: A full body, athletic movement hitting the legs, glutes, quads, calves, biceps, shoulders, abs and core.
How to do Lunge Jump Bicep Curl and Overhead Press:
Start standing with feet hip-width apart, holding one dumbbell in each hand at your sides (palms facing in towards your body).
Jump 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.
Hold this reverse lunge position, keeping your torso upright, then curl the dumbbells up towards your shoulders and press the dumbbells overhead. Performing a bicep curl and overhead press while holding a reverse lunge.
Return the dumbbells to your sides, then explode off your front leg, performing a jump lunge switch as your left leg lands in a reverse lunge.
Again hold the reverse lunge as you repeat the curl and press on the left side.
Modification: Omit the jump lunge switch and step back into a reverse lunge instead.
7. Rear Foot Elevated Lunge + Deadlift
Targets: Legs, glutes, hamstrings, quads, hips, and core.
How to do a Rear Foot Elevated Lunge + Deadlift:
Start in a rear foot elevated stance, the top (or shoelaces) part of your right foot resting on a bench or couch, left foot about a foot in front of your bench. Hold your dumbbells at your sides.
Perform a lunge, bending your front knee to reach 90 degrees as you sit your hips down. Then, press through your left heel to stand tall.
Then, perform a deadlift by hinging at your hips, pushing your glutes back towards the wall behind you as your dumbbells slide down your front leg leg. Think about squeezing oranges in your armpits to engage your lats (keeping the dumbbells close to your body).
Then press through your front left foot to stand tall.
Modification: Omit the rear foot elevated and perform one reverse lunge and one staggered stance deadlift from the ground.
8. Single Leg Plyo Lunge
Targets: Lower body power — glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, hips and core.
How to do a Single Leg Plyo Lunge:
Start in a rear foot elevated stance, the shoelaces of your left shoe on a bench or couch, right foot in front of you. Think about keeping a soft bend in your right knee.
Bend your right knee to lower down into a lunge, aiming to get your front thigh parallel to the ground.
Then explode off your front right foot, aiming to get your front foot to leave the ground.
Land softly, then repeat.
Modification: Omit the rear foot elevated and perform a reverse lunge and knee drive from the ground.
9. Decline Plank Walk Ins
Targets: Full body exercise with an emphasis on the arms, shoulders, triceps, abs and core.
How to do a Decline Plank Walk In:
Start in a high plank position with your feet elevated on a bench or couch. Think about engaging your core to keep your lower back from dipping.
Slowly walk your hands back towards your toes, piking your hips into the air as you walk your hands in. Hips pike up to make and upside down “V” with your body.
Hold at the top for a second, then walk your hands out, returning to high plank position.
Modification: Remove the elevation, performing this move from a high plank on the ground instead.
10. Lateral Shuffle Over Dumbbells
Targets: Calves, outer glutes, inner thighs, hip flexors and core. Also a great move to test your quickness, speed, agility, and coordination.
How to do a Lateral Shuffle Over Dumbbells:
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.
Lower into an athletic position, knees bent. Think about being light on your feet.
Shuffle laterally over the dumbbells, landing softly on your outside foot on the left of the mat. Pause for a second, hovering your right foot.
Then drive off your outside left foot to reverse the movement, shuffling towards your right.
Think: chop, chop, drive.
*Note, you can always do this agility exercise behind your dumbbells instead of directly over your dumbbells (just using the dumbbells as a marker for the distance you travel laterally).
11. 180 Squat Jumps
Targets: Legs, glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, shoulders and core. Testing lower body power as you travel through all planes of motion.
How to do 180 Squat Jumps:
Start by placing two dumbbells horizontally on the mat in front of you; about two feet apart. Stand between your dumbbells in a loaded squat position facing the left.
Explode up in the air, driving your arms overhead and rotating your torso and hips towards your right. Tap both feet on the mat as your face center for a moment.
Then continue rotating until your land in a loaded squat position to the right; facing the right dumbbell.
Repeat this movement rotating from left to right, and right to left.
Modification: Omit the squat jump, pivoting your feet from side to side as you reach your arms overhead.
12. Leg Lifts Over Dumbbell
Targets: Lower abs, upper abs, obliques, core, hips and hip flexors.
How to do Leg Lifts Over a Dumbbell:
Start sitting on your mat, legs straight out in front of you and a dumbbell placed vertically on the mat in front of you.
Place your hands on the mat behind you, fingertips facing your butt. Bend your elbows to lean back, bracing your core.
Hover both legs off the mat on the right side of the dumbbell, left foot stacked over right foot.
Then squeeze your abs as you lift your legs over the dumbbell. First lift your left foot over the dumbbell, then your right foot. So now both feet are hovering off the Matt on the left side of the dumbbell.
Repeat this pattern.
Modification: Instead of hovering your legs and feet off the ground, rest your bottom leg on the mat with each dumbbell leg lift.