No Kettlebell, No Problem - Dumbbell HIIT Workout

Holly Blumenberg
Written By: Holly Blumenberg
June 13th, 2013
Updated: April 10th, 2020
222.1K Reads
Fit muscular man working out with dumbbells
No kettlebell? No problem! This no-nonsense, high intensity, fat burning workout requires only a set a dumbbells (and true grit)!
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Lose Fat
  • Workout Type
    Full Body
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration4 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout60-75 minutes
  • Equipment Required
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Recommended Supps
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

You don’t need to follow the “latest craze” to get a good workout. The kettlebell workout can easily be substituted with a set of dumbbells for a high calorie burning routine.

We all fall prey to the latest fads in fitness. Because we get bored, are looking for an easy answer or just want to fit in, we think we need all the new toys to get fit.  TRX, kettlebells, resistance bands, etc. are all great pieces of equipment but unnecessary.

Obviously if you are a powerlifter, gymnast, etc. you will need more specialized equipment. But, if your budget or space is limited, I think the most versatile piece of equipment is your own body but if you want to expand on that a set of dumbbells will go a long way.  

Listed below are some simple cues to help you achieve the most effective movement.

For the two arm kettlebell swings you just hold both your dumbbells so they are touching, lengthwise, in front of your hips.  Squat slightly with knees wide and bring DBs between legs and then swing them up overhead with arms straight while opening up the hips.  Continue this move in a smooth and unbroken motion until you reach the prescribed number of swings.

For the one arm kettlebell snatch, hold the dumbbell by your side and with your arm straight you rotate the dumbbell up over your shoulder and end with your arm extended and the dumbbell in the frontal plane.

Clean and press starts with the dumbbell held by your side.  Bring the dumbbell up to your shoulder and then press to overhead.

Lunge pass through is a one leg lunge and pass the dumbbell under the leading leg to the opposite hand.

Single arm swing is just like it sounds.  While holding only one dumbbell do a swing with that arm.

Thrusters are done by holding both dumbbells at shoulder level.  Now squat until elbows touch knees and then stand while pushing dumbbells up to a shoulder press.

If you need more instruction you can find references to these kettlebell moves by doing an internet search.

Now the workout!

Dumbbell HIIT Workout

Complete three rounds of this sequence.

Dumbbell HIIT Workout
3 Rounds
Exercise Reps
Two Arm Dumbbell Swings 20
Right Arm Snatch 10
Left Arm Snatch 10
Two Arm Dumbbell Swings 20
Right Arm Clean and Press 10
Left Arm Clean and Press 10
Two Arm Dumbbell Swings 20
Right Single Arm Swings 10
Left Single Arm Swings 10
Two Arm Dumbbell Swings 20
Right Leg Lunge Pass Through 10
Left Leg Lunge Pass Through 10
Two Arm Dumbbell Swings 20
Thrusters 10
Two Arm Dumbbell Swings 20
Snatch Sit Ups 25
4-Count Scissor Kicks 25


Posted on: Mon, 03/08/2021 - 04:43

I finished this workout but am looking to change it up are there any good upper body workouts that are dumbbell/barbell/bands only

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 03/10/2021 - 09:35

Hey kael - we have several dumbbell-only workouts. You can pull some upper body inspiration from those. Here's our most popular:

Juan Andres
Posted on: Wed, 11/11/2020 - 21:55

Hi there, can this be done in 3 days after doing this workout?

Also, what workout do you recommend doing after 4 weeks have passed?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 11/12/2020 - 10:47

Hey Juan - yes, you can do this workout 3 days per week. Just make sure you have at least one rest day between exercises. Choosing your next workout is dependent on your goals. What are you looking for?

Posted on: Tue, 10/07/2014 - 15:05

Yes, we usually do this entire routine three times, resting only after a round is completed. Rest time is only a minute or so. Most of my clients are female and use two 8-10 lb. dumb bells for this workout. It is a real calorie burner, with some of the Ladies who use the fitness watches logging 600-900 calories per workout. The fitness watches are not totally accurate but it is good indication that you are, indeed, burning lots of calories.

chrispin james
Posted on: Wed, 04/16/2014 - 17:09

just want to get back in shape for football and bullriding season is coming and i dont want to be all weak again wanna be in good shape

Posted on: Thu, 12/19/2013 - 09:27

i am 52 yrs old,,exercise was always in my daily routine,.then my lifestyle changed at 50, plus perimenopause took over UGH and in 4 months i put on 45 pounds.and since have put on 14.i am only 5 3 and i weigh 208.not pretty!!! i need help .

Posted on: Thu, 10/03/2013 - 23:16

Hey I was just wondering what sort of rest is involved with this??

Do you do 1 round all exercises back to back then had a rest and go round 2 etc???

Ryan Cutajar
Posted on: Thu, 09/12/2013 - 15:43

Hi, I just started this workout, it is a killer! especially after work :)

Can you suggest a full body workout using dumbells for 1 day? I was thinking of doing some strength workout to make it a 3 day routine, or should i do just this for 2 days per week?

Thank You!

Toni Arlotta
Posted on: Wed, 08/28/2013 - 18:54

Holly, doesn't even know me and she's
Been a great & kind help. I have so
Much respect for her. Thank You
Holly ! Looking for a cross fit
Near me.

Posted on: Mon, 08/19/2013 - 15:15

Uh I died half way through it! Is it really 3 times this list that one needs to do ? O.o

Darall Lewis
Posted on: Thu, 08/22/2013 - 20:14

3 rounds dude.. 3 rounds

Darall Lewis
Posted on: Sat, 08/10/2013 - 21:54

wow... crazy workout

Posted on: Wed, 07/31/2013 - 10:20

to make things clear, in a single day i must excercise all those or should i divide them?

Posted on: Wed, 07/31/2013 - 10:10

to make things clear, in a single day i must excercise all those or should i divide them?

Posted on: Sun, 07/07/2013 - 15:36

Would be great if there was an instructional video attached to this article.

Posted on: Mon, 06/24/2013 - 08:32

I weight 80 kg; 179 cm. How much calories this workout burns?

Posted on: Sun, 06/16/2013 - 02:54

How much should be the weight?

Holly Blumenberg
Posted on: Sun, 06/16/2013 - 20:26

Most women can start with a set of 8 - 10 lb. dumb bells. Men would, in most cases, need more depending on current level of fitness. If the workout seems easy, you need to increase weight! If you are very de-conditioned, start light and go up in weight as needed.

Posted on: Sat, 06/15/2013 - 15:27

This looks great. I've been looking for something different to do for cardio - this may well just be it! I don't have kettlebells, but I do have DBs. I've not idea what half of these exercises are, but I'm pretty sure I can find out! Thanks for posting this.

Posted on: Sat, 06/29/2013 - 20:29


Patricia Brown
Posted on: Thu, 06/13/2013 - 20:57

I am 59 years old and have lost over 20 pounds by working out with Holly and my team mates. My goal is to strength train, tone up, and lose 30 more pounds. With Holly and my team's support, I will achieve this. One has to realize you put the weight on for several years, and you won't get back where you were in a day. I do not always LOVE the exercise routines at the time, but when I head home; I feel great! Just remember that you have to want to lose the weight and want to get into shape before it will happen. Thanks, Holly, for your articles. We can do these at home between her garage work-outs.

Holly Blumenberg
Posted on: Sun, 06/16/2013 - 08:36

Patricia, thanks for the kind words. It is a pleasure to work with you. You have been an inspiration to all who know you!