In this article on HIIT for weight loss, we will look at eight different HIIT workout routines that bring fast and reliable results.
HIIT, AKA High-Intensity Interval Training, provides a highly effective means of improving cardiovascular health and fitness, toning and building muscle, lowering body fat, and promoting weight loss.
Also known as High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise (HIIE), or Sprint Interval Training (SIT), workouts comprise short periods of vigorous anaerobic exercise, alternated with brief low-intensity recovery periods.
A simple example of a HIIT workout is 30 seconds of sprinting, followed by 90 seconds of walking. Repeat this sequence for anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes depending on your current level of fitness. As you become fitter, spend longer sprinting and less time walking.
Almost any aerobic activity you can think of can be teamed with HIIT. Cardio equipment can also be incorporated into your workouts. You could use a stair climber or a treadmill, alternating your speed, intensity, and incline throughout your sessions. Other options include varying your pace while cycling or jumping rope.
The following 8 HIIT for weight loss workouts are among my favorites. If you are new to this form of exercise, start with the Beginner HIIT workout routine. Try the others when your fitness improves.
21-Minute HIIT Workout Routine for Beginners
8 HIIT for Weight Loss Workouts for You to Try
NB: Start every HIIT workout with a five to eight-minute Warm-Up and end it with a Cool-Down that includes some gentle stretches.
If you’re not familiar with the exercises, Google them or do a YouTube search.
1. Beginner HIIT Workout Routine
If you are not accustomed to exercising you may think that High-Intensity Interval Training is beyond you. While it’s true that brand new exercisers should steer clear of HIIT until they have a certain level of fitness, there will come a time when you will be ready to try it. When this time arrives, start with a beginner HIIT workout routine such as the one below.
Choose five different exercises. For this workout, we will go with Burpees, Jumping Jacks, Squats, Raised Arm Circles, and High Knees. Do five x 20-second rounds of each exercise, taking a 30-second rest between each round.
2. Simple Seven Minute Workout
By doing twelve different exercises for thirty seconds each with a 10-second rest between each, you can do an entire HIIT workout routine in just 7 minutes.
Start your workout with Jumping Jacks, following these with Wall Sitting, Push-Ups, then Crunches. Next, move on to Chair Sit-Ups, Squats, and Tricep Dips. Finish your workout with Planks, High Knees while running in place, Lunges, Push-Up Rotations, and Side Planks.
3. Treadmill Based Workout
Treadmills are ideal to incorporate into HIIT for weight loss workouts, and this short, one-mile uphill workout with mixed elevation levels packs a punch.
Starting with your treadmill set at a 10% incline, walk at a pace of 3.4 miles per hour for five minutes to warm up.
Change the slope to 15% and walk for one minute at 3.2 miles per hour. Follow this with a 30-second five miles per hour jog.
Finally, decrease the incline to 8%, then walk for five minutes at 3.4 miles per hour to cool down.
4. Kettlebell Workout
Combining HIIT and weight training is excellent for strengthening the core and stabilizer muscles and burning fat. The unique shape of the kettlebell will force your body to compensate for its weight imbalance, so results will come quickly.
Exercises to include in the workout are one-arm Cleans, two-arm Front Swings, Goblet Squats, Overhead Presses with one arm, Reverse Lunges, and Floor Crunches. Do 10 to 15 reps per round and four of five rounds of each exercise, resting for one minute between each.
5. Outdoor Activity Workout
If you’d prefer to exercise outdoors than inside your house or at a gym, this High-Intensity Interval Training workout routine should suit you to a T. With no equipment requirements, you can do it on a running track, at a park, or anywhere there’s a long stretch of free-space.
Sprint for 10 yards, then turn and walk back to your starting point. Next, sprint 20 yards, then walk back to where you started. Do five rounds in total, increasing the distance you sprint to 30 yards, 40 yards, then 50 yards.
A variation of this workout is to sprint 30 yards ten times alternating between doing side shuffles and running backward when returning to your starting point.
6. Home Based Workout
If you don’t have access to a gym or you would rather work out in the comfort and convenience of your home, give this 20-minute HIIT workout routine a try. It targets the same muscles as some equipment you will find at a gym, using your bodyweight as the resistance.
The workout comprises eight exercises, with two different options for the last two. Each drill is done 10 to 15 times for 3 to 5 rounds, with a two-minute rest in between.
Exercises to include are Burpees, Push-Ups, Crunches, Squat Jumps, Bicycle Crunches, Mountain Climbers, Walking or Reverse Lunges, and either a 20-yard sprint or 10 to 15 Jumping Jacks.
7. Partner Workout
Exercising alone is fine, but working out with a partner can be more fun, and it will sometimes bring better results. Having a workout buddy can also make it easier to stick to a routine as you will be accountable to each other, and the added element of friendly competition can be motivating.
The partner workout begins with one person doing the first exercise, while the other person does the second one concurrently. Do 10 to 15 reps of each exercise for 5 rounds, taking a 30-second rest in between.
Exercises to include in the workout are Jumping Burpees and Bicycle Crunches, Box Jumps and Push-Ups, one arm Kettlebell Cleans and Kettlebell Presses, and Sled Pushes and Sled Pulls. Follow these with a 30-yard sprint, and Kettlebell Front Swings. These moves can be changed up by doing Jumping Jacks instead of sprints, using dumbbells in place of kettlebells, and doing Jump Squats in place of Box Jumps. The next time you do the workout, swap moves.
8. Double Cardio Block Workout
HIIT cardio workouts are among the best of this type of exercise that you can do. This one involves two blocks of exercise.
The Double Cardio Block Workout involves four exercises, each of which are done for one minute, with a two-minute rest following the last one, then a repeat of the block. The exercises comprise High Knees, Skaters, Side Shuffles, and Burpees.
After completing the first block, move onto the second block of exercises. These comprise Seal Jax, Mountain Climbers, Squat Jumps, and Quick Feet. Again, each move is done for one minute without stopping. Repeat the second block once.
HIIT for Weight Loss Workouts Summary
The HIIT for weight loss workouts above are very effective, but you don’t have to stop at those. There are countless others, so make up some routines of your own. Start with what your body can handle and increase the challenge as your fitness improves. This will yield the best result and reduce the likelihood of an injury occurring.