High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is on the rise, with more people wanting a more robust workout in fewer periods of time. This is especially great for individuals who don’t have a lot of time to pack in a long workout. HIIT workouts can be formed to fit all types of individuals, from people who are overweight to people who have diabetes; they can be modified for any condition.
HIIT workouts have proven extremely beneficial allowing people to burn more calories than they would in a regular workout. These workouts can be incorporated into any type of exercise, like cycling, aquatic training and swimming, cross-training, and walking, and you can incorporate them using free weights.
If you’re determined to have more robust workouts for a better you, continue reading to learn how you can use free weights in your home HIIT workouts.
Top Home HIIT Workouts Using Free Weights
HIIT workouts involve a combination of high-intensity exercises and slower rest intervals to improve the body’s metabolic rate. It’s used in combination with cardio workouts to burn fat in less time, and free weights can be incorporated into this workout. Here are some HIIT workouts incorporating dumbbells, kettlebells, weight plates and barbell/bumper plates.
Dumbbells are extremely effective for weight training. HIIT can be combined with training.
This is great for beginners, and it targets muscles in the quads, hamstrings, core and glutes. For this workout, you’ll want to make sure you’re standing straight with your feet apart and a dumbbell in each hand keeping your hands on the side of your body.
- Bend the knees with your thighs parallel to the floor.
- For HIIT purposes, you’ll want to do at least 10 sets of 10 reps, resting for about 50 seconds in between each one.
- Hold that position briefly before returning to the starting position.
This workout targets the hamstrings, calves, glutes, and quadriceps and helps to build the legs. For this workout, you’ll want to make sure you’re standing straight holding a dumbbell in each hand (palm facing inwards with arms at your side), with your feet almost shoulder-width apart.
- Bend your left knee to bring your left leg forward until your thigh is parallel to the floor (the right knee should be touching the floor).
- Pause briefly before returning to the original position.
- Adding variations to this routine, like reverse or lateral lunges, is recommended.
- For HIIT purposes, you’ll want to do at least 10 reps, resting for about 30 seconds in between each one.
Kettlebell training is an exercise that involves multiple planes of motion and works a variety of muscles at the same time, ultimately improving strength and conditioning. Kettlebell training can be performed as multiple exercises or one single exercise.
15-Minute Full-Length Kettlebell HIIT workout
This 15-minute workout involves different modes of the kettlebell (six different exercises) done in 30-second increments with 15 seconds of rest in between each exercise. This is done for a total of three rounds and should take about 15 minutes. Rest 15 seconds in between rounds. The exercises to perform at 30-second increments with the kettlebell are:
- Kettlebell swing
- Kettlebell squat
- Alternating hang snatch
- Alternating hang clean
- Alternating back row
- Alternating reverse lunge
Weight plates are also great for having a combined strength and cardio workout. Just as with kettlebells, you can use weight plates to do multiple exercises in rounds for a good HIIT workout experience.
Zercher Squat/Jumping Jack Combination
For this exercise, you only need a little space and a weight plate. Basically, you’ll be holding the weight plate in both hands, bringing it toward your body with palms in when you squat. You will squat repeatedly. You’ll place the weight plate down on the floor when you get ready to do the jumping jacks. Essentially, you’ll have one exercise that will require the weight plate; the other won’t. You’ll do these one at a time in 30-second increments in 3 to 5 rounds (as many as you can without resting). Rest after the final round.
Bentover Row/Fast Feet
For this exercise, you’ll bend over while holding the weight plate; you’ll bring the weight up to your chest and back down (up and down strokes) with elbows tucked to your side. Then you’ll place the weight plate on the floor and do short, restricted fast-stepping movement in a semi-bent over position in the same position. This is similar to jumping jacks, but focused on fast-stepping movement in one position. Essentially, you’ll have one exercise that will require the weight plate; the other won’t. You’ll do these one at a time in 30-second increments in 3 to 5 rounds (as many as you can without resting). Rest after the final round.
Barbells make the workout even more challenging. When you incorporate barbells into your HIIT workout, it strengthens the muscles, increases strength, and promotes weight loss.
Deadlift Off Blocks
This is one of the simplest exercises to do with barbells and it puts less stress on the lower back. For this exercise, place the barbells on the blocks or rack and strand straight with your feet hip-width apart, with knees close to the bar.
- Bend at your hips and grab the bar with both hands
- With your feet strength, lift the bar until your hips are extended.
- Do this repeatedly. You control the pace of this exercise, but if you prefer a fast pace, use lighter weights. It is also recommended to wear a gym gelt to protect the back.
This is a more advanced exercise where the barbell is placed on the floor.
- You sit on your knees, with your arms straight, reaching out as far as you can.
- Place both hands, stretched out, on both ends of the barbell and roll the barbell forward as far as you possibly can without breaking your form, meaning your knees stay on the ground.
- Keeping that position, hold it for a couple of seconds and then bring the barbell back and start over.
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