20 Minutes And Dumbbells Are All You Need For This Crazy-Effective HIIT Workout

Kara Liotta, CPT
·5 mins read
Photo credit: Kathryn Wirsing
Photo credit: Kathryn Wirsing

From Women's Health

HIIT workouts are one of my favorite types of exercise because they get your heart-rate and energy levels up in a major way while also helping you build your overall strength.

That's why I designed my "Dumbbell HIIT" program for the All/Out Studio app. Through a series of quick-but-intense workouts, you'll combine strength moves with high-intensity interval training that'll help you get the most out of your workout.

In this routine from the program, I take you through six moves that you'll do three times through. Here's the entire workout at a glance, and you'll find a form breakdown of how to do each move below. (And if you like sweating with me here, I hope you'll download All/Out Studio to do my entire program.)

Your 20-Minute Dumbbell HIIT Workout

  • Reverse Lunges

  • Squat to Press Twists

  • Skullcrushers

  • High Knees

  • Mountain Climbers

  • High Knees

Before you jump into the workout, though, it's important to start with a good dynamic warm-up. All it takes is three minutes to get your body ready for the routine ahead.

Photo credit: Jewelyn Butron
Photo credit: Jewelyn Butron

To start, stand with your feet wider than your shoulders, and extend your arms straight out to either side at shoulder height. Then, swing them forward to wrap yourself in a hug. Return to start and repeat this three more times.

Next, perform 10 reps of each of the following moves: lateral lunges, bodyweight squats, and reverse lunges. For single-leg exercises, alternate sides as you go.

Finally, you'll finish your warm-up with 30 seconds of jumping jacks followed by 30 seconds of squat jumps or calf raises. You should be warmed up at this point; now it's time to get to work.

Time: 20 minutes

Equipment: Dumbbells

Good for: total body, cardio

Instructions: Perform as many reps as possible of each move in the prescribed amount of time, then continue immediately to the next exercise without resting. That's one set. Do three sets total without taking breaks in between. After your third and final set, rest for 30 seconds, and then complete the 60-second finisher below.

Reverse Lunge

How to: Start standing with feet hip-width apart, holdings dumbbells at sides. Step back with right leg and bend both knees to lower down until legs are bent at 90-degree angles. Push through left foot to reverse the movement and return to start. That's one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 60 seconds, then continue to the next move.

To turn the heat up (even more): Every time you stand back up after a reverse lunge, swing your arms up overhead, then lower them back down by your sides and start your next rep.

Squat to Press Twist

How to: Start standing, feet hip-distance apart, toes pointed out slightly. Dumbbells should be in either hand and resting lightly on shoulders. Sit back into a squat until thighs are parallel with the ground. Drive up through heels to standing while raising right arm toward ceiling, turning torso toward the left, and lifting right heel to pivot on it. Come back to center as you sit into the squat, then stand while raising left warm toward ceiling, turning torso toward the right, and lifting left heel to pivot on it. That's one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 60 seconds, then continue to the next move.

Skullcrusher

How to: Start lying down with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with arms reaching toward the ceiling over chest. Slowly bend elbows to 90 degrees, lowering weights over head, then, with control, bring the dumbbells back to start position. That's one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 60 seconds, then continue to the next move.

High Knees

How to: Start standing with feet under hips and arms at sides. Drive right knee up to chest, return foot to floor, and repeat with left, switching feet as fast as possible and pumping arms similar to running motion. That's one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 20 seconds, then continue to the next move.

Mountain Climber

How to: Start in a plank position. Drive right knee toward chest, return to a plank and quickly repeat with left knee. That's one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 20 seconds, then continue to the next move.

High Knees

How to: Start standing with feet under hips and arms at sides. Drive right knee up to chest, return foot to floor, and repeat with left, switching feet as fast as possible and pumping arms similar to running motion. That's one rep. Complete as many reps as possible in 20 seconds, then start the circuit again with the first move. After your third and final round, rest for 30 seconds, then move on to the finisher.

The Finisher

Okay, you're almost through! Here's the final push for some extra burn. Complete the prescribed number of reps for each move below, then continue on to the next without rest. That's one round. Complete as many rounds as possible in two minutes.

  • 4 x squat jumps

  • 16 x high knees

  • 16 x mountain climbers

  • 16 x flutter kicks

And remember: If you liked this workout, you can get more where it came from by downloading the All/Out Studio app and doing my "Dumbbell HIIT" program there.

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