HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training, consisting of vigorous workouts with little rest in a short period of time. This cardiovascular workout can do wonders for you to shed the extra pounds.
HIIT training increases and maintains your heart rate, allowing you to burn more fat in less time. A HIIT workout usually lasts 10 to 30 minutes.
Studies show that despite its short duration, the workout can provide health benefits comparable to twice as much as moderate-intensity exercise.
These are intense exercises to do before a short break. These cardio workouts are the best way to burn fat in a short time. Keeping an eye on your weight has become easier and easier thanks to technological advancements such as smart scales on the market today.
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10 Best HIIT Cardio Workouts for Weight Loss
Before you begin your HIIT routine, there are a few things to consider for your safety:
- Choose a low intensity modality that you are familiar with. For example, if you haven’t jogged in a while, don’t go out of your way to run.
- Start with a few sessions twice a week. HIIT exercise is quite taxing, especially when using higher impact modalities.
- Work sessions should not exceed 30 seconds. Work intervals longer than 30 seconds will be difficult to sustain at the intensity required to qualify as HIIT.
- Allow enough relaxation time. Only by resting for minutes equivalent to or longer than your work periods can you maintain the appropriate intensity for HIIT.
- If you have joint pain, start with a low-impact activity like cycling or swimming.
It’s a two-part exercise that involves a push-up, followed by a mid-air jump. Although burpees work every muscle in your body, they primarily target your calves, chest, triceps, shoulders, biceps, glutes, and lats.
How to do burpees?
Burpees are very easy to perform because they don’t require machines or weights. To perform burpees, get into a partial squat position and bend over.
Keep your spine straight and touch the floor with your chest. Pump up, bring both legs together with a frog jump then jump raising your hands in the air. Return to starting position and repeat.
2. High knees
This one is another easy exercise without training equipment. High knees help strengthen leg muscles while increasing your heart rate, which further improves body coordination and flexibility.
How to do high knees?
To perform high knees, open your feet hip-width apart, then lift your left knee towards your chest, then repeat the same with the other leg at running speed. Try to keep your arms straight allowing the knees to touch the palms as you perform the exercise.
3. Lunge Jumps
Lunge jumps are an advanced variation of a normal walking lunge exercise. The exercise involves jumping high in the air and switching to the other foot in front before landing. This exercise requires no equipment and burns a lot of calories. It also helps increase your heart rate.
How to do lunge jumps?
To perform lunge jumps, stand with your legs at least shoulder-width apart. Move one leg forward with your spine straight. Now bend your leg and come down, make sure your leg is perpendicular to the floor. Now finally jump up and put the other leg forward and repeat the exercise.
4. Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks, also called side-straddle hops, are a full-body exercise that can be done almost anywhere because no training equipment is required.
How to make Jumping Jacks?
To perform jumping jacks, stand straight with your feet at least hip-width apart. Make sure to keep your shoulders relaxed and look straight ahead.
Now jump up and spread your feet sideways. At the same time, move your hands up and down above your head. Repeat the steps following the same.
Climbing mountains is not easy. What if the mountains became plains? Well, that’s pretty much the mountaineers exercise for you.
This exercise is well known for its benefits such as developing cardio endurance and agility while focusing on the whole body.
How to do mountaineers?
To perform mountain climbers, get into an outstretched plank position. Be sure to place your hands a little wider than shoulder width apart.
Now bring the right knee towards your chest without lifting your hips. Then, step it back and bring the other knee forward. Now repeat the steps as fast as possible.
Rope jumping, also known as rope jumping, is preferred by thousands of people over running because of its many benefits. It’s relatively easy to make, burns a lot of calories, and is really fun.
How to jump rope?
To perform the rope jump, all you need is a rope. Stand up straight and keep your legs close together with your elbow close to your belly. Now jump up and let the rope circle around your body from head to toe and repeat.
Although push-ups can be difficult for beginners, they are one of the most common bodyweight exercises. They are the best for building the upper body. It helps to shape the chest, shoulders and triceps,
How to do push-ups?
Push-ups require no training equipment. To practice push-ups, you have to get into a cat position with your palms and the tips of your toes touching the floor. Now come down to your chest and touch the ground. Make sure your spine doesn’t bend and your legs are straight. As you gain experience, you can challenge yourself by bringing your toes together.
8. Side knife
The Side Jackknife is an exercise that targets the obliques, shoulders and quadriceps. It also involves the glutes and hip flexors.
How to do the Side Jackknife?
To perform Side Jackknife, you must lie on your side with one leg over the other and place one hand behind your head with the elbow flared.
Place the other hand on the floor in front of you to balance your weight. Now try to bring your upper leg closer to your elbow and then bring it back to its original position. Now repeat the steps to implement the training.
9. Russian Twist
The Russian Twist is a simple yet very effective way to train your core and hips. It is a popular exercise among athletes, all thanks to sequels that help them perform twisting movements and change direction quickly.
How to do a Russian twist?
To perform the Russian twist, sit on the floor with your knees in the forward position. Make sure to keep both of your legs shoulder width apart. Now twist from side to side. Repeat it several times to train the body.
TRX pull-ups require a lot of upper body strength. But it can be easy if you know the right technique and have practiced a lot. To do this, you would also need a TRX trainer.
How to do TRX pull-ups?
To perform the TRX Pull-up, grab the TRX. Now use your back and arms to pull your body up with both legs shoulder-width apart.
You should aim to bring your chest up to the same level as the handles and hold your body in that position for a few seconds. Gradually lower your body and repeat the steps to follow the same. Don’t worry if you can’t match the grip level initially. It will take you a few days of practice to get there, but you’ll get there eventually. Patience and determination are the keys.
Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
- To research says HIIT cardio workouts can burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.
