You probably know that exercise is an integral part of a complete weight loss program. Weight training and cardio are the great combination to get a lean, shredded body while battling the holiday weight. However, if you’re like most people these days, it’s not realistic to allocate huge amounts of time each week for a workout. Enter high-intensity interval training (HIIT). We’ve put together the ultimate total-body blast workout for fast weight loss. Prepare for intense action during your next training session, because this routine will deliver results.
HIIT combines some of the best features of resistance training and aerobic fitness. But be warned: it’s called high intensity for a reason! Good HIIT workouts are short, powerful and efficient. The good news is that when performing a HIIT circuit with dumbbells and bodyweight training with proper form, the risk of injury is very low.
The following circuit consists of four exercises that collectively target a wide variety of major muscle groups throughout your body. Perform each exercise for 30 to 45 seconds using weights that allow you to find a rhythm while still providing a good challenge. After each set, rest for the same amount of time before starting the next exercise of the same duration. When you’re done with the entire round of all exercises, rest for one to three minutes, take a sip of water if you need to, and do another two to five rounds.
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The master of all leg exercises, squats are a great way to hit your glutes, quads and hamstrings while getting a deep cardio workout when performed as part of a circuit. You can do squats using only your body weight, or you can hold a dumbbell or two for added resistance. You can also perform explosive squats by jumping with each rep.
To perform squats, start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Sit with your hips back and bend your knees to lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Drive through your feet to return to the starting position. Repeat for the target time.
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This exercise hits your shoulders and triceps while trying to stabilize your core. When performing dumbbell overhead presses in a circuit, make sure to choose a weight on the lighter side that you can control with good form for the full duration of the interval.
To perform overhead presses with dumbbells, start standing with your feet hip-width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand, held at shoulder height. Press the dumbbells overhead and bring them together slightly at the top. Keep your core engaged and don’t let your lower back arch. Return to the starting position. Repeat for the target time.
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Double arm rows
Dumbbell rows target your lats, rhomboids and biceps in addition to other muscles in the upper back. Performing double-arm rows is a good method of incorporating rows into a circuit format, as the weights will not be heavy enough to require a curved row bench setup.
To perform double arm rows, start standing with your feet hip-width apart while holding a dumbbell in each hand at your side. Hinge forward at the hips while maintaining a braced neutral spine until your torso is less than a 45-degree angle from the ground. Straighten your arms as you hold the dumbbells. Row the dumbbells up by pushing your elbows toward the ceiling, stopping when your upper arms are parallel to your torso. Lower the dumbbells while maintaining the bent-forward position. Repeat for the target time.
No bodyweight HIIT circuit is complete without burpees. This exercise is an explosive full-body move that targets your core, quads, glutes, calves, chest, shoulders and more. The best way to perform burpees is to find a rhythm and use the natural bounce of each phase of the movement to propel you forward. Pausing at every step is ultimately more tiring.
To perform burpees, start standing with your feet hip-width apart. Explosively drop your body as you kick your feet back to land in a plank position. Quickly jump back to the starting position. As you land in the starting position, use the momentum to jump up and reach overhead. As you land from the jump, absorb the momentum by dropping straight down into the next rep. Repeat for the target time.