The Finest HIIT Exercises for Weight Loss

The Finest HIIT Exercises for Weight Loss

Excessive-intensity interval coaching is without doubt one of the hottest methods to shed pounds, and for good cause.

In the event you do HIIT exercises for weight reduction correctly, they’ll considerably increase calorie burning and fats loss. HIIT coaching can be very taxing in your physique, although, which is why it’s vital to observe a correct HIIT exercise routine and emphasize the proper HIIT workouts.

I’ve been utilizing HIIT to shed pounds and keep lean for years, and on this article, I’m going to interrupt down precisely why HIIT works so properly for weight reduction, my prime ideas for correctly utilizing interval coaching for weight reduction, and the seven greatest HIIT exercises for losing a few pounds quick.

You’ll additionally discover ways to keep away from the most important errors individuals make when utilizing HIIT to shed pounds and how you can correctly mix a HIIT exercise routine with a power coaching program.


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What Is HIIT?

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval coaching, which is a technique of exercising the place you alternate between intervals of (virtually) all-out depth and low-intensity restoration.

The thought is straightforward: throughout your high-intensity bouts, you’re pushing your self virtually as arduous as you may, and through your low-intensity intervals, you’re attempting to catch your breath in preparation for the following dash.

You are able to do many alternative sorts of HIIT exercises by fidgeting with the next parameters: depth, arduous interval length, relaxation interval length, and variety of intervals.

Depth: About 90% of your most effort—simply shy of an all-out dash. As your intervals get longer, you’ll have to drop the depth to about 80% of your most effort.

Arduous Interval Period: Anyplace from 30 seconds to 4 minutes, although most HIIT exercises are likely to contain shorter intervals of round 30 to 60 seconds.

Relaxation Interval Period: 30 seconds to 4 minutes, or across the similar length as your arduous intervals. These are additionally known as “lively restoration” intervals since you ought to preserve exercising however at a decrease depth (a jog vs. a dash, for instance). 

Variety of Intervals: In the event you’re utilizing HIIT for weight reduction, 4 to six arduous intervals tends to work greatest. It’s sufficient to burn a good variety of energy with out burning you out. 

Thus, a typical HIIT exercise may contain a quick 5 to 10 minute warm-up, after which 4 arduous intervals of 30 seconds every, with 1 minute relaxation between every interval. 

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HIIT Exercises for Weight Loss

The first advantage of HIIT is you could burn a number of energy in a brief time frame. In different phrases, it’s time-efficient in comparison with different types of train. 

Analysis reveals {that a} ~20-minute HIIT exercise (4 30-second intervals on a motorcycle with 4 minutes of relaxation in between) can burn about 230 energy. That features energy burned throughout and after the exercise (often known as “ the afterburn impact.”)

That’s about as many energy as you’d burn in 30 to 60 minutes of strolling, which makes HIIT considerably extra time-efficient. 

Other than burning a number of energy in a brief period of time, although, HIIT doesn’t have any particular fat-burning advantages.

Good proof of this comes from a meta-analysis revealed by a staff of scientists on the College of Sydney that in contrast the impact of HIIT and steady-state cardio on fats loss. After crunching the numbers, the researchers discovered “no proof to help the prevalence of both high-intensity interval coaching or steady-state cardio for physique fats discount.” That’s, each had been equally efficient over the long-term.

So, if HIIT helps you burn extra energy in much less time than conventional, steady-state cardio, why not do HIIT for your entire cardio exercises? 

Properly, you may as long as you’re solely doing one or two cardio exercises per week. The principle downside with HIIT, although, is that it’s a lot tougher in your physique and takes longer to get well from. 

In the event you do an excessive amount of (normally greater than twice per week when mixed with a power coaching program), you can begin to expertise signs of overtraining and hamstring your weightlifting exercises. 

That is why I like to recommend individuals use a mix of each very gentle cardio like strolling or straightforward biking and HIIT, so that you get the perfect of each worlds.

HIIT Exercise Ideas

  1. Train near your Vmax throughout most of your arduous intervals. That is the purpose when your respiratory turns into labored and you’re feeling like you may’t herald as a lot air as your physique desires. It’s about 90% of your “all-out” effort.
  2. Preserve your lively restoration intervals very straightforward. When utilizing HIIT for weight reduction, your aim is to burn as many energy as attainable throughout your arduous intervals. To do this, your lively restoration intervals needs to be simply arduous sufficient to remain targeted and preserve your coronary heart price up, however no extra.  
  3. Heat-up for five to 10 minutes earlier than each HIIT exercise. One of the simplest ways to heat up is to easily do no matter sort of cardio you’ll do throughout your HIIT exercise at a decrease depth. This ensures you may give your full effort throughout your arduous intervals.  

The 7 Finest HIIT Exercises

Timmons Technique

Learn how to: Do a 20-second dash at about 90% of your max effort adopted by 2 minutes of lively restoration. Repeat 4 instances for a complete of 9 minutes and 20 seconds of train.

