The Full-Physique HIIT Exercise for Fast Conditioning

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

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

Credit score: MDV Edwards / Shutterstock

HIIT will 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 applicable weight and a few clear flooring area. That’s it. With this minimal setup, you’ll be able to carry out the exercise at dwelling, open air, in a crowded business 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 3 occasions per week relying in your general coaching plan. You possibly can program the exercise as a cardiovascular conditioning session or, should you pair it with a well-designed vitamin plan, it could actually match proper right into a fat loss routine.

HIIT exercises are usually outlined by intense coaching phases interspersed with durations of relaxation. This exercise satisfies that method by working your higher and decrease physique with supersets (the extraordinary 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 shifting to the second three-exercise sequence.

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

Dumbbell Deadlift

The deadlift is a high-impact, bang on 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 power considerably, so concentrate on strict type all through the set. Don’t enable the circuit format to trick you into dashing by means of a partial vary of movement.

  • The right way to Do it: Stand upright holding a pair of dumbbells at your facet. Take a hip-width stance and barely bend your legs. Preserve 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 shifting 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

This can be a dumbbell variation of a clear and press, which works the vast majority of muscle 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 robust pulling place (compared to a traditional palm-up curl) whereas additionally recruiting your brachialis for elevated general arm measurement.

  • The right way to Do it: Rise up holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides. Maintain your core tight and don’t use your torso to swing the weights up. Carry out a strong hammer curl, conserving 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 your entire course of to carry the weights right down to your sides.
  • Units and Reps: 3-4 x 10-12
  • Relaxation Time: No relaxation earlier than shifting 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 will be carried out with strict type for max higher physique muscle activation. Decrease physique involvement (“leg drive”) will be added as a deliberate method to extend coaching quantity after fatigue begins to set in, much 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 power is sort of a non-issue with the train as a result of your fingers and forearms aren’t supporting the burden. Your higher again, shoulders, abdominals, and decrease again are the first stabilizers.

  • The right 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 right down to your sides. Maintain 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. Maintain your elbows aimed ahead or barely up and stroll with cautious, deliberate steps. Maintain 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 power and stability, whereas many different loaded carries will be restricted by your grip power.
  • The rack stroll, and different loaded carries, permits lifters to carry out high-intensity cardiovascular train whereas shifting at a comparatively decrease pace (with out operating). This will profit these with pre-existing knee or ankle issues and people with basic mobility points.

Reverse Lunge

The reverse lunge is a unilateral (single-leg) train which helps to handle the sorts of power 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 the vast majority of the work — is stored in a comparatively secure place. This helps to lower knee pressure, making the train a super alternative for anybody with decrease physique aches and pains.

  • The right way 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. Maintain your torso principally vertical as you step. Bend your left leg to descend, conserving the vast majority of your physique weight distributed in your left foot. While you attain a cushty depth, presumably together with your proper knee grazing the ground, drive by means of your left foot and produce your proper leg ahead to the beginning place. Repeat with the alternative 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 shifting to the following train

Advantages of the Reverse Lunge

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

Renegade Row

The renegade row simply may be some of the environment friendly methods to construct high-level power 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 nearly 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 right 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 means of your arms to press the weights into the bottom for added stability. Assist your self in your toes together with your legs straight. Preserve 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 reducing the burden. Re-stabilize your physique earlier than repeating with the alternative facet.
  • Units and Reps: 3-4 x 10-12 reps per arm
  • Relaxation Time: No relaxation earlier than shifting to the following train

Advantages of the Renegade Row

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

Suitcase Carry

The suitcase carry is basically a one-arm farmer’s stroll. It yields the head-to-toe power 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, goal to stroll with a comparatively clean 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 right way to Do it: Stand with a dumbbell in a single hand, at your facet. Maintain your arm straight and your shoulders pulled again. Preserve a vertical torso — don’t enable the burden to drag 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 fingers and repeat. The set isn’t thought of full till you’ve walked with the burden on either 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 tissues and decrease again.
  • The suitcase carry will construct grip power as a secondary profit to core stability and cardiovascular conditioning.

Muscle tissue Skilled 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 elements are extra straight recruited than others.


The muscle tissues throughout your total again — together with your decrease again, higher again, and lats — will likely be recruited throughout the vast majority of workouts within the exercise. Your again muscle tissues 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 tissues are closely concerned to stabilize the burden throughout any loaded carry. They’re additionally straight recruited throughout the hammer curl and press and renegade row. Attributable to their relative measurement and power, your shoulders might fatigue earlier than different physique elements throughout the exercise.

Modify the burden (and, if obligatory, the units and reps) to accommodate the weakest hyperlink. As your physique progressively adapts to the pressure, your shoulder power 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 the vast majority 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 tissues even moreso. The suitcase carry, curiously, may additionally enhance recruitment of the glutes to supply stability whereas strolling. (2)


Your core, typically 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 might be thought of a dynamic variation of the plank (which is a elementary core-training train), it additionally straight works your core.

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

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

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

Run by means of 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 by means of the warm-up, your depth will probably enhance. Give attention to conserving your ft 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 conserving a impartial backbone. In case your stability permits, let your rear leg barely elevate into the air. While you really feel pressure 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 fingers and toes whereas conserving a straight line by means of your trunk and legs. Set your fingers 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 last push-up, maintain the highest place. Unfold your ft well-beyond shoulder-width. Brace your proper arm securely by driving your proper hand into the bottom. Rapidly “faucet” your proper shoulder utilizing your left hand earlier than returning to the total push-up place. Repeat with the alternative facet. Proceed alternating faucets for five repetitions per facet.

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 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, Okay. R., & Kiess, C. L. (2018). Fats-Free Mass and the Stability 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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