HIIT exercise: Combine and match these HIIT workouts to create your personal HIIT routine at dwelling


Running out of time, but still want an incredibly efficient and sweaty routine? Welcome to your HIIT workout.

HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is all about changing the way you work throughout an exercise session – that’s the « interval » part, Certified Personal Trainer Michelle wong, CPT, a trainer at Life Time in Johns Creek, Ga., Tells SELF. So you will alternate periods of intense and intense effort with periods of recovery, creating a combo that really challenges your cardiorespiratory system. This means that you will probably feel a little short of breath. and break a sweat.

“You create a stress response that puts a strain on your body, and that can produce very good results,” she says.

Using a variety of exercises is the key to an effective and enjoyable HIIT workout at home, she says. « You can play with rest and work intervals, as well as specific exercises, and that gives you real variety. »

Best of all, you can run HIIT workouts at home that don’t involve any equipment, just your motivation and courage. Whether you’re looking for beginner’s HIIT workouts or you’re a HIIT pro just looking to spice up your routine, we’ve got a few moves for you. Here’s what to know before HIIT training so you can get the most out of your workout.

The HIIT Benefits You Should Know

As for the “why” of HIIT, research abounds on the benefits of choosing these shorter, intense sessions, over the longer, stable cardio that you would find with activities like running or biking.

According to a research journal in the British Journal of Sports Medicine of 65 studies that encompassed a range of HIIT-style exercise – and some had participants with chronic conditions like diabetes and metabolic syndrome – HIIT may help with cardiometabolic health, particularly oxygen use, regulation blood sugar and blood pressure. Plus, going hard for a short time can help you get more explosive and quick, as SELF previously reported.

Then there is the convenience factor as well. Since the HIIT workouts you go hard, these routines will be shorter than they are for more stable options. This makes them easier to fit into a busy schedule when you just don’t have a lot of time for exercise.

How to do HIIT at home

One of the best things about HIIT is the variety, as there are hundreds of options you can consider for a session, but that also makes it one of the most difficult. There are so many exercises to choose from!

So how do you know you’re creating a fresh and effective HIIT workout at home, instead of collecting a bunch of random exercises? It’s helpful to break them down into categories (see below!) That can be combined to give you a full body HIIT workout, Wong explains. That way, you won’t be doing all upper body work, for example, unless that’s your goal. And by alternating the muscles you are working, you will be able to work hard with each movement without feeling prematurely fatigued.

You’ll also want to add HIIT cardio exercises in between the movements designed for your upper body, lower body, and core. This will keep your heart rate up and the best part is, you won’t have to do them for long, Wong says.

“More isn’t necessarily better,” she says. “Because HIIT requires so much more effort in less time, there is a greater cumulative effect than lower intensity workouts using the same time. « 

But it also means that when you do too much high-intensity work, it can slow recovery, so it’s much better to take the « little goes a long way » approach. This means that you shouldn’t be doing HIIT for an hour, for example. On the contrary, 15 to 30 minutes, which includes your warm-up, short cool-downs between exercises, and your cool-down, is probably the place to be, Wong says.

When doing HIIT workouts at home, consider starting with one to two sessions per week, performed on non-consecutive days. An active recovery day following your routine is best, Wong says, and that can include an easy, relaxing activity like walking or yoga. This is important because it can give your body time to recover, as well as deal with any post-workout muscle pain that may develop.

How to Create Your Own HIIT Workout at Home

As we have already said, there is tons options for HIIT exercises. Some involve jumps or plyometrics, some use proven lower body, upper body, or core exercises, while others give more traditional exercises a dynamic twist – think cardio-centric additions like jumps or twists. Many are also compound movements, which work multiple muscle groups to really put a strain on your cardiovascular system.

An easy way to create your own HIIT workout is to choose a few exercises from several standard categories: Upper Body HIIT Workouts, Lower Body HIIT Workouts, Basic HIIT Workouts, and HIIT Cardio Workouts. (Of course, there is some overlap between the categories!) That way you can think of the workouts as a HIIT buffet, where you can choose the ones that interest you from each category.

A good place to start if you are looking for a HIIT workout for beginners? Choose 5 exercises in total, with the breakdown below, and double the cardio-centric movements. For example:

  • 1 upper body
  • 1 lower body
  • 1 core
  • 2 cardio

Next, think about how you are going to organize the movements. Since you are doubling down on your cardio, you can start and end with either of these movements and insert the upper, lower, and core exercises in between.

Once you have defined the exercises, you need to think about the schedule or how your work-rest intervals will change. A running failure would be one minute of work with 30 seconds of rest, and repeating the laps four times in total. If you are just starting out, you can cut down on your work time and you might want to slow down your reps, instead of trying to do as much as possible during your work time. This way you can focus on your form and get used to the movement.

So a sequence might look like:

  • HIIT cardio exercise: 30-60 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Upper body HIIT exercise: 30-60 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • HIIT Lower Body Exercise: 30-60 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • Basic HIIT exercise: 30-60 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds
  • HIIT cardio exercise: 30-60 seconds
  • Rest: 30 seconds

This means that each round would only take you five minutes if you choose the 30 second work interval, and only six and a half minutes if you choose the 60 second work interval.

But your training is not alone about those HIIT tricks. You’ll also want to include a five-minute warm-up that just allows you to move and circulate your blood, which may include just running in place, doing easy jumps or jumps, or skipping rope. (You can also try this specific 5-minute warm-up or this 3-move whole body warm-up.) You should also end with a cool-down of about five minutes. You can try this yoga recovery to relax in your daily rhythm.

Depending on the intervals you choose for your work-to-rest ratios, you can easily jump into a solid HIIT workout in 30 minutes or less, including your warm-up and cool-down.

Ready to start? Choose a few HIIT exercises from the options below to create your own HIIT workout at home!

Demonstration of the movements below are Shauna harrison (GIF 1) a Bay Area based trainer, yogi, public health scholar, advocate and journalist for me; Delise johnson (GIF 2), CEO and strength coach at Wellness and Weights; Amanda wheeler (GIFs 3, 11, 12, 17), a certified strength and conditioning specialist and co-founder of Formation Strength; Erica Gibbons (GIF 4), a California-based personal trainer and graduate student licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist; Morit Summers (GIF 5), a Brooklyn-based trainer and body-positive gym owner, Brooklyn Fitness Form; Angie coleman (GIF 6), a holistic wellness coach in Oakland; Krystal Salvent (GIF 7); Tiana jones (GIFs 8, 15), a New York-based dance and fitness teacher; Teresa hui (GIFs 9, 10), a native New Yorker who has run more than 150 road races; Cookie Janee (GIF 13, 14, 16, 18, 19); a background investigator and security forces specialist in the Air Force Reserve; Rachel Denis (GIF 20), a powerlifter that rivals USA Powerlifting; and Nikki pebbles (GIFs 21, 22), a New York-based fitness instructor.

Like it? Share with your friends!