Tone your muscles easily with this low-impact standing dumbbell workout

Build leaner muscles, burn fat and have a sculpted body in only 30 minutes with this dumbbell exercise routine

Mid section of Young Woman With tattoo practicing Fitness and Dumbbell Weights on white Background.Studio shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

High-Intensity Interval Training (or HIIT for short) sounds very... intense, although it doesn't have to be. In fact, this low-impact standing HIIT circuit only uses light dumbbells and won't make you feel terribly exhausted while burning calories, helping you lose weight and boosting your VO2 max score. Better still, it doesn't require quick and sudden movements that strain your muscles, tendons and joints.

Low-impact workouts can be beneficial in recovering from or managing injuries or suffering from a condition that requires moderated movements. HIIT workouts can see you burn more calories during and after exercise than typical cardio exercises in what is referred to as the excess post-exercise oxygen consumption effect (EPOC). 

In this workout by fitness instructor and YouTube star Eleni Fit, we are invited to complete 30 minutes of low-impact, dumbbell-assisted HIIT exercises. Each exercise should last for 40 seconds with a 10-second rest in between. You'll only need an exercise mat and a pair of light dumbbells. Haven't got any of them? Check out T3's best exercise mat and best dumbbell guides to see which ones are worth buying. There are a lot of exercises but remember: you only perform each for 40 seconds. 

  • Warm-up
  • Arm swing
  • Hip opener 
  • Squat to curl 
  • Out rotation 
  • Butt kicks 
  • Hamstring stretch to front raise 
  • Circuit 1 (40 seconds each with a 10-second rest)
  • Reverse lunge to knee tuck (Right) 
  • Reverse lunge to knee tuck (Left) 
  • Lunge to diagonal raise (Right) 
  • Lunge to diagonal raise (Left) 
  • Lateral squat walk-to-leg lift
  • Squat walk to biceps curl
  • Sumo squat curl to press up 
  • Narrow row to step back 
  • Flys to kickbacks 
  • Arm & leg raise 
  • Lean forward to row 
  • Wide row to front raise 
  • Dumbbell woodchopper 
  • Dumbbell rainbows 
  • Shoulder press & butt kick 
  • Front-to-side shoulder raise 
  • Single shoulder press & leg lift (Right) 
  • Single shoulder press & leg lift (Left)
  • 50-second water break
  • Circuit 2 (40 seconds each with a 10-second rest)
  • Side lunge to biceps curl
  • Turn out curl & butt kick to knee tuck 
  • Dumbbell runner (Right) 
  • Dumbbell runner (Left) 
  • Step out & kick back variation 
  • Triceps extension & twist 
  • Balancing curl to kick back (Right) 
  • Balancing curl to kick back Left) 
  • Side-to-side punch 
  • Block to punch (Right) 
  • Block to punch (Left) 
  • Squat hold torso rotation 
  • 3 swivel steps to kick 
  • Narrow squat to star reach 
  • Cooldown (30 seconds each)
  • Triceps stretch (Right)
  • Triceps stretch (Left)
  • Back to chest opener 
  • Hamstring stretch (Right) 
  • Hamstring stretch (Left) 
  • Quad stretch

If you enjoyed this low-impact HIIT workout and wished to try something similar, we recommend checking out this no-equipment, cardio and core class. Want to power up those glutes and core? Then this 25-minute lower body strength workout is perfect for you. Although it's not necessary, we recommend workout shoes for this workout, and if you're planning on buying a new pair, you must check out T3's best workout shoe guide today.

Meg Walters
Freelance journalist

Meg is a British-Canadian freelance writer based in southeast London. She can usually be found writing about classic films, rom-coms, period dramas, TV, Millennials, pop culture, books, style, lifestyle and fitness. Her writing has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Refinery29, GQ, Stylist, The i, i-D, Little White Lies, Insider and more.