Fitness Pros’ 8 Favorite 15-Minute HIIT Workouts With Weights

Time to HIIT the weights.

Get your sweat on with these 15-minute HIIT workouts with weights.

It can be hard to knock out a lengthy strength training session when you’re busy balancing work, your social life, and self-care. Enter high-intensity interval training (HIIT), a fast-paced exercise modality that can help you get your sweat on in less time. So whether you’re looking for a more efficient fitness routine or just want to try out some new moves, these 15-minute HIIT workouts with weights will help you make the most of your sweat sesh.

This type of training is all about going hard with minimal breaks and involves exercising in intervals, like sprinting for 30 seconds, then taking 15 seconds of rest. Those bursts of activity drive up your heart rate more quickly than lower-intensity exercise, which allows you to build endurance and strength in less time.

While you may associate HIIT workouts with cardio activities, you can apply the timing to strength training moves and infuse your weightlifting session with some heart-pumping intervals. Ready to sweat? Dust off your dumbbells to give these trainers’ favorite 15-minute HIIT workouts with weights a try.

1. Full-Body Tabata

Get your heart pounding and muscles burning with this full-body Tabata workout from Tread Tabata founder Kathy Glabicky. Tabata is a fiery form of HIIT that traditionally features eight rounds of 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off exercise for a four-minute workout. But don’t be fooled by the short timeline — the rapid-fire bursts of activity are no walk in the park, so even one round of Tabata can be enough to leave you breathless. Below, do each exercise for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat each circuit eight times before moving on to the next, with one minute of rest in between.

Upper body:

- Alternate a reverse fly and back row

- Back row to a tricep extension

- Alternating bicep curls

- Bicep curl to a shoulder press

Lower body:

- Right-leg stationary lunge

- Right-leg stationary lunge pulses

- Right-leg stationary lunge with a small kick back

- Right-leg stationary lunge jumps

- Alternate legs each time you move through the circuit.


- Hold one weight above your chest with your arms straight while scissoring your legs

- Full sit-up with a weight press towards the ceiling

- Russian twists

- Crunch your knees into your chest while bringing your weight over your knees, then extend your legs out

2. Endurance Intervals

If you’re a fan of longer intervals, then this HIIT session from Barry’s instructor Andrew Nunez is right up your alley. Put your endurance to the test while also using your dumbbells in creative ways to feel the burn throughout your entire body by working through the below exercises.

- 75 seconds of uneven reverse lunges. Hold one weight on your right shoulder and one weight in the left hand, then lunge with your left leg back. Repeat on the other side.

- 45 seconds of kneeling woodchoppers with one heavy weight. Repeat on the other side.

- 1 minute of split squats with a press. Hold one heavy weight under your chin. Repeat on the other side.

- 1 minute of renegade rows with a push-up

- Repeat twice.

3. Total-Body Circuits

Challenge all the major muscles in your body with this circuit workout from bande founding instructor Julie Wiesman. Grab your favorite pair of dumbbells, then do each of the below exercises for 50 seconds with a break in between each section to catch your breath. For the final Tabata round, do each move for 20 seconds on, then 10 seconds off.

Section one:

- Alternating forward lunges with a front raise

- Five high knees moving forward, three jump squats moving backward. Hold one heavy weight at chest level.

- Repeat twice.

Section two:

- Single-leg deadlift with a hop

- Sprinter hops on the same leg

- Repeat again on the other side.

Section three:

- Burpees

- Cross sit-ups, bringing your hand to the opposite foot

- Repeat twice.

Tabata finisher:

- Squat hops.

- Side-to-side push-ups

- Lateral quick steps

- Repeat three times.

4. Single-Weight Workout

Short on equipment? No problem. Nunez’s below sequence will test your strength and endurance by using only one weight.

- 1 minute of goblet squats with a three-second hold at the bottom

- 45-second single-arm dumbbell swing. Repeat on the other side.

