Research has proven that HIIT fat burning workouts provide one of the fastest ways to get into shape and lose weight.
If you are new to exercise, you may have heard of HIIT, but not know what it is. Pronounced “hit,” the acronym HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training.
HIIT fat burning workouts comprise intervals of cardiovascular exercise performed at high intensity for short to medium periods interspersed with “active rest periods,” during which time the pace slows.
Each interval is done for a particular length of time that varies, depending on the workout.
Keep reading for more information on HIIT Fat burning exercises. Find out why they are so effective, and discover five of the best moves you can do for fast results.
Why HIIT Fat Burning Workouts are so Effective
Along with burning calories, HIIT fat burning exercises increase excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), or afterburn, so your body keeps burning calories long after you’ve finished your workout.
For the fastest result and the most benefit, perform your workout at 85% to 90% of your maximum heart rate. Exercising this way will place your body in an anaerobic state, helping you to improve your endurance and fitness and burn more calories, even when you are resting.
How Long are HIIT Fat Burning Workouts?
You can get an excellent HIIT fat-burning workout in around 20 to 30 minutes. You will also need to factor in time for a Warm-Up and Cool-Down. While not as short as a Tabata workout, with this type of HIIT you can get a better workout in a shorter period of time than you would with most workouts that take twice as long.
Upon reaching the 20 to 30-minute mark, you should not be able to continue exercising for any longer. If you feel that you can, you’re probably not putting in as much effort as you should.
If you are really pressed for time, you will still benefit from doing a 15-minute or even a 10-minute HIIT workout. However, if fat burning is your primary aim you may be disappointed, as with workouts that short your body will not be in an anaerobic state for long enough to burn a lot of fat.
5 Top HIIT Fat Burning Moves for Quick Results
Many exercises can be included in a HIIT fat burning workout. I like to vary the moves I do to target different muscles and prevent boredom. That being said, I usually include the following 5 exercises in every session.
Burpees are one of the most challenging exercises you can do, and also one of the most effective. Targeting the entire body, they provide excellent muscle strengthening and aerobic benefits.
The basic move
1. Starting in a standing position, bend into a Squat and rest your hands on the ground in front of you.
2. Jump back so that you are in a plank position with your arms still extended.
3. Do a Push-Up, then jump forward so that you are again in a Squat position.
4. Immediately jump into the air with your arms raised towards the ceiling.
Do 30 reps.
If you are new to exercise, try modified Burpees. To do a modified Burpee, when you get to step 2, instead of jumping, step back, one foot at a time. Step forward one foot at a time in step 3, and in step 2 do a Bent Knee Push-Up.
Start with 10 Burpees, gradually adding more as your strength and fitness improves.
To increase the challenge, perform the exercise on one leg, with the other leg bent behind you.
Triceps are the muscles that run down the back of the upper arms, from the shoulder to the elbow. These muscles are not used a lot in day-to-day activities, so over time, they can weaken, leaving the back of the arms looking loose and floppy.
A basic body-weight exercise, Tricep Dips can be performed with the aid of a bench or a chair, or done on the floor.
The basic move
1. Sit on the edge of a bench or a sturdy chair with your hands shoulder-width apart near the edge of the bench, your fingers spread and facing forwards.
2. Keeping your back close to the bench and your knees bent, lift your buttocks up and slightly forward. (Your upper arms and feet will be supporting your weight.)
3. Slowly bend your elbows, lowering yourself towards the floor, stopping when your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle.
4. Press the heels of your palms down onto the bench and keeping your shoulders down, straighten your elbows and lift your body back to your starting position.
Do 15 to 20 reps per set.
Modified Tricep Dips
Instead of using a bench, work on the floor. In step 2, lift your buttocks only an inch or two off the floor. In step 3, only bend your elbows a couple of inches.
Advanced Tricep Dips
To make the move more challenging, start with your legs further out to the front. This will enable you to dip deeper, and your legs will be straighter at the lowest point of the movement.
To further increase the challenge, extend one leg out to the front, or cross one ankle over your working leg before bending and straightening your elbows.
NB: To prevent injury, do not overextend your back when doing Tricep Dips.
Jumping rope provides excellent cardiovascular benefits, improves coordination, and tones the muscles of the arms, chest, lower body, and core.
When choosing your rope, make sure that the ends come up to chest height or higher when you stand in the center of it with one foot.
The basic move
1. When jumping rope, hold the handles with your thumbs facing upwards. Keep your shoulders down and back and engage your core.
2. With your knees slightly bent and your elbows close to your body, jump off the balls of your feet, just high enough for your feet to clear the rope.
3. Jump for two to five minutes, depending on your level of fitness, before moving onto the next exercise in your workout.
Modified Jump Rope
If you are really new to exercise, instead of using a rope, simulate the movement. Holding onto an imaginary jump rope, swing your arms around and lift one knee up high before placing it back on the ground, alternating legs in a stepping fashion.
Advanced Jump Rope
Double the pace at which you turn the rope so that it passes under your feet twice before your feet touch the ground.
Push-ups strengthen the arms and chest, with a particular emphasis on the triceps and pectoral muscles. They also work the shoulders, back, neck, glutes, and core.
The basic move
1. Get down on all fours with your arms straight and slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, your palms flat on the floor.
Your elbows should be at about a 45-degree angle to your body throughout. Your body should form a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders.
2. Engage your abs, keeping them contracted throughout the exercise.
3. Bend your elbows to lower your body, stopping just before your chest touches the floor.
Pause briefly before pushing yourself back up to your starting position.
Repeat 30 times.
To do a modified Push-Up, follow the basic moves above, keeping your knees on the floor at all times. This will help to support your weight.
To make the move more challenging, do the Push-Ups with your hands on a raised surface, such as a bench, or the seat of a sturdy chair.
Along with being an effective cardio exercise, Jump Squats target the quads (fronts of the thighs), the glutes (buttocks), the hamstrings (backs of the upper legs), the calves, and the abs.
The basic move
1. Stand upright with your feet just over shoulder-width apart. Interlock your hands behind your head, or clasp them behind your back.
2. Lower into a Squat position and bring your arms back out behind you. keeping your thighs slightly above knee level.
3. Quickly explode upwards as high as you can, lifting your arms above your head and keeping your back straight.
4. Land softly then lower your body to a Squat position, pausing momentarily before repeating the above moves.
Do 20 reps.
Modified Jump Squats
Beginners can start with regular Squats, progressing to low, and then higher jumps, as fitness improves.
Advanced Jump Squats
To increase the challenge, when you jump, land in a Squat position on a platform that is at least six inches above floor level. Pause briefly, then stand upright and step backward off the platform and onto the floor.
Final Thoughts on HIIT Fat Burning Workouts
If you don’t have a lot of time to exercise, HIIT fat burning workouts will enable you to improve your fitness and transform your shape, fast. Along with being quick to complete, the thing I like the most about HIIT workouts is the variety of exercise options. By alternating the moves, you will get a more comprehensive workout, and you will be less likely to become bored.
The above exercises are just five of many you can include. Try them if you are new to this form of exercise, or if you’re looking for some new moves to add to your current HIIT fat burning regimen.