- HIIT cardio training has an impressive ability to increase your body’s metabolic rate for hours, even after exercise. One to study showed that HIIT can continue to improve your metabolic rate for hours after training. As a result, it helps burn calories even after a workout. Another to research indicates that HIIT could shift the body’s metabolism from consuming carbohydrates to using fat for energy.
- HIIT cardio training also helps increase muscle mass if performed with the right weights and technique in specific individuals.
- HIIT cardio training also improves an individual’s oxygen uptake capacity. One to research reported that participants who did 20-minute HIIT workouts four days a week for five weeks increased their oxygen consumption by 9%.
- To research suggests that high-intensity exercise may benefit people at risk for type 2 diabetes. HIIT cardio training also lowers blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. HIIT also improves insulin resistance compared to normal exercise.
- To research suggests that HIIT may reduce heart rate and blood pressure in overweight or obese people in groups where high blood pressure is prevalent.
- HIIT cardio training generally requires no training equipment. The ten exercises suggested above require no expensive heavy equipment other than rope, which is readily available at home.
HIIT cardio training is one of the best ideas for working out without spending a lot on expensive equipment. However, it is strongly recommended to seek the advice of an expert to execute it well and avoid injuries.
Make sure you are wearing the right footwear along with other protective gear. Along with the workout, you also need to take care of the proper dietary needs of your body for the workout to be effective. Good start !
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Is HIIT safe?
Usually yes, but it will depend on your own fitness level and the circumstances. If a foundation of aerobic endurance is developed over time and training protocols are followed correctly, HIIT can be a safe and effective exercise method. People who are just beginning to exercise or who have serious heart problems should get their doctor’s approval before beginning strenuous activity. HIIT shouldn’t be the only form of exercise you do during the week, but it can help when you’re short on time and need a quick workout.
Q. Can I do HIIT more than once a day?
We don’t recommend trying to do HIIT more than once a day for the average individual. The goal of a HIIT workout is to provide 100% effort during the workout and then allow time for recovery (ranging from 24-48 hours depending on your fitness level). A second HIIT workout would not be as efficient or effective as your first workout and can lead to injury if you overexert yourself. Instead of two HIIT workouts, you can add brisk walking or low-intensity cardio later in the day for active recovery. You don’t have to constantly put in maximum effort to get the benefits of HIIT.
Q. Can I do HIT at home?
Yes, HIT can be practiced very effectively at home, or even while traveling with less equipment. Simple and effective bodyweight HIT routines can be structured, for example, using the following exercises:
- Push-up variants
- pull-ups/ pull-ups
- Line variants
- The wall sits
- Blade variants
Q. Is HIIT useful for athletes?
HIIT can play an excellent role as a general strengthening and general conditioning booster for athletes involved in sports and other challenging physical activities. There are a few additional considerations athletes should take into account when applying HIIT, such as proper scheduling of workouts alongside specific skill and conditioning training and their competitive events. A huge benefit of HIIT for athletes is its safety: the likelihood of injury while performing proper HIIT is exceptionally low.
Q. Should I warm up before HIIT?
Many physical activities, especially those in which an individual is exposed to high/sudden forces, require a warm-up. HIIT is different, however. The forces that the musculoskeletal system is exposed to during HIIT training are relatively low and there is never a sudden increase in strength during HIIT exercise. Even so, there is still a hidden warm-up for every exercise in HIIT. The first 30 seconds or so of a properly applied HIIT set is the warm-up for the most intense and later part of the set to come – the effectiveness of HIIT shines again.
Q. I have knee pain can I still do HIIT?
Due to the emphasis on safety and controlled exposure to forces, HIIT is as safe as exercise. However, if you have knee pain, we recommend having it checked out by your doctor and then working with a HIIT personal trainer first if possible.
Q. How will HIIT help me?
HIIT improves aerobic and anaerobic fitness, cardiovascular health increases fat oxidation, maintains muscle mass, improves blood pressure and improves cholesterol levels.
Q. Will HIIT help me lose more weight than traditional endurance training?
There are two components to losing weight, they are diet and exercise. Losing weight requires you to be in a calorie deficit and diet and exercise will help you achieve this. If you do a 2 hour run you will likely burn more calories than if you complete a 20 minute HIIT session, however if you are short on time a HIIT session will provide the best results. A combination of HIIT and proper diet will be very effective in helping you lose weight rather than exercising or dieting in isolation.
Q. How long should HIIT training last?
We suggest keeping HIIT workouts between 30 and 45 minutes for optimal effectiveness, but the duration ultimately depends on your fitness goals.
Q. Will HIIT help me lose weight?
HIIT may play a role in fat loss as well as lean tissue gain. If an individual has excess fat to lose, applying HIIT along with a proper diet will result in a reduction in body fat. The utilization of stored glycogen, the release of fat-burning hormones, and the increased metabolic rate stimulated by HIIT, all support the individual aiming to reduce body fat levels. In this scenario, the scale weight will generally decrease between weigh-ins, although it is also possible for the scale weight to remain the same for a period of time if body fat has decreased by the same amount as lean tissue has. increased during this period. Conversely, someone who does not have excess body fat to lose will likely increase their weight on the scale due to gaining lean tissue.
Q. Can anyone do HIIT?
HIIT can be applied to any type of population as long as it is well planned and managed. It is proven that every type of person can benefit from HIIT
Q. How can we do HIIT safely?
Always check with your trainer before starting a new workout routine, especially if you haven’t worked out. Keeping HIIT workouts low impact, at first, is a great way to stay safe. Once you feel good enough to add jumps or more movement to your workouts, you’ll be confident. Also, if you feel pain, stop training and talk to your trainer.
Q. What are the main parts of the body that HIIT focuses on?
While most HIIT exercises focus on overall agility and strength, many target the core, arms, legs, glutes, and biceps.