- 1 minute of squats with a press

- 30 seconds of uneven push-ups with your hand on one dumbbell. Take a short break, then repeat three more times.

- 1 minute of snatches with a reverse lunge. Repeat on the other side.

- Repeat the full sequence twice.

5. Weighted Tabata

Can’t get enough Tabata? Glabicky has got your back. Take this full-body workout for a spin to get your heart pounding with short intervals and even shorter breaks. Do each exercise for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Do each circuit eight times through, take a minute of rest, then move on to the next.

Upper body:

- Half bicep curls: Start with your weights at your shoulders, then lower your weights down halfway before lifting back up.

- Alternating bent-over rows

- Alternating tricep extensions

- Upright row to alternating front raises

Lower body:

- Squat to right-leg reverse lunge

- Squat to right-leg curtsy lunge

- Squat to alternating right-leg reverse and curtsy lunge

- Squat jumps

- Alternate legs each time you move through the circuit.


- Glute bridge with a chest press

- Open fly while holding your hips up in bridge

- Glute bridge with a floor press (Face your palms in, press straight up, then tap your triceps on the floor as you lower down)

- Tricep skull crushers while holding your hips up in bridge

6. Minute-Long Intervals

If you like your strength training with a side of cardio, this workout from Wiesman delivers. Do each of the below exercises for one minute with a short rest in between circuits. Cue the panting.

Circuit one:

- Sumo swing, then squat, then overhead press

- Plyo squat hops

- Plank-ups

- 30 seconds of jumping jacks

Circuit two:

- Squat cross punches

- Mountain climbers

- Starfish side plank lifts

- 30 seconds of high knees

Circuit three:

- Squat, then alternating lunge with a high kick

- 180-degree burpees

- Sit-ups: Bring your weights to your feet each time.

- 30 seconds of football runs

7. Tabata Lower-Body Burner

Tabata is the perfect bite-sized HIIT session, which is why Glabicky’s final workout with weights is perfect when you’re in a rush but still want to get your blood pumping. Do all three Tabata sections for the complete 15-minute workout, or pick one or two if there’s a time crunch. Do each of the below moves for 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off. Cycle through each section eight times, with a minute of rest in between.

Upper body:

- Bicep curls with an alternating reverse lunge

- Curtsy lunge with an alternating shoulder press

- Overhead tricep extensions with one or both weights

- Scoop back rows with your palms facing out

Lower body:

- Hold one weight at your chest for this entire section.

- Rapid squats

- Squat jacks

- Squat pulses

- Squat with alternating front kicks


- Alternating renegade rows

- Mountain climbers

- Alternating renegade rows with a press towards the ceiling

- Push-ups

8. HIIT Finisher

Ready for a sweat break in between Zoom meetings? Wiesman’s HIIT session is short, sweet, and doesn’t require much space, so you can do it right at your desk. Do each of the below exercises for 50 seconds, three times through. Then, finish strong with a two-minute grand finale as the cherry on top.

- Curtsy lunge with a bicep curl, then one squat hop

- Five weighted punches, then one push-up

- Alternating lateral lunge, then three high knees

- Plank rows with twist kick-throughs

- Sumo squat, then alternating front and side raises


- 1 minute of side-to-side shuffles

- 1 minute of sit-ups with an overhead press

Studies referenced:

Alansare, A. (2018). The Effects of High-Intensity Interval Training vs. Moderate-Intensity Continuous Training on Heart Rate Variability in Physically Inactive Adults. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6069078/

Kong, Z. (2016). Comparison of High-Intensity Interval Training and Moderate-to-Vigorous Continuous Training for Cardiometabolic Health and Exercise Enjoyment in Obese Young Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial. PLoS One, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4930190/

Tabata, I. (2019). Tabata training: one of the most energetically effective high-intensity intermittent training methods. Journal of Physiological Sciences, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31004287/


Kathy Glabicky, founder of Tread Tabata

Andrew Nunez, Barry’s instructor

Julie Wiesman, instructor at bande