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HIIT workouts for beginners

Losing weight, building endurance, or strengthening your cardiovascular system are all great reasons to work out, but which workout is best? Running, weight lifting, resistance training are all popular options, and then there are the classes – there are so many!

If you want variety, a great fat burning workout, and something you can do anywhere, try Hiit workouts for beginners. It’s a great way to build endurance, get healthy, and burn plenty of calories. 

What are HIIT workouts?

HIIT workouts are short periods of high-intensity workouts combined with short rest periods or light intensity. Most often, they are a combination of high energy aerobic exercise alternated with resistance moves. 

During the high intensity, your heart rate should pump at about 80 percent of its maximum ability for up to five minutes (work your way up). In between your intervals you can do active rest or resistance training, lowering your heart rate (and catching a breather). 

When you just start out, stick with standard high-intensity exercises and don’t do anything in between. Give your body the time to rest. When you build endurance and your body is used to the high and low intervals, you can build in other exercises into the rest period, such as crunches or push-ups for more calorie burning.

What are the benefits of HIIT?

HIIT has a unique structure but offers many benefits including:

  • You may burn more calories since you continue burning calories after your HIIT workout, unlike a steady-state cardio exercise like jogging that only burns calories while you work out.
  • You work out many muscles during one HIIT workout, especially if you include burpees, squats, push-ups, and other exercises.
  • It’s good for your heart. HIIT helps strengthen your cardiovascular system and increases blood flow to the brain.
  • HIIT may help fight type 2 diabetes. HIIT helps keep your glucose levels stable.
  • Anyone can do it. You don’t need any equipment, just your body and the willingness to move.

What are the best HIIT exercises?

Beginners should start with simple exercises and work their way up. Think multi-muscle movements, but keep it simple. They can be basically anything that gets your heart rate going fast. 

A few examples include:

High knees

Plyo push-ups

Squat jumps


Jumping Jacks

Suicide drills

Star jumps

Skater jumps

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If these exercises don’t do anything for you, choose any high-intensity exercises you like. Running in place, jumping jacks, or even running a treadmill count. Anything that gets your heart pumping is ideal.

Pick a few exercises, do each exercise for 30 seconds, and rest for 30 seconds. As you work up your endurance, do 45 seconds of intense exercise and 15 seconds of rest. Try choosing 4 – 7 exercises and repeat the cycle 4 times.

Can you do HIIT to burn fat?

Want the best news yet about HIIT workouts for beginners? You work your tail off for 15 – 20 minutes and burn fat for as long as 24 hours! How’s that for time well spent?

HIIT exerts your body so much that your body works overtime trying to “repair the damages.” It’s during this repair that your body continues to burn fat. 

This doesn’t mean you can eat fast food every day and do HIIT workouts and lose weight. It’s a combination of a good diet and HIIT workouts that yield the greatest results. Remember, you can’t out-exercise the kitchen.

Are HIIT workouts good for beginners?

Many workouts aren’t meant for beginners either because they’re too complicated or they get your heart rate pumping too hard.

HIIT’s not one of them, though.

There are many HIIT workouts for beginners because the workout is what you make it. Want your high-intensity exercise to be walking? Just walk fast. Do you prefer to run? Go for it. You can pick from any exercises we provided above or make up your own.

The sky is the limit and you make it what works for you. That’s why HIIT is great for beginners. You customize the workout how you need it. If you’re feeling too winded, slow down or stop. If you need a more powerful workout, pick up the pace, or do more intervals. It’s completely customizable. 

Is it okay to do HIIT every day?

Could you do HIIT every day? Sure. But we don’t recommend it.

It’s always a good idea to vary your workouts. It surprises your muscles, making them work harder with each variation. When you work out the same muscles over and over, they get used to it and stop breaking down and repairing – which is what burns calories and builds muscle.

Stick with HIIT workouts 3 times a week and alternate with other workouts, such as weight lifting, standard cardio, or resistance training.

Don’t forget, your body needs a break too. Either skip every other day or have at least two rest days a week to let your body totally heal from the workouts. 

Is HIIT better than cardio?

If you’re looking for weight loss, HIIT is better because of its long-term effects. HIIT workouts help you build endurance and stretch. They are also great at relieving stress and helping you burn fat.

Cardio is great for lowering blood pressure, helping with weight loss, and reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Both types of exercises have their benefits – rather than choosing between the two, alternate throughout the week with both types for the best results. 

Avoid these mistakes when doing HIIT

  • Don’t skip your warmup. You may think you’re ready to just jump into it, but your muscles say otherwise. You increase the risk of injury and decrease your risk of fat loss.
  • Don’t skip eating. Your body needs energy for the high intensity of HIIT workouts. If you do HIIT to burn fat, you’ll decrease the efforts by not fueling your body beforehand.
  • Don’t over-exert yourself. You may think 30 seconds is nothing and push yourself. You aren’t doing yourself any favors. Your body can only handle so much and if you tax it too hard, you’ll do more harm than good.
  • Don’t skip the rest. Even if you feel ‘fine’ and want to keep going, take the rest periods in between each exercise. HIIT for weight loss relies on the highs and lows, don’t cheat yourself.
  • Don’t use the wrong form. If you don’t know the right way to do an exercise, such as a burpee, don’t do them. If you do them wrong, you put yourself at risk of injury.

Is 10 minutes of HIIT enough?

You know your endurance. When you’re doing HIIT for beginners, 10 minutes is a great starting point. Eventually, you should work your way up to 30 minutes total, but don’t rush it. 10 minutes of HIIT is better than 30 minutes of intense cardio, such as jogging outside or on a treadmill.

When is the best time of day to do HIIT?

The best time to do HIIT is when you will stick to it. If you’re an early riser and love to knock out your workout in the morning, go for it. On the other hand, if you’re more of a night owl and can’t get yourself out of bed in the morning, do it at night.

You can even do it during the day. No matter when you choose to do it, make sure you’ve had enough to eat and hydrated your body well enough to handle the intensity of the workout.

Should you do HIIT for beginners?

If you are in relatively good shape, consider HIIT for beginners. It’s a great workout that is easy to do, you can customize it however you want, and you may burn much more fat and calories than you would with any other workout.

If you love the idea of burning calories for as long as 24 hours after you work out, try HIIT for weight loss today! You’ll love the simplicity of the workouts, and the results you get quickly. 

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HIIT workouts for beginners


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