The Full-Physique HIIT Exercise for Fast Conditioning

Many individuals need to present as much as the health club, train simply sufficient to attain their outcomes, and get out ASAP to return to “the actual world.” Positive, there are some who use the health club as a meditative area and practically attain a Zen state after a couple of dozen units of transferring iron, however that’s not the bulk.

Quick and environment friendly coaching is crucial for getting outcomes with comparatively quick exercises, and HIIT workouts are one efficient solution to get there. Excessive depth interval coaching, or HIIT, is a coaching approach that repeats alternating intervals of difficult train with intervals of restoration all through a coaching session.

Credit score: MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

HIIT might be utilized to any variety of exercise strategies, from barbell coaching to treadmill workouts. To crank up the effectivity to the utmost, here’s a detailed routine to coach your complete physique with a single HIIT exercise.

Full-Physique HIIT Exercise

The Complete Physique Dumbbell HIIT Exercise

This total-body exercise requires a pair of dumbbells at an applicable weight and a few clear ground area. That’s it. With this minimal setup, you possibly can carry out the exercise at house, outside, in a crowded industrial health club, on the most barebones hotel gym when touring, or anyplace you want a quick and effective workout.

Since you’re coaching your complete physique, carry out the exercise one to a few instances per week relying in your general coaching plan. You possibly can program the exercise as a cardiovascular conditioning session or, when you pair it with a well-designed vitamin plan, it might probably match proper right into a fat loss routine.

HIIT exercises are usually outlined by intense coaching phases interspersed with intervals of relaxation. This exercise satisfies that method by working your higher and decrease physique with supersets (the extreme part) and capping off the paired workouts with a loaded carry (the “restoration”). Repeat the primary three-exercise sequence for 3 to 4 whole units earlier than transferring to the second three-exercise sequence.

If wanted, relaxation as much as three minutes between every sequence, however purpose to finish the total exercise with out vital relaxation.

Dumbbell Deadlift

The deadlift is a high-impact, bang in your buck train. Switching from a barbell to dumbbells trades most weight for barely extra muscle recruitment and longer vary of movement, which might yield higher general outcomes from a conditioning and muscle-building perspective.

The weights will probably not problem your grip energy considerably, so deal with strict kind all through the set. Don’t permit the circuit format to trick you into speeding via a partial vary of movement.

  • Methods to Do it: Stand upright holding a pair of dumbbells at your aspect. Take a hip-width stance and barely bend your legs. Keep a impartial backbone and shift your hips again. Decrease the weights towards your toes by bending your legs and driving your hips and glutes towards the wall behind you. Whenever you really feel a most stretch in your hamstrings, push your hips ahead till you come back upright.
  • Units and Reps: 3-4 x 10-12
  • Relaxation Time: No relaxation earlier than transferring to the following train

Advantages of the Dumbbell Deadlift

  • The dumbbell deadlift primarily works your glutes and hamstrings with help out of your higher and decrease again.
  • The train permits a comparatively longer vary of movement in comparison with a barbell deadlift, which might enhance general muscle activation.

Hammer Curl and Press

It is a dumbbell variation of a clear and press, which works nearly all of muscle mass in your higher physique. The usual clear and press makes use of explosive decrease physique motion to provoke the train, however the hammer curl and press maintains focus in your higher physique — particularly your shoulders, higher again, and arms.

The thumbs-up, hammer curl place places your arms in a mechanically robust pulling place (compared to a traditional palm-up curl) whereas additionally recruiting your brachialis for elevated general arm measurement.

  • Methods to Do it: Rise up holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides. Hold your core tight and don’t use your torso to swing the weights up. Carry out a robust hammer curl, maintaining your elbows pinned to your sides whereas driving your thumbs towards your shoulders. Because the weights method the highest place, easily transition into an overhead press. After locking the weights overhead, reverse the whole course of to carry the weights all the way down to your sides.
  • Units and Reps: 3-4 x 10-12
  • Relaxation Time: No relaxation earlier than transferring to the following train

Advantages of the Hammer Curl and Press

  • The hammer curl and press effectively trains your biceps, shoulders, triceps, higher again, and core in a single motion.
  • The motion might be carried out with strict kind for optimum higher physique muscle activation. Decrease physique involvement (“leg drive”) might be added as a deliberate approach to extend coaching quantity after fatigue begins to set in, just like performing forced reps.

Rack Stroll

The rack stroll is a farmer’s carry variation that helps the load together with your arms bent and the load at shoulder-level. This shifts your middle of gravity, making the train far more demanding in your core than your grip.

Not like a standard farmer’s stroll together with your arms by your aspect, your grip energy is almost a non-issue with the train as a result of your arms and forearms aren’t supporting the load. Your higher again, shoulders, abdominals, and decrease again are the first stabilizers.

