The Full-Physique HIIT Exercise for Fast Conditioning

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

Quick and environment friendly coaching is important for getting outcomes with comparatively brief exercises, and HIIT workouts are one efficient approach to get there. Excessive depth interval coaching, or HIIT, is a coaching approach that repeats alternating durations of difficult train with durations 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 total 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 acceptable weight and a few clear ground house. That’s it. With this minimal setup, you’ll be able to carry out the exercise at dwelling, open air, in a crowded industrial fitness center, on the most barebones hotel gym when touring, or anyplace you want a quick and effective workout.

Since you’re coaching your total physique, carry out the exercise one to a few instances per week relying in your total coaching plan. You’ll be able to program the exercise as a cardiovascular conditioning session or, in case you pair it with a well-designed vitamin plan, it could possibly match proper right into a fat loss routine.

HIIT exercises are sometimes outlined by intense coaching phases interspersed with durations of relaxation. This exercise satisfies that strategy by working your higher and decrease physique with supersets (the extreme section) and capping off the paired workout routines with a loaded carry (the “restoration”). Repeat the primary three-exercise collection for 3 to 4 complete units earlier than transferring to the second three-exercise collection.

If wanted, relaxation as much as three minutes between every collection, however purpose to finish the complete exercise with out important relaxation.

Dumbbell Deadlift

The deadlift is a high-impact, bang to 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 total outcomes from a conditioning and muscle-building perspective.

The weights will possible not problem your grip energy considerably, so give attention to strict kind all through the set. Don’t enable the circuit format to trick you into speeding by way of a partial vary of movement.

  • The way to Do it: Stand upright holding a pair of dumbbells at your facet. 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. While 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 subsequent 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 improve total muscle activation.

Hammer Curl and Press

It is a dumbbell variation of a clear and press, which works nearly all of muscular tissues 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 sturdy pulling place (compared to a traditional palm-up curl) whereas additionally recruiting your brachialis for elevated total arm measurement.

  • The way to Do it: Get up holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides. Preserve your core tight and don’t use your torso to swing the weights up. Carry out a strong hammer curl, retaining your elbows pinned to your sides whereas driving your thumbs towards your shoulders. Because the weights strategy the highest place, easily transition into an overhead press. After locking the weights overhead, reverse your entire course of to deliver 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 subsequent 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 max 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 burden together with your arms bent and the burden at shoulder-level. This shifts your heart of gravity, making the train rather more demanding in your core than your grip.

In contrast to a standard farmer’s stroll together with your arms by your facet, your grip energy is sort of a non-issue with the train as a result of your arms and forearms aren’t supporting the burden. Your higher again, shoulders, abdominals, and decrease again are the first stabilizers.

  • The way to Do it: After the ultimate repetition of the hammer curl and press, decrease the burden to shoulder-height however don’t “curl” the burden all the way down to your sides. Preserve 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. Preserve your elbows aimed ahead or barely up and stroll with cautious, deliberate steps. Preserve your core tight and your shoulder blades pinched collectively. When the set is accomplished, fastidiously deliver the dumbbells to the ground and relaxation.
  • Units and Reps: 3-4 x 100 complete 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 velocity (with out operating). This will profit these with pre-existing knee or ankle issues and people with common mobility points.

Reverse Lunge

The reverse lunge is a unilateral (single-leg) train which helps to handle 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 total outcomes.

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

  • The way to Do it: Get 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. Preserve your torso principally vertical as you step. Bend your left leg to descend, retaining nearly all of your physique weight distributed in your left foot. While you attain a snug depth, presumably together with your proper knee grazing the ground, drive by way of your left foot and convey 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 subsequent train

Advantages of the Reverse Lunge

  • Unilateral leg workout routines just like the reverse lunge might carryover to improved energy, stability, and athleticism. (1)
  • The reverse lunge can assist to handle potential energy discrepancies, which can assist to cut back the danger of damage.

Renegade Row

The renegade row simply could be some of the environment friendly methods to construct high-level energy in your total 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 gear past some easy dumbbells.

This train may even be carried out with none weights. You’ll lose virtually the entire 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.

  • The way 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 by way of 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 burden towards the surface of your ribs. Pause briefly earlier than decreasing the burden. Re-stabilize your physique earlier than repeating with the other facet.
  • Units and Reps: 3-4 x 10-12 reps per arm
  • Relaxation Time: No relaxation earlier than transferring to the subsequent train

Advantages of the Renegade Row

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

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 traditional farmer’s stroll whereas overloading your core stabilizers by offsetting the load to at least one facet of your physique.

When performing the suitcase carry, purpose to stroll with a comparatively easy stride. Attempt to not let the burden lurch you off-course with every step. Management the burden and preserve your posture for max profit.

  • The way to Do it: Stand with a dumbbell in a single hand, at your facet. Preserve your arm straight and your shoulders pulled again. Keep a vertical torso — don’t enable the burden to tug you to at least one facet and don’t overcompensate by leaning excessively away from the burden. Stroll with regular, deliberate steps. After you’ve reached the predetermined distance, swap arms and repeat. The set isn’t thought of full till you’ve walked with the burden 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 muscular tissues and decrease again.
  • The suitcase carry will construct grip energy as a secondary profit to core stability and cardiovascular conditioning.

Muscle groups Educated Throughout a Full-Physique HIIT Exercise

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


The muscular tissues throughout your total again — together with your decrease again, higher again, and lats — might be recruited throughout nearly all of workout routines within the exercise. Your again muscular tissues will both be concerned actively (for instance, in the course of the hammer curl and press and the renegade row) or as stabilizers (in the course of the dumbbell deadlift and loaded carries)


Your shoulder muscular tissues are closely concerned to stabilize the burden throughout any loaded carry. They’re additionally instantly recruited in the course of the hammer curl and press and renegade row. Attributable to their relative measurement and energy, your shoulders might fatigue earlier than different physique components in the course of the exercise.

Alter the burden (and, if mandatory, 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 workout routines 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 lively throughout unweighted strolling. Performing any loaded carry will increase the recruitment of those vital muscular tissues even moreso. The suitcase carry, apparently, might also improve recruitment of the glutes to supply stability whereas strolling. (2)


Your core, usually thought of 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 of a dynamic variation of the plank (which is a basic core-training train), it additionally instantly works your core.

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

The way to Heat-up for a Full-Physique HIIT Exercise

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

Run by way of the next collection as a circuit, performing the workout routines 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 by way of the warm-up, your depth will possible improve. Deal with retaining 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 facet of, the opposite. Hinge at your hips and attain towards your entrance foot whereas retaining a impartial backbone. In case your steadiness permits, let your rear leg barely elevate into the air. While you really feel stress at the back of your entrance leg, return to a standing place. Carry out 5 repetitions per leg.
  • Push-up: Drop right into a traditional push-up place, supporting your physique in your arms and toes whereas retaining a straight line by way of 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 snug. 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 complete push-up place. Repeat with the other facet. Proceed alternating faucets for five repetitions per facet.

Head-to-Toe HIIT

HIIT exercises don’t want to incorporate high-repetition body weight workout routines or high-athleticism explosive plyometrics. A HIIT session solely wants you to push your self onerous earlier than recovering sufficient to go simply as onerous within the subsequent set. This mix of full-body supersets and loaded carries suits the invoice. If and if you uncover an appreciation for HIIT, don’t be shocked if these environment friendly periods 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, Ok. 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 Evaluate 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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