If you have not tried a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) cardio workout, you’re missing it out because HIIT promises the best workout in the least amount of time.
Modern life has pressured us to find the most efficient ways of using our precious time, even when it comes to exercising. However, HIIT is usually fast, efficient and can be adjusted to any level of fitness.
And the best part?
You can do it at home without any equipment.
In HIIT, you focus on moving as fast as you can until it’s challenging for you. As you do each exercise, try to make yourself breathless for the best results!
7 HIIT Cardio Workout Exercises
These seven workout exercises below will absolutely make you sweaty and soaked.
- Jumping Jacks
- High Knees
- Pop Squats
- Forward Lunges
- Hand Walk-out
- Forearm Plank
Always remember to do a short warm-up first before getting started with the workout. If you find some exercises are too hard for you, you can always modify it to your capabilities.
HIIT Workout Instructions:
Select an interval below that is suitable for your fitness level. Do each move in this HIIT cardio workout according to the selected interval.
- Option 1 (easy): work 30 seconds, rest 30 seconds
- Option 2 (intermediate): work 45 seconds, rest 15 seconds
When you finish all the exercises, it is considered 1 circuit.
Repeat the entire circuit 3 times.
At the end of each circuit, take 60 seconds rest. This will total up to 20 minutes.
Note: You can simply add or subtract a circuit to make the workout harder or easier.
You can find detailed instructions for each of the exercises below.
1. Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks is a great warmup exercise. It is also a good conditioning and caloric burning movement.
- Stand straight up with your hands at the sides and keep your feet together.
- Jump to bring your feet wide apart. At the same time, bring your hands over your head.
- Next, jump back into our initial standing position with your feet together and arms at the side.
- Now repeat step 2 and step 3 with increased speed.
2. High Knees
For this exercise, your objective is to get your knees as high as you can. This exercise works on the strength and endurance of the legs, and it also acts as a great cardio workout for any exercise routine.
- Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and core engaged.
- Begin by bringing your right knee up and put it back down, then do the same for the left knee, alternating back and forth.
- You can alternate your arms position like your jogging in place. Or, you can reach out your hands in front of your body and use it as a target for your knees to reach.
3. Pop Squat
This is a good move if you want to burn fat. The Pop Squat is also a cardio challenge that builds muscles, explosiveness, balance, and coordination.
- Stand tall and position your legs wider than shoulder-width with your knees slightly bent.
- On inhale, descend into a squat until your upper legs are parallel to the floor.
- Once you reach the bottom position, begin to push through your heels to jump upwards. As you jump upwards, bring both feet inward towards one another so you land with your feet a few inches apart. Be sure to land on your toes!
- Immediately after you land, jump again into your starting position and prepare to drop into another squat. This is considered 1 rep.
- Now repeat again.
4. Forward Lunges
Forward lunges work your glutes and quadriceps and also improve your core strength.
- Stand with your feet together. Engage your core and take a big step forward with your left leg, landing on your heel, not the toes.
- Drop your hips straight down into a lunge position.
- Press your front heel to push yourself back to the initial standing position.
- Now repeat for the alternating sides.
Note: You can use your arms for balance or place them at your hips, whatever that’s comfortable or works for you.
5. Hand Walk-out
The Hand Walkout is a compound exercise that improves your core strength and works your upper body.
- Begin in a standing position. Bend your hips and bring your hands to touch the floor in front of your feet.
- Walk your hands until they sit directly underneath your shoulders in a plank pose.
- Next, walk your hands back to your feet and stand up.
- Now repeat again.
The Skaters exercise is a full-body, dynamic workout that demands strength, balance, and coordination. It’s a great exercise to get your heart rate up!
- Begin in a standing position and lean slightly forward. Keep your back flat and core engaged.
- Lift your right leg and leap to the right.
- As you land on your right foot, swing your left foot behind you and tap the floor. For more challenge, you keep your left foot off the floor. Bring your left hand up as your right arm swings behind your back.
- Now repeat for the opposite side. And, continue to skate from side to side.
7. Forearm Plank Hold
The forearm plank not only trains your core but also your upper body strength.
- Set your forearms on the floor and elbows underneath your shoulders. Extend your legs straight behind you one foot at a time.
- Keep your eyes gaze at your fingertips, so that your neck stays nice and long. Pull your lower abs into your body and squeeze your glutes. Most importantly, your hips should be in line with your shoulders the entire time.
- Hold this position and remember to breathe.
Burn Fat with Cardio HIIT Workout
If you’re still debating whether to try HIIT workouts, let me tell you one more benefit of doing this kind of exercise.
The good thing about doing HIIT exercises is that the intensity of the HIIT workout causes an increased rate of fat oxidation and post-exercise oxygen consumption. Your body will then start breaking down fats and convert them into fuel.
This means HIIT cardio workouts is an intense form of cardio, best for those whose goal is to burn those stubborn fats.
You can find out more about other benefits of doing HIIT here.
With that said, let’s start burning those fat today!
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