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 true world.” Positive, there are some who use the health club as a meditative area and almost 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 important 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 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 complete physique with a single HIIT exercise.

Full-Physique HIIT Exercise

The Whole Physique Dumbbell HIIT Exercise

This total-body exercise requires a pair of dumbbells at an acceptable weight and a few clear flooring area. That’s it. With this minimal setup, you may carry out the exercise at dwelling, 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 3 instances per week relying in your total coaching plan. You may program the exercise as a cardiovascular conditioning session or, when you pair it with a well-designed diet plan, it will 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 workouts with a loaded carry (the “restoration”). Repeat the primary three-exercise collection for 3 to 4 whole units earlier than transferring to the second three-exercise collection.

If wanted, relaxation as much as three minutes between every collection, however goal to finish the complete exercise with out vital 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 seemingly not problem your grip power considerably, so give attention to strict kind all through the set. Don’t permit the circuit format to trick you into speeding by a partial vary of movement.

  • Tips on how 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. If 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 enhance total muscle activation.

Hammer Curl and Press

It is 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 sturdy pulling place (compared to a traditional palm-up curl) whereas additionally recruiting your brachialis for elevated total arm measurement.

  • Tips on how to Do it: Get 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, preserving 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 all the course of to convey 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 will be carried out with strict kind for max higher physique muscle activation. Decrease physique involvement (“leg drive”) will be added as a deliberate approach 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 middle of gravity, making the train rather more demanding in your core than your grip.

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

  • Tips on how 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. Hold your palms dealing with 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, fastidiously convey 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 transferring 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 deal with 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 total outcomes.

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

  • Tips on how 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. Hold your torso principally vertical as you step. Bend your left leg to descend, preserving the vast majority of your physique weight distributed in your left foot. If you attain a cushty depth, probably together with your proper knee grazing the ground, drive by 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 workouts just like the reverse lunge could carryover to improved power, stability, and athleticism. (1)
  • The reverse lunge will help to deal with potential power discrepancies, which can assist to scale back the chance of damage.

Renegade Row

The renegade row simply could be one of the environment friendly methods to construct high-level power 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.

  • Tips on how to Do it: Assume a push-up place on the ground holding a dumbbell in every hand together with your palms dealing with one another. Drive by your arms to press the weights into the bottom for added stability. Help 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 reducing the burden. 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 subsequent train

Advantages of the Renegade Row

  • The renegade row builds core power and stability, much like a complicated plank.
  • The train builds “purposeful” total-body power 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 power and conditioning advantages of the basic farmer’s stroll whereas overloading your core stabilizers by offsetting the load to at least one aspect 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.

  • Tips on how 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 burden to tug you to at least one aspect and don’t overcompensate by leaning excessively away from the burden. Stroll with regular, deliberate steps. After you’ve reached the predetermined distance, change palms 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 muscle tissues and decrease again.
  • The suitcase carry will construct grip power as a secondary profit to core stability and cardiovascular conditioning.

Muscle mass Skilled 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 instantly recruited than others.


The muscle tissues throughout your complete again — together with your decrease again, higher again, and lats — shall be recruited throughout the vast majority of workouts within the exercise. Your again muscle 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 muscle 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. As a result of their relative measurement and power, your shoulders could fatigue earlier than different physique elements in the course of the exercise.

Alter the burden (and, if crucial, 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 vital muscle tissues even moreso. The suitcase carry, curiously, may enhance 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 severe 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 might probably trigger extreme fatigue and interrupt efficiency of the first workouts. A separate ab workout could possibly be carried out on a day while you’re not additionally performing this HIIT exercise.

Tips on how 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, slightly than a coaching plan designed for power 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 by the next collection 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 the warm-up, your depth will seemingly enhance. Concentrate on preserving 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 aspect of, the opposite. Hinge at your hips and attain towards your entrance foot whereas preserving a impartial backbone. In case your steadiness permits, let your rear leg barely elevate into the air. If you really feel rigidity at the back of 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 palms and toes whereas preserving a straight line by your trunk and legs. Set your palms 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 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 complete 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 arduous earlier than recovering sufficient to go simply as arduous within the subsequent set. This mix of full-body supersets and loaded carries matches the invoice. If and while you uncover an appreciation for HIIT, don’t be stunned 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 Acceptable 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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