Why: The Timmons Technique is a incredible strategy to get began with HIIT. It options very quick, arduous intervals and further lengthy lively restoration intervals, which supplies you ample time to catch your breath and actually push your self in every interval. That is the best strategy to get began with HIIT as you construct as much as more difficult variations, just like the 4 x 30. 

4 x 30

Learn how to: Do a 30-second dash at about 90% of your max effort adopted by 1 minute of lively restoration. Repeat 4 instances for a complete of 6 minutes of train. 

Why: That is only a barely more difficult variation of the earlier exercise, with longer arduous intervals and shorter relaxation intervals. This is a perfect exercise for somebody who’s already in respectable form and seeking to take their health to the following degree. Plus, it burns extra energy! 

6 x 30

Learn how to: Do a 30-second dash at about 90% of your max effort adopted by 2 minutes of lively restoration. Repeat 6 instances for a complete of quarter-hour of train. 

Why: It is a tougher variation of the earlier exercise. On this case, you’re resting longer between every interval, however doing 50% extra intervals, considerably boosting the calorie burn of the exercise. That is typically my go-to HIIT exercise for losing a few pounds quick.


Learn how to: Do a 20-second all-out dash adopted by 10 seconds of lively restoration. Repeat 8 instances for a complete of 4 minutes of train.

Why: Tabata is without doubt one of the most well-known HIIT exercises as a result of it’s very intense and time environment friendly (and has a cool identify). Analysis additionally reveals it improves cardio capability to the same diploma as reasonable depth cardio (no less than in people who find themselves new to the protocol). The draw back of Tabata is that it’s very taxing because of the quick relaxation intervals, which makes it tough to increase your exercises and burn extra energy (until you scale back the depth, partially defeating the advantages). Save this for after you’ve mastered the beforehand listed HIIT exercises. 

4 x 4

Learn how to: Do a 4-minute dash at about 90% of your max effort adopted by 3 minutes of lively restoration. Repeat 4 instances for a complete of 28 minutes of train.

Why: The 4 x 4 HIIT exercise options for much longer intervals than most HIIT exercises, which helps practice your cardio power system. This particular HIIT exercise has additionally been proven to enhance a number of measures of health, together with maximal oxygen uptake (also called VO2 max), blood strain, physique fats, and complete ldl cholesterol. 

10 x 1

Learn how to: Do a 1-minute dash at about 90% of your max effort adopted by 1 minute of lively restoration. Repeat 10 instances for a complete of 20 minutes of train.

Why: This HIIT exercise means that you can do a number of high-intensity intervals in a brief time frame. This typically works properly for individuals who desire a more difficult HIIT exercise, however don’t like the thought of pushing themselves for 4 minutes straight. 

Pyramid HIIT Exercise

Learn how to: Do a 30-second dash adopted by 60-seconds of lively restoration; a 60-second dash adopted by 2 minutes of lively restoration; a 90-second dash adopted by 3 minutes of lively restoration; a 60-second dash adopted by 2 minutes of lively restoration; and a 30-second dash adopted by 60-seconds of lively restoration.

Why: This superior HIIT exercise injects some selection into your intervals and retains your exercises fascinating. Every interval lasts barely longer than the one earlier than, making your exercise progressively tougher, till you attain the “apex” of the pyramid, after which you repeat the identical intervals you probably did earlier than. 

10 HIIT Workouts for Weight Loss

Biking (or Spinning)

Biking is without doubt one of the hottest HIIT workouts as a result of it’s low-impact, which suggests it’s mild in your joints. What’s extra, analysis reveals that biking may even increase muscle progress when mixed with a correct power coaching program.

Bicycling outdoors can be a good way to get pleasure from the advantages of nature, though doing HIIT on a busy highway or and not using a helmet will be harmful. Typically, hill sprints work greatest, as they mean you can work arduous whereas shifting at a slower tempo.


Operating is without doubt one of the most handy sorts of HIIT train you are able to do, as a result of it doesn’t require any specialised tools. And in case you don’t wish to run outdoors, most gyms have treadmills which makes it attainable to run whatever the climate.

That mentioned, operating causes far more fatigue and muscle injury per unit of time than biking, rowing, snowboarding, and different lower-impact types of cardio. Thus, it tends to intrude with power and muscle acquire greater than different types of cardio, particularly once you’re doing HIIT exercises.

So, whereas operating is a viable HIIT train, simply be sure you don’t achieve this a lot that it begins to detract out of your power coaching (which is simple to do). 

Elliptical, Rowing Machine, and Different Cardio Machines

Ellipticals, rowing machines, and different cardio machines are available in most gyms, and so they provide a handy strategy to do your HIIT exercises.

Ellipticals have the benefit of being low-impact, so that they’re straightforward in your joints. Additionally they contain each your lower- and upper-body due to the handles. That mentioned, in case you discover the elliptical motion unnatural, decide one thing else. 

Rowing machines (additionally known as “ergs”) are excellent for HIIT exercises, as they contain your total physique and are very low-impact. Additionally they make it straightforward to rapidly change your tempo, which isn’t the case with some machines, just like the StairMaster.

