High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a calorie-burning workout usually performed at 75 to 90 per cent of the maximum heart rate, into two-interval; intense burst activity followed by the recovery period. But is it possible to do full-body HIIT workout using weights like dumbbells or barbell? We’ll find everything in this post such as best dumbbell HIIT workouts, how to execute them and how they help you lose weight and improve overall fitness.
In the end, I’ll also share some examples of weighted HIIT dumbbell workout routine. So keep reading till the end.
What is HIIT and why it is better?
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) means any type of workout; that alternates between intense burst activity followed by a short period of the recovery period. It includes both aerobic and anaerobic activities as well as endurance and resistance training. HIIT workout is a bit challenging but very efficient than traditional cardio and strength training.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT), improves heart health, VO2-max, increase metabolism, burns more calories in the short amount of time, develops muscles and promotes weight loss. These benefits of HIIT are based on research and studies.
HIIT isn’t the only way to burn more calories, other workout programs also give the same benefits as HIIT. But High-intensity interval training provides all the above benefits in the short amount of time. That is why it is a better training program than others.
In a study, 11 men and 27 women, aged 35 to 55, selected for the two different workout program (hypertensive-HIIT-22 members and normotensive- ET-16 members) for 8 weeks (3 sessions every week).
The training includes one-minute intense bicycling exercise followed by 2 minutes recovery period. This cycle was repeated 10 times that makes it 30 minutes HIIT session.
On the other hand, the normosensitive group, cycling for 30 minutes at normal speed.
The study demonstrated that interval training was more effective for improving and restoring normal blood pressure. This is just an illustration, there are numerous studies which proved why HIIT is better than other workout programs.
Can I do HIIT workouts with weights?
Yes, you can do full-body High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts using the weights especially the dumbbells. Adding dumbbells in your HIIT workout not only burn more calories but also help you gain muscles.
But weighted HIIT workouts are less intense than the usual HIIT exercises. For instance, if you were performing jumping jacks at 80 per cent of your maximum heart, but after holding dumbbells you won’t be able to perform at that intensity.
However, integrating both bodyweight and dumbbell HIIT workout will be quite efficient for you, if you want to lose weight and build muscles at the same time. This will give you the best result in a short amount of time.
The major equipment you need to perform the weighted HIIT workouts includes; dumbbells, barbell and the kettlebells. Out of three, the dumbbells would be an ideal choice because they allow a great range of motion as well as they are easily accessible everywhere.
The List of Best High-intensity interval training (HIIT) Dumbbell Workout (You can also do at home)
1. Jumping Jacks
When your goal is to burn more calories, increase heart rate and blood flow, the jumping jack will be an ideal choice for anyone. It will increase the VO2 max (a peak rate at which your heart, lungs, and muscles use oxygen during the activities).
You can modify and make jumping jacks an advance exercise by using a pair of dumbbells. It also works as a good warm-up exercise before performing weight lifting or long run.
How to do Dumbbell Jumping Jacks :
- Grab one dumbbell in each hand and stand straight with your feet hip-width apart, and keep the arms at your sides, chest up and back straight. That’s your starting position.
- Now slightly bend your knees and jump into the air.
- As you jump, spread your feet about slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. And at the same time, stretch your arms out and over your head. Now jump back to return in the starting position.
- Do as many reps as possible in 30 seconds then rest 30 seconds.
2. Dumbbell Burpees
Some people not even able to perform a bodyweight burpee in the correct way. And adding dumbbell with it makes it harder. But to achieve some real success you’ll have to try advance exercises like this.
Burpees is a full-body fat-burning workout that helps you burn calories and build muscles at once. It is a mix of many exercises like push-ups, squats and jump.
A study demonstrated that doing 3‐minute Burpee for 60 days will increase very good strength endurance as well as improve overall performance.
How to do dumbbell burpees:
- Grab one dumbbell in each hand and stand straight with your feet hip-width apart, and keep your arms at your side. That’s your starting position.
- Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower yourself into a squat position.
- Place the dumbbells on the floor directly and kick your legs behind and softly land your feet on the floor. Your body should be in a plank position.
- Do one push-up and Now, jump your feet back just outside of your hands.
- Now extend your arms fully over your head and jump up into the air.
- Do as many reps possible in 30 seconds then rest 30 seconds.
3. Dumbbell Squats
How many body-weight squats can you do in 30 seconds? Did you ever count? Well I did, I’ve done 40 squats in 30 seconds. Some of you can do more than me and some less, it depends on your fitness level.
If you can do even 15 squats with the dumbbells in 30 seconds, it would be good HIIT exercise. Dumbbell squats increase endurance, promote muscles gain, and burn good numbers of calories in a short amount of time.
How to perform the dumbbell squats:
- Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart with holding a dumbbell with your hands behind your head. Keep your back straight and core tight. That’s your starting position.
- Now bend your knees and slightly push your hips back to squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Then push through your heels to return in the standing position. That’s one rep!
- Do as many squats as you can do in 30 seconds then rest for 30 seconds and then move to another exercise.
4. Dumbbell Jump Squats
When you want to do an intense workout session at home, jump squat should be on your top list. Because it is a fat-burning workout that burns more calories, develops muscles strength, increases lower body muscle mass and improves overall performance.
A study demonstrated that the 8 weeks of jump squat training develop explosive strength, enhance sprint interval performance and improve athletic performance. This study also suggests short-term jump squat training can be efficient where training duration is limited.
How to do the dumbbell jump squats:
- Hold a pair of light dumbbells in your hands, stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and keep the dumbbells at your sides.
- Brace your abdominal muscles, bend your knees to squats down and then jump explosively while keeping your arms straight at your sides. then slowly land on the feet to complete one rep.
