Training

The 11 Best HIIT Workouts For Any Goal

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, so as you might guess, it involves bouts of high-intensity exercise with brief rest periods. This type of training should only be performed by those who are already well conditioned and do not have any underlying health conditions. 

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What are the benefits of HIIT?

Fat loss

Losing fat requires an individual to be in a caloric deficit. This means that you’ll need to be consuming fewer calories than you’re using throughout the day. 

Due to the nature of HIIT workouts, we’re able to significantly increase our daily caloric expenditure, thus resulting in fat loss – provided we consume fewer calories than we use. Training also boosts your metabolism – your body will be utilising a greater number of calories when at rest, as they are needed to support muscle recovery throughout the day. 

 

Muscle gain

While this type of training would not be considered optimal for gaining muscle mass, it still provides a good method for loading your muscles. Progressively overloading your muscles with challenging stimuli, such as HIIT, is likely to stimulate a moderate hypertrophic response. 

Additionally, you should expect adaptations to your strength and muscular power as a result of HIIT training. 

 

Increased heart rate

Increasing your heart rate for sustained periods is one of the best ways to keep your heart healthy. Not only will you improve your cardiovascular fitness, and thus be able to perform longer and more intense sessions, but you’ll also mitigate the risk of cardiovascular diseases. 

 

Reduced blood pressure

Improving your cardiovascular fitness can help to reduce hypertension, reducing the risk of certain cardiovascular diseases. Additionally, intense exercise can help to manage cortisol levels – the body’s stress hormone. This can also contribute to a lower blood pressure, thus improving longevity. 

 

HIIT Video Workouts

20 Minute, Upper Body HIIT Workout | No Equipment

This workout doesn’t require any equipment – all you need is appropriate clothing and enough space available to do the exercises. 

This session is great for building strength and muscular endurance in your upper body. If you struggle with any of the exercises, feel free to regress or substitute them. 

This workout lasts for 20-minutes, so it’s perfect for if you need to pack a quick session in!

  

20 Minute HIIT Workout for Fat Loss

This high-intensity session aims to get your heart rate up, using a combination of different exercises. 

The goal here is fat loss, so try to keep up with the video so that the appropriate effective intensity can be maintained throughout the video. 

 

15 Minute Home HIIT Workout for Abs

This session focuses on the abdominal muscles – developing strength and muscular endurance. 

Rest is shown in between each set, but if you’re struggling to keep up, feel free to extend the rest period before continuing. Each exercise also has a regressed version demonstrated, so this session should be suitable for all levels!

 

20 Minute HIIT Session at Home | With Lillie Smith

This session uses a mix of upper, lower and core exercises to challenge you. 

If you struggle to keep up with the session, then feel free to pause in order to let your heart rate settle slightly before progressing to the following exercise.

  

15 Minute Home HIIT Workout for Minimal Space

This session uses no equipment and utilises a small amount of space. 

Although lockdowns are now (hopefully) over, some may still prefer to get a session in at home – this workout allows you to do so without re-arranging your living room.

  

Home HIIT Workouts

Like marmite, you either love home workouts or you’ve grown to hate them by now. Regardless of how you feel about them, HIIT workouts offer a convenient alternative for those of us who are tight on time or have limited access to a gym or equipment. 

Furthermore, if you’re new to exercise, then you may lack the confidence to hit the gym. For that reason, home HIIT workouts are also an effective method of getting you fit and accustomed to common exercises.

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10 Minute HIIT

If you often find yourself struggling to hit the gym due to time constraints, then worry no more. Our 10-minute workouts can be done at home, getting your heart rate up and making some meaningful adaptations in a brief session.

 

Common HIIT mistakes and how to fix them

Letting form break down

As we progress through a workout, particularly when they’re intense, we tend to compromise on our technique. This is due to fatigue, where the muscles used to perform a given exercise become tired. This can subsequently result in injuries. 

To fix this, notice when you are becoming fatigued, and focus on the technical execution of the exercise. This might mean performing fewer reps, but even when we are doing HIIT, it’s quality over quantity. 

 

Not reaching the required intensity

When an experienced exerciser takes part in HIIT, there can be a tendency to hold back a bit. If your technique is not going to be compromised, then HIIT should be a sustained or all-out effort, depending on the session. 

Instead of simply going through the motions, make sure there is the intent behind the exercise you’re performing. This can be aided with motivation from a trainer or a friend. 

 

Not utilising the correct technique

Make sure that you are aware of the correct technique for each exercise before you start the session. If you perform the exercises incorrectly, then it is possible that the session will be unsafe, and it is likely that it will be ineffective at working the desired muscles. 

 

How to fuel your HIIT workouts

Fuelling your HIIT sessions takes more than just some carbohydrates. Although carbs regularly make up the bulk of our diets as they provide us with much-needed energy, we need to look outside the carbohydrate “box” and think about other sources of energy if we want to feel raring to go for our HIIT workouts.

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Chris Davies

Chris Davies

Writer and expert


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