A 25-Minute Dumbbell HIIT Workout Perfect for Beginners

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Grab a pair of dumbbells and get ready to HIIT it.
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So you've been convinced you want to give HIIT a try (maybe even by us!). You know all about the benefits — the calorie burning, muscle building, time saving, energy boosting — but you might not know exactly where to start.


While true beginners are usually best off starting with full-body, body-weight workouts, one great way to progress your workout is by adding dumbbells. The workout below features five different dumbbell exercises and alternates between upper and lower body, ultimately working all your major muscle groups.

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Burn calories, build muscle, save time and boost energy with this 25-minute HIIT workout.
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Try This Dumbbell HIIT Workout for Beginners

Ready to get stronger? This HIIT workout was designed by James Swift, certified personal trainer and owner of Fit Body Boot Camp in Rancho Cordova, California. And all you need is a set of dumbbells.



Do:​ 3 to 5 minutes of light cardio (walking, jumping jacks, high knees, etc.) and dynamic stretches.

The Workout

Do:​ Each exercise for 45 seconds, followed by 20 seconds of rest. Do 3 rounds of each exercise before moving onto the next, with a 1-minute rest in between moves.


  • Dumbbell chest presses
  • Goblet squat
  • Standing shoulder press
  • Alternating forward lunges
  • One-arm rows

Move 1: Dumbbell Chest Press

  1. Lie on your back on a weight bench (or on the ground with knees bent), holding two dumbbells at chest level out to the sides. If you're on the floor, hold your elbows at 90-degree angles
  2. Press both weights up and directly over your chest. They should just barely touch at the top.
  3. Lower back down to the start.



Push the weights up for one count, then lower the weights back to the chest in three slow counts.

Move 2: Goblet Squat

  1. Stand with feet hip-width apart, toes pointing slightly out, and hold one heavier dumbbell with both hands at your chest.
  2. Bend your knees and hinge your hips back to squat down. Imagine sitting in a chair. Keep your knees behind your toes, chest lifted and weight heavy in your heels.
  3. Press through your feet to return to standing.



Move 3: Standing Shoulder Press

  1. Stand and hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level.
  2. Press both weights overhead without shrugging your shoulders up to your ears. Keep your core engaged to prevent your lower back from arching.
  3. Lower back down to the start.


If you can't complete all your reps without involving your legs, pick a lighter set of dumbbells.

Move 4: Alternating Forward Lunge


  1. Step forward with one leg until both legs bend to 90 degrees. Your back knee should hover just about the ground.
  2. Step back and repeat on other leg.

Move 5: One-Arm Row

  1. Hinge forward at the hips, holding a dumbbell in the right hand with your palm facing your body.
  2. Lift the dumbbell up toward your chest, elbow pointing up to the ceiling.
  3. Lower back down to the start.
  4. Do all reps on one arm before switching arms for the next three rounds.



Lift the weight on a one-count, then lower back down for three slow counts.


Do:​ 3 to 5 minutes of walking and static stretches, holding each for 15 to 30 seconds.



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