Develop full-body strength with this 25-minute fat-burning dumbbell workout

HIIT is great for boosting your metabolism and building up strength in a short period of time

Woman punches the air with a light pair of dumbbells in her hands
(Image credit: Getty)

Heading out for a jog or sitting on an exercise bike for a workout might sound boring to some. A popular alternative to this is HIIT (high-intensity interval training) as it takes up little time and gets results fast. Plus, HIIT workouts can be low-impact just like this 25-minute routine.

The only equipment required is a set of dumbbells, which if you exercise at a gym will be easy to access in the free weights section. Or if you prefer to work out at home you can get an effective strength-building session in with a pair of space-saving best adjustable dumbbells.

The short routine has been developed by Heather Robertson (opens in new tab), a Canadian personal trainer best known for her online fitness plans and easy-to-follow workout tutorials. Her workout programs aim to build up strength, burn fat, and improve endurance and you can't go far wrong from this with some dumbbells and a HIIT routine.

This HIIT routine, in particular, doesn't include any jumping so it's a safe workout option for anyone who suffers from joint pain. As well as taking one of the best supplements for joints, which can help lower inflammation, exercise can also help to improve strength and flexibility in your joints.

Watch Heather Robertson's 25-minute Dumbbell Routine

By no means does low-impact mean you are wasting time on a less effective workout. Robertson said, "Remember low impact does not have to mean low intensity. You will be getting longer work periods in this one so make each 30s of work count by working at YOUR highest level of intensity and choosing weights that challenge YOU!".

Working out with dumbbells allows you the freedom to progress at your own pace. So after a week or two of HIIT workouts with the same weight size, you may start to feel like your muscles need more of a challenge. This is when you can move up the weight a little, increase the intensity and improve your muscle and strength-building results.

There is lots of research out there demonstrating just how efficient HIIT is at increasing your metabolic rate hours after a workout. Inside one Sports Medicine Open Journal (opens in new tab) study researchers even found that HIIT increases your metabolism post workout more than running or weight training. So when you combine weight with HIIT you get HIRT (high-intensity resistance training) this can help to increase your lean muscle mass and strength gains.

Naturally, HIIT workouts are tiring and can leave your body feeling achy and sore especially if you don't factor in appropriate rest and recovery time. Protein plays an essential role in muscle recovery and growth so aim to consume a protein-rich diet and stock up on some high-protein snacks to carry on the go with you.

It's also a sensible idea to keep your fitness regime varied so that your body is constantly being challenged and nurtured with varied forms of exercise. For example, one of the benefits of swimming is that it's a low-impact workout which also burns calories.

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 


When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.