When utilizing cardio machines, although, simply bear in mind that the majority of them will overestimate what number of energy you’re actually burning.

Battle Ropes

Battle ropes are thick, heavy ropes that you simply swing together with your arms. They’re a well-liked HIIT train as a result of they offer you a strategy to practice your higher physique and so they’re new and enjoyable. 🙂 

You too can do many alternative workouts with battle ropes, supplying you with infinite alternatives to differ your coaching: alternating waves, leaping slams, and outdoors circles, simply to call a number of.

You may alter the resistance of the rope by altering the quantity of slack. The extra slack within the rope, the tougher your HIIT exercises will likely be and vice versa. You too can make battle rope workouts tougher by kneeling (so you may’t use your decrease physique) and by utilizing a thicker, heavier rope.


Kettlebells are an excellent HIIT train as a result of they mean you can enhance power and cardio concurrently. You too can make your HIIT exercises progressively tougher by utilizing heavier and heavier kettlebells. 

The principle downsides of utilizing kettlebells to your HIIT exercises are that they are often tough and even harmful to maneuver rapidly when utilizing heavy weights, and so they take up a number of area. 


Burpees don’t require any tools and are a full-body train, which suggests they burn extra energy than many different kinds of train. They can be used for cardio—however be sure you can preserve your kind till the tip of your units (don’t get sloppy!). 

Leaping Rope

Leaping rope is a enjoyable strategy to burn a number of energy, it solely requires the rope, and it provides you loads of alternatives to make your exercises more difficult as you get higher. For instance, you are able to do double-jumps, crossovers, and different extra sophisticated strikes.

In the event you’ve by no means jumped rope earlier than, be sure you take a number of weeks to get your kind down and apply the talent earlier than you employ it to your HIIT exercises.

Leaping Jacks (or Star Jumps)

Leaping jacks are a traditional full-body HIIT train that work properly with all the HIIT exercises on this article. You too can improve the issue over time by carrying a weighted vest, or introducing extra explosive variations just like the star soar. In a star soar, you squat down then soar whereas totally extending your legs and arms out, forming an “X” within the air. 

Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers are a body weight HIIT train carried out in a plank place. You drive your knees towards your chest one by one and preserve your higher physique steady like on the prime of a push-up. This makes it a full-body train that’s more difficult than it appears, but in addition very low influence and straightforward to do anyplace. 

Sled Push

Sled pushing is a incredible strategy to increase your cardio and power on the similar time. Because the identify implies, it includes pushing a heavy sled a sure distance as arduous and quick as you may. To make the train more difficult, you can even add weight to the sled or push it additional.

FAQ #1: What number of instances per week do you have to do HIIT coaching?

Though HIIT can pace up weight reduction, doing an excessive amount of rapidly begins to intrude together with your power coaching and might even make it tougher to construct muscle. 

Thus, I like to recommend you do not more than two HIIT exercises per week when chopping. If you wish to do extra cardio than this, do the remaining as low-intensity regular state (LISS) cardio, like strolling.

If you wish to study extra about how you can incorporate cardio into your power coaching exercise routine, learn this text: 

Concurrent Coaching: The Proper Option to Mix Cardio and Power Coaching 

FAQ #2: What are good HIIT workouts?

Virtually any train can be utilized for HIIT as long as you’re in a position to carry out it at a ample depth throughout your arduous intervals. 

Typically, lower-impact types of cardio, like biking, rowing, and rucking minimally intrude together with your power coaching exercises in comparison with higher-impact types of cardio, like operating and leaping rope. 

On the entire, biking tends to work greatest for HIIT, however you must do no matter you get pleasure from and might keep on with. 

FAQ #3: How lengthy earlier than you see outcomes from HIIT?

With the intention to shed pounds, it’s important to management your energy and preserve a calorie deficit. 

HIIT may help you get right into a calorie deficit by burning energy, however in case you don’t correctly handle your meals consumption, you received’t shed pounds. 

What’s extra, weightlifting can even enhance your physique composition far more than any variety of HIIT exercises. Thus, in case you aren’t presently following a power coaching program, begin one earlier than you begin doing HIIT. 

In the event you are controlling your energy and following a well-designed power coaching program, although, HIIT can speed up your progress. A superb rule of thumb is that including HIIT will pace up your progress by round 10 to twenty% normally. That’s, in case you’d usually take 12 weeks to succeed in your aim weight, you may solely take round 10 or 11 weeks.

How rapidly HIIT will pace up your fats loss in the end is determined by what number of energy you burn in every HIIT session and what number of HIIT classes you do. The extra intense and longer your HIIT exercises, and the extra classes you do, the extra energy you’ll burn, and the quicker you’ll lose fats. 

Bear in mind, although, you could solely get well from a lot HIIT every week. That is why I like to recommend you do a most of two HIIT exercises per week, and if you wish to goose your calorie burn additional, do the remaining within the type of low-intensity cardio.

+ Scientific References

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