  • Methods to Do it: After the ultimate repetition of the hammer curl and press, decrease the load to shoulder-height however don’t “curl” the load all the way down to your sides. Hold your palms going through in towards one another and let the thumb-side of the dumbbell relaxation on the entrance of your shoulder — not the highest of your shoulder close to your neck. Hold your elbows aimed ahead or barely up and stroll with cautious, deliberate steps. Hold your core tight and your shoulder blades pinched collectively. When the set is accomplished, rigorously carry the dumbbells to the ground and relaxation.
  • Units and Reps: 3-4 x 100 whole steps or roughly one minute
  • Relaxation Time: Relaxation 60 seconds earlier than repeating the primary train.

Advantages of the Rack Stroll

  • This loaded carry variation emphasizes core energy and stability, whereas many different loaded carries might be restricted by your grip energy.
  • The rack stroll, and different loaded carries, permits lifters to carry out high-intensity cardiovascular train whereas transferring at a comparatively decrease pace (with out operating). This could profit these with pre-existing knee or ankle issues and people with normal mobility points.

Reverse Lunge

The reverse lunge is a unilateral (single-leg) train which helps to deal with the sorts of energy and muscular discrepancies that naturally happen in most individuals. Many lifters overfocus on bilateral (two-leg) actions, however the easy addition of a lunge can considerably enhance general outcomes.

By stepping backward, your entrance leg — the one doing nearly all of the work — is saved in a comparatively secure place. This helps to lower knee pressure, making the train an excellent alternative for anybody with decrease physique aches and pains.

  • Methods to Do it: Rise up straight with the dumbbells down at your sides. Take a longer-than-usual step backward together with your proper leg, touchdown on the ball of your foot. Hold your torso largely vertical as you step. Bend your left leg to descend, maintaining nearly all of your physique weight distributed in your left foot. Whenever you attain a cushty depth, probably together with your proper knee grazing the ground, drive via your left foot and produce your proper leg ahead to the beginning place. Repeat with the other leg. One step with every leg is taken into account “one rep.”
  • Units and Reps: 3-4 x 10-12 reps per leg
  • Relaxation Time: No relaxation earlier than transferring to the following train

Advantages of the Reverse Lunge

  • Unilateral leg workouts just like the reverse lunge could carryover to improved energy, stability, and athleticism. (1)
  • The reverse lunge might help to deal with potential energy discrepancies, which can assist to scale back the danger of damage.

Renegade Row

The renegade row simply may be probably the most environment friendly methods to construct high-level energy in your complete higher physique. It combines the dynamic core-stability advantages of a plank with the again and shoulder muscle-building advantages of a dumbbell row, utilizing no tools past some easy dumbbells.

This train may even be carried out with none weights. You’ll lose virtually all the again and shoulder-building advantages, however you’ll nonetheless have an intense plank variation to work your abs, obliques, decrease again, and hips. A extra superior variation provides a push-up after every dumbbell row.

  • Methods to Do it: Assume a push-up place on the ground holding a dumbbell in every hand together with your palms going through one another. Drive via your arms to press the weights into the bottom for added stability. Assist your self in your toes together with your legs straight. Keep a impartial backbone, not permitting your hips to dip towards the bottom or pitch as much as the ceiling. Drive your left elbow up, pulling the load towards the skin of your ribs. Pause briefly earlier than reducing the load. Re-stabilize your physique earlier than repeating with the other aspect.
  • Units and Reps: 3-4 x 10-12 reps per arm
  • Relaxation Time: No relaxation earlier than transferring to the following train

Advantages of the Renegade Row

  • The renegade row builds core energy and stability, just like a complicated plank.
  • The train builds “useful” total-body energy by actively pulling with one aspect of the physique whereas coordinating stability with the opposing aspect.

Suitcase Carry

The suitcase carry is actually a one-arm farmer’s stroll. It yields the head-to-toe energy and conditioning advantages of the basic farmer’s stroll whereas overloading your core stabilizers by offsetting the load to 1 aspect of your physique.

When performing the suitcase carry, purpose to stroll with a comparatively clean stride. Strive to not let the load lurch you off-course with every step. Management the load and keep your posture for optimum profit.

  • Methods to Do it: Stand with a dumbbell in a single hand, at your aspect. Hold your arm straight and your shoulders pulled again. Keep a vertical torso — don’t permit the load to tug you to 1 aspect and don’t overcompensate by leaning excessively away from the load. Stroll with regular, deliberate steps. After you’ve reached the predetermined distance, change arms and repeat. The set isn’t thought-about full till you’ve walked with the load on each side.
  • Units and Reps: 3-4 x 50 steps (or roughly 30 seconds) per arm
  • Relaxation Time: Relaxation 60 seconds earlier than repeating the primary train.

Advantages of the Suitcase Carry

  • Holding a dumbbell in just one hand creates an offset load which will increase recruitment of core stabilizers, particularly your indirect muscle mass and decrease again.
  • The suitcase carry will construct grip energy as a secondary profit to core stability and cardiovascular conditioning.

Muscle tissue Educated Throughout a Full-Physique HIIT Exercise

Whereas that is technically a full-body HIIT exercise, and your complete physique is being stimulated all through the session, some physique elements are extra immediately recruited than others.