- Do as many jump-squats as possible in 30 seconds then rest for 30 seconds and then move to another exercise.
5. Dumbbell crunches
When you can do at least 20 sit-ups or crunches easily in 30 seconds, you’ll be able to perform dumbbell crunches too. Adding dumbbell in the crunches make it more advance and efficient and increase your core strength. Even it also helps you build six-pack abs faster.
How to do the dumbbell crunches:
- Hold a light dumbbell in each hand, lie on your back, bend your knees and place your feet on the floor.
- Bend your elbows and hold your arms across your chest. That’s the starting position.
- Now lift your upper body toward your knees until your abs are engaged. Then slowly return to the starting position.
- Do as many dumbbell crunches as possible in 30 seconds then rest for 30 seconds and then move to another exercise.
6. Dumbbell Surrenders
The “surrenders” an unpopular but an effective full-body dumbbell workout that works on the different muscles at once such as hamstring, glutes, quads and the shoulders. This isn’t a pure HIIT exercise but it’s a good workout to include in the HIIIT weights workouts training.
How to do the dumbbell surrenders
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip, stand on your knees and keep your arms straight at your sides, palms facing the body. Keep your back straight and core tight. That’s the beginning position.
- Take one step forward with your right foot and raise the dumbbell at shoulder height.
- Bring the left feet forward to meet your right feet to stand straight and at the same time press the dumbbells upward until your arms are straight overhead. Then slowly lower the dumbbells at your sides. That’s one complete rep.
- Do as many dumbbell-surrenders as possible in 30 seconds then rest for 30 seconds and then move to another exercise.
7. Dumbbell Push Press
The dumbbell push-press is a is an upper body strength workout that gives the wide array of benefits. It increases the muscles strength, improves athletic performance, enhances stability and burns a good number of calories.
It works on the several muscles of the body such as shoulders, quadriceps, lower back, traps and the triceps.
You can do the push-press using the different weights such as dumbbell, barbell and the kettle-bell.
Here are steps to do the dumbbell push-press
- Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart with holding a pair of dumbbells in your hands, bend your elbows and keep the dumbbells just over your shoulder, palms facing each other.
- Bend your knees and hips, and do half squat and then push your torso and chest upwards using the legs forcefully drive yourself toward the ceiling until your arms are completely straight.
- Then slowly lower the dumbbell where they were. That’s one complete rep.
- Do as many push-press as you can in 30 seconds then rest for 30 seconds and then move to another exercise.
8. Dumbbell Man Makers
“The Dumbbell Man-maker” another unfamiliar but efficient workout which works on the entire body. When you think, how to do the HIIT workouts with weights, this exercise will be on your top 10 list of dumbbell HIIT workouts.
This is not less than regular HIIT exercises, even it’s better than many high-intensity workouts. It not only burns calories but also helps you build muscles.
How to do the Dumbbell Man Makers
- Start with standing in the shoulder-width stance with holding a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip.
- Now get into a push-up position with your arms extended and push your chest toward the floor to complete one push-up.
- Now lift your right arm dumbbell out to the side until your arm reached shoulder height and then bring it down. Repeat this move with your opposite arm.
- And to do the final step, bring both legs inwards with your feet wider than your hands; get in a squat position and then push the dumbbells up toward the sky until your arms are fully extended. That’s one rep!
- Do as many reps as possible in 60 seconds then rest for 60 seconds.
9. Dumbbell High Knees
High-knees is also a most favourite calorie-burning high-intensity warm-up exercise. It increases the heart rate and improves VO2 max that allows your heart and lungs uses to take oxygen more efficiently.
Doing high-knees consistently improve your heart health, boost metabolism, improve athletic performance and burn the maximum number of calories that help you lose weight.
You can inlcude dumbbell high-knees in your HIIT weights workouts.
Here’s how you can perform the dumbbell high-knees.
- Stand straight in the hip-width stance with holding a dumbbell in each hand at stomach height, palms facing each. (Your position will be the same as you do bodyweight high-knees, but instead of empty hands, hold the dumbbells.)
- Raise your right knee until it comes close to the dumbbell, and then land your feet on the ground.
- As you land your right leg on the ground, repeat the same movement with your left leg. And continue for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds.
10. Dumbbell Thruster
If you have dumbbells you can do a lot of exercises. Combining dumbbell HIIT workouts and body-weight HIIT workout will give you the best result in a short period.
Dumbbell thruster also burns plenty of calories and doing consistently help you lose weight and build muscles at once.
How to do the Dumbbell thruster
- Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart with holding a pair of dumbbells in your hands, bend your elbows and keep the dumbbells across your shoulder, palms facing each other.
- Keep your back straight, bend at your knees and hips and perform a squat.
- Then stand up explosively with pushing through your heels and press the weights straight overhead until your arms are fully extended. Then lower the dumbbells into the starting position.
- Do as many thrusters as possible in 30 seconds then rest for 30 seconds and then move to another exercise.
Samples of weighted HIIT dumbbell workouts Routine
You can do these exercise into two intervals; 30 seconds exercise and 30 seconds rest. This is just an example, you can decide your own intervals.
|Jumping Jacks||Dumbbell High Knees||Jumping Jacks|
|Squats||Dumbbell Man-Makers||Dumbbell Surrenders|
|crunches||crunches||Dumbbell Push Press|
|Dumbbell Push Press||Squats||Jump Squats|
|Three (3) Repetitions.||Three (3) Repetitions.||3 Repetitions.|
These are the list of best weighted HIIT Workout that can be done with dumbbells. But, only exercises may not give you the best result. That’s why including low-calorie protein foods is important if your goal is weight loss. However, if you want to gain weight I prefer weight training over high-intensity interval training.