High-intensity interval training like this dumbbell HIIT workout offers a highly effective (and sweaty) fast track to fat loss at home.

For this workout, you’ll need a pair of adjustable dumbbells or a dumbbell set and enough room to drop down into a burpee or swing a weight around. HIIT workouts tend to be short, and this home dumbbell HIIT workout can be performed in as little as 25 minutes – perfect for your new pre-summer fitness regime.

And while you do need to set some time aside for slower, steadier cardio, for most people a short HIIT workout is a far more attractive option than spending an hour in the gym or pounding the pavements endlessly.

Similarly, if motivation is a problem, HIIT could be the answer, because the intense, dynamic and challenging nature of the workouts mean that they are always engaging. You’ll get tired, for sure, but you won’t be bored.

This dumbbell circuit starts with squats, the classic exercise found in dumbbell leg workouts, and a fundamental human movement pattern, followed by the renegade row, which is one of the most challenging and effective upper-body dumbbell exercises around.

The important thing to remember, however, is that it’s the quality of your reps that count, so take your time.

Then, the third exercise is where we see the tempo increase. The swing is an explosive move, so speed and intensity are important to get the most out of this pulse-raising exercise.

The two arms exercises at the end of the circuit are less demanding on your heart and lungs but ensure that you get a solid full-body dumbbell workout.

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How to do this home dumbbell HIIT workout

  • Do 12 reps of each exercise (6 each side for the renegade row)
  • Move from one exercise to the next with minimal rest
  • At the end of one round, rest for 2 minutes
  • Do 4 circuits in total

Exercises in this home dumbbell HIIT workout

1a. Dumbbell squat
1b. Dumbbell overhead press
1c. Dumbbell push-up renegade row
1d. Dumbbell swing
1e. Dumbbell hammer curl
1f. Dumbbell triceps extension

1a. Dumbbell squat

Why we like it: First up in this dumbbell HIIT workout, the dumbbell version of this classic legs move will also develop your grip because you have to hold the dumbbells securely for the duration of the set. Keeping your shoulders back throughout the set will recruit your back muscles with the dumbbells, too.

How to do a dumbbell squat:

  • Stand with your chest up and core braced, holding a dumbbell in each hand
  • Bend your knees to squat down until your thighs are at least parallel to the ground, then press down through your heels to return to the start

1b. Dumbbell overhead press

Why we like it: Your aim here should be to go as heavy as possible because the rep count is comparatively low. As well as using the dumbbells to build shoulder strength and size, this dumbbell HIIT workout move also targets your core because you have to stabilise your torso. 

How to do a dumbbell overhead press:

  • Stand tall with your chest up and core braced, holding a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height with palms facing forwards
  • Press the weights directly overhead so your arms are straight, then return slowly to the start

1c. Dumbbell push-up renegade row

man demonstrates step one of dumbbell press up renegade row; in a plank position, with each hand balanced on a dumbbell, he bends his arms to lower himself into a press up position
man demonstrates step two of dumbbell press up renegade row; in a high plank position, one straight arm remains with the hand holding a dumbbell on the floor, while the other arm pulls the dumbbell up towards his chest

Why we like it: This is a demanding exercise so you do it while you’re fresh. You work your chest muscles with the dumbbells during the push-up and your back muscles during the row, giving you a lot of bang for your muscle-building buck.

How to do a dumbbell push-up renegade row:

  • Start in a push-up position, holding a dumbbell in each hand
  • Perform a push-up then, keeping your core braced, row your right hand up, leading with your elbow
  • Lower it back to the floor
  • Alternate sides with each rep

1d. Dumbbell swing

Why we like it: This should be done as an explosive, high-energy exercise. Doing so will help you to develop a powerful hip drive (the key to this move) and also get your heart rate soaring towards the end of this dumbbell HIIT workout for a greater fat burn. 

How to do a dumbbell swing: 

  • Stand holding a dumbbell between your legs
  • Bend forwards, hinging at the hips, to send the dumbbell between your legs, then push your hips forwards to straighten up and swing the dumbbell up to shoulder height 

1e. Dumbbell hammer curl

Why we like it: The hammer-grip version of the classic curl provides a real challenge to your biceps muscles, ensuring that you stimulate as many muscle fibres as possible so they repair themselves and grow. 

How to do a dumbbell hammer curl:

  • Stand with your chest up and core braced, holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing each other
  • Keeping your elbows tight to your sides, curl the weights up to shoulder height
  • Slowly lower the weights to the start

1f. Dumbbell Triceps Extension

Why we like it: This is one of the few moves in this dumbbell HIIT workout that effectively isolates the triceps muscles with dumbbells, giving you balanced gains in your upper arms after the previous exercise and more all-over muscle mass to help you burn fat.

How to do a dumbbell triceps extension:

  • Stand tall with your chest up and core braced, holding a dumbbell in both hands behind your head with your elbows pointing up
  • Straighten your arms to lift the weights, then lower them to return to the start

If you need a new set of dumbbells, we recommend trying the Jordan Fitness Premium Urethane Dumbbells.

Photography: Glen Burrows, Tom Miles, Danny Bird