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4 HIIT workouts for every fitness level

Build muscle and burn fat

This article was last updated on June 29, 2020. 

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is popular in the fitness community due to its ability to deliver big results in a small amount of time. Just two or three days per week is all you need to improve your cardio fitness, lose weight, and even lower your blood pressure and blood sugar.

So, if you're ready to get your heart pumping, burn calories and experience the health benefits of exercise without giving up a lot of time in your day, give these 4 HIIT workouts a try.

Full body HIIT circuit

Get a whole-body tone from this circuit and work up in difficulty levels as you improve your fitness.

Time needed: 5–15 minutes

Beginner: 1 round

Intermediate: 2 rounds

Advanced: 3 rounds

Do each exercise at high intensity for 20 seconds, followed by a 10-second rest. Repeat the entire circuit up to 3 times.

  1. Jumping jacks
  2. Side plank
  3. Tricep dips
  4. Plank
  5. High knees/running in place
  6. Squats
  7. Wall sit
  8. Sit ups
  9. Lunges
  10. Push ups

HIIT bodyweight cardio workout

Because you don't need any equipment to do this high-intensity workout, you can do it virtually anywhere. Try it at home, while traveling, or even at the beach. It's quick and simple, but these basic moves are all you need to work up a serious sweat.

Time needed: 10–30 minutes

Beginner: 5 rounds

Intermediate: 10 rounds

Advanced: 15 rounds

Do each exercise at high intensity for 20 seconds followed by a one-minute rest. Repeat entire circuit 5–15 times.

  1. High knees/running in place
  2. Squats
  3. Burpees

Elliptical or treadmill HIIT workout

Hit the local gym or just hit the road for this interval running HIIT workout.

Time needed: 22 minutes

Exertion level (0–10)
5 min.
1 min.
2 min.
1 min. speed7–9
2 min.recovery 5–6
1 min. speed7–9
2 min. recovery5–6
1 min. speed7–9
2 min. recovery5–6 
5 min. cool-down3–4 

HIIT workout to lose belly fat

This intense workout puts the focus on your abs. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym, you just need 8.5 minutes to seriously work your core.

Time needed: 1½–8½ minutes

Beginner: 1 round

Intermediate: 2 rounds

Advanced: 3 rounds

Do each plank for the number of seconds stated below, and move from one plank to the next with no rest in between. Take a 1–2 minute rest between rounds.

  1. Elbow plank — 30 seconds
  2. Plank — 20 seconds
  3. Raised leg plank — 20 seconds (10 seconds each leg)
  4. Standard plank — 10 seconds
  5. Elbow plank — 10 seconds

For more workouts, and instructions about how to do these moves, visit External Site.

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