The muscle mass throughout your complete again — together with your decrease again, higher again, and lats — will likely be recruited throughout nearly all of workouts within the exercise. Your again muscle mass will both be concerned actively (for instance, throughout the hammer curl and press and the renegade row) or as stabilizers (throughout the dumbbell deadlift and loaded carries)


Your shoulder muscle mass are closely concerned to stabilize the load throughout any loaded carry. They’re additionally immediately recruited throughout the hammer curl and press and renegade row. Because of their relative measurement and energy, your shoulders could fatigue earlier than different physique elements throughout the exercise.

Modify the load (and, if vital, the units and reps) to accommodate the weakest hyperlink. As your physique progressively adapts to the pressure, your shoulder energy ought to considerably enhance.

Muscular person flexing shoulders and upper back
Credit score: Viktor Gladkov / Shutterstock


Your hips, glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves will obtain ample stimulation from nearly all of workouts within the exercise. The dumbbell deadlift emphasizes your glutes and hamstrings, whereas the reverse lunge is a really efficient quadriceps train.

Each the rack stroll and suitcase carry will work your hips and calves, as these muscle teams are extremely energetic throughout unweighted strolling. Performing any loaded carry will increase the recruitment of those important muscle mass even moreso. The suitcase carry, curiously, can also enhance recruitment of the glutes to offer stability whereas strolling. (2)


Your core, typically thought-about to incorporate your abdominals and decrease again, will get a critical exercise throughout any loaded carry. As a result of the renegade row could possibly be thought-about a dynamic variation of the plank (which is a elementary core-training train), it additionally immediately works your core.

A devoted ab exercise isn’t included on this full-body HIIT exercise as a result of it may probably trigger extreme fatigue and interrupt efficiency of the first workouts. A separate ab workout could possibly be carried out on a day if you’re not additionally performing this HIIT exercise.

Methods to Heat-up for a Full-Physique HIIT Exercise

An intensive, if transient, warm-up can enhance efficiency in a weight coaching session. (3) These advantages are important even when the session is conditioning-focused, fairly than a coaching plan designed for energy or muscle-building. Right here’s an environment friendly solution to put together your self for this full-body HIIT exercise with out excessive ranges of fatigue.

Run via the next sequence as a circuit, performing the workouts in sequence, earlier than resting briefly. Repeat for a complete of three circuits. This environment friendly warm-up is completed utilizing solely your physique weight.

  • Squat: Take a barely wider than shoulder-width stance. Squat as deep as mobility permits — as you progress via the warm-up, your depth will probably enhance. Concentrate on maintaining your toes flat on the ground and your torso vertical. Carry out 10 to fifteen repetitions.
  • Single-Leg Toe Contact: Take a staggered stance with one foot barely in entrance, and to the aspect of, the opposite. Hinge at your hips and attain towards your entrance foot whereas maintaining a impartial backbone. In case your stability permits, let your rear leg barely elevate into the air. Whenever you really feel pressure behind your entrance leg, return to a standing place. Carry out 5 repetitions per leg.
  • Push-up: Drop right into a basic push-up place, supporting your physique in your arms and toes whereas maintaining a straight line via your trunk and legs. Set your arms barely wider than shoulder-width aside. Bend your arms to decrease your self as near the bottom as comfy. Pause briefly earlier than returning to the highest place. Carry out 5 repetitions.
  • Shoulder-Faucet Plank: After your closing push-up, maintain the highest place. Unfold your toes well-beyond shoulder-width. Brace your proper arm securely by driving your proper hand into the bottom. Shortly “faucet” your proper shoulder utilizing your left hand earlier than returning to the total push-up place. Repeat with the other aspect. Proceed alternating faucets for five repetitions per aspect.

Head-to-Toe HIIT

HIIT exercises don’t want to incorporate high-repetition body weight workouts or high-athleticism explosive plyometrics. A HIIT session solely wants you to push your self exhausting earlier than recovering sufficient to go simply as exhausting within the subsequent set. This mix of full-body supersets and loaded carries matches the invoice. If and if you uncover an appreciation for HIIT, don’t be shocked if these environment friendly classes make recurring appearances in your common programming.


  1. Speirs, Derrick E.1,2; Bennett, Mark A.3; Finn, Charlotte V.4; Turner, Anthony P.2. Unilateral vs. Bilateral Squat Coaching for Power, Sprints, and Agility in Academy Rugby Gamers. Journal of Power and Conditioning Analysis 30(2):p 386-392, February 2016. | DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001096
  2. Holmstrup, M. E., Kelley, M. A., Calhoun, Okay. R., & Kiess, C. L. (2018). Fats-Free Mass and the Steadiness Error Scoring System Predict an Applicable Maximal Load within the Unilateral Farmer’s Stroll. Sports activities (Basel, Switzerland), 6(4), 166.
  3. Fradkin, Andrea J1; Zazryn, Tsharni R2; Smoliga, James M3. Results of Warming-up on Bodily Efficiency: A Systematic Overview With Meta-analysis. Journal of Power and Conditioning Analysis 24(1):p 140-148, January 2010. | DOI: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181c643a0

Featured Picture: Vladimir Sukhachev / Shutterstock

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