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The Only 8 HIIT Moves You Need for a Powerful Workout

When you need go-to exercises that deliver visible results and some real muscle gains, turn to these HIIT moves. "You can build lean muscle and melt fat in less than 30 minutes," says Devan Kline, the founder and head trainer of Burn Boot Camp, a fitness studio with 220 locations nationwide that's known for its compact, butt-kicking classes geared toward busy women. The secret, he says, is nonstop supersets of HIIT moves: alternately working a major muscle group to fatigue, then doing a fast and furious cardio drill without any rest in between. (See more about all things supersets.) Move on to the next muscle-cardio HIIT move pairing, and repeat; the previous group gets a chance to recover even as you're going full tilt working other parts.

"To achieve that lean, muscular look, you must work at an intensity that triggers hypertrophy [a.k.a. growth]," Kline says. "In other words, during the strength exercises, lift until you can't lift anymore." And give the 20-second cardio bursts 100 percent of your effort. "That's the only way you'll be able to get your heart rate up enough to burn serious calories in that short amount of time," he says. (No dumbbells on-hand? Try this Cardio-Boosting Bodyweight Workout You Can Do Anywhere.)

How it works: You'll do each HIIT move for time, which means get in as many reps as possible (AMRAP) with good form. After each cardio exercise rest if needed for a maximum of 30 seconds. Complete 3 to 5 rounds. You'll need a set of moderately heavy (8- to 20-pound) dumbbells. A good range to aim for during the 45-second weighted moves is 8 to 15 reps; if you can do more than 15, try heavier dumbbells.

Total Time: up to 15 minutes

You will need: Free weights

1. Sumo Deadlift High-Pull

A.

Stand with feet wide, toes turned out, holding a weight in each hand, resting on thighs. Squat, lowering weights toward floor to start.

B.

Stand, bending arms up and wide to sides to pull weights up toward chin.

Sets:

3 to 5

Reps:

AMRAP for 45 seconds

2. Spider Squat

A.

Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms by sides. Squat reaching for floor with fingertips. Maintain that position as you rotate 45 degrees to left, then as you rotate back to center and then 45 degrees to right. (During this HIIT move or any time, steer clear of these 6 common squat mistakes.)

Sets:

3 to 5

Reps:

AMRAP for 20 seconds

3. Dragonfly

A.

Lie face-up on floor with legs extended together over hips, feet flexed, holding one weight horizontally by both ends behind head on floor with arms bent out to sides to start. Curl hips, lower back and then midback off floor, pulling legs up until toes are just above eyes. Slowly lower to start of the HIIT move. 

Sets:

3 to 5

Reps:

AMRAP for 45 seconds

4. Tuck Jump

A.

Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands in front of chest with arms bent out to sides to start. Jump as high as you can, tucking knees toward chest. Land softly in start. (Related: Everything You Need to Know About Plyometrics to Master These HIIT Moves and Other Jumping Workouts)

Sets:

3 to 5

Reps:

AMRAP for 20 seconds

5. Lunge Pull-Over

A.

Stand with feet wide, holding one weight horizontally by both ends at chest with arms bent downward. Rotate body 45 degrees toward right, bending legs 90 degrees to come into a lunge. (Here's how to ace the form at this point of the HIIT move.)

B.

Stand, rotating back to start, pressing weight overhead. Switch sides; repeat.

Sets:

3 to 5

Reps:

AMRAP for 45 seconds

6. Criss-Cross Pickup

A.

Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart, toes turned out slightly, hands by sides. Squat, reaching right fingertips to touch floor between feet to start. 

B.

Immediately jump, landing in standing with left leg crossed behind right. Immediately drop to start of the HIIT move with left fingertips touching floor.

Sets:

3 to 5

Reps:

AMRAP for 20 seconds

7. Renegade Row

A.

Start on floor in plank with a weight in each hand. Shift weight into right hand, then pull left weight toward chest. Return to start. Switch sides; repeat. (P.S.: Are You Wearing the Wrong Sneakers to Tackle These HIIT Moves?)

Sets:

3 to 5

Reps:

AMRAP for 45 seconds

8. Grasshopper

A.

Stand with feet hip-width apart and arms by sides. Crouch, plant palms on floor, then jump feet back to plank position.

B.

Keeping hips square, pull right knee to left elbow, then back to plank. Pull left knee to right elbow, then back to plank. Do one more knee pull to each side, then hop feet toward hands.

C.

Jump, clapping hands overhead. (After the final round, enjoy a well-deserved cooldown after rocking those tough HIIIT moves!)

Sets:

3 to 5

Reps:

AMRAP for 20 seconds

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