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Below, we’re laying out everything you need to know about HIIT training. You’ll find two of the best HIIT cardio workouts and learn more about why you should try HIIT training today — even if you’re a beginner.
How does HIIT training work?
HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. It is a series of fast-paced, short exercises followed by brief periods of rest. Most HIIT exercises only take 10-30 minutes, so it’s a great workout if you’re pressed for time. (Click here if you want to learn more about how long you should work out.)
Benefits of HIIT
Tired of spending money on exercise gear or equipment every time you try a new workout? HIIT cardio can be done equipment-free and still get tons of muscles engaged. You may want to do the standing workout below on a yoga mat, but that’ll be your choice.
HIIT is also great for beginners. If you’re unfamiliar with the world of fitness but interested in trimming down a bit for the new year, HIIT cardio is a great way to start.
Additionally, there are some great health benefits to HIIT cardio. These exercises can help to get your blood sugar under control, strengthen bones, improve overall physical fitness, and more. For some, HIIT cardio may even be better than longer cardio workouts that don’t incorporate rest breaks, and the brief intervals of rest might help you to burn a lot of calories in these shorter spurts of exercise.
HIIT training is for everyone
For cardio fitness gurus and beginners alike, HIIT cardio can be an enjoyable and efficient way to burn some body fat and increase heart rate. Below are two great HIIT exercises for beginners. If these workouts feel uncomfortable or challenging or even make you want to give up, just remember that even physical trainers start somewhere. You’ve got this. Just try to finish every time despite the initial discomfort of the first tries. Through the power of routine exercise, these HIIT cardio workouts will become easier and you’ll likely notice great results.
These workouts are two of the best HIIT workouts for beginners, but don’t think of them as set in stone. If you can’t finish one of these workout plans, adjust the intensity and/or lengthen the periods of rest so that you can still meet your goals. If you’re already in great shape, these HIIT cardio workouts can still improve your overall fitness. These are HIIT workouts for beginners though, so similarly, if either of these workout plans are too easy, adjust the intervals for more of a challenge.
HIIT cardio workout plans
The 15-Minute Sidewinder Treadmill Workout:
1. Warm-up for 5 minutes, raising sped from 2.5 mph to 3.5 mph
2. Walk sideways* for 2 minutes at 2 mph, 1 minute facing each way
3. Repeat step 2 at 2.5 mph
4. Walk facing forward for 1 minute at 4.5 mph
5. Walk facing forward for 1 minute at 3.5 mph
6. Repeat step 2 at 2.6 mph
7. Repeat step 2 at 2.8 mph
8. Rest, catch your breath, get your heart rate if desired
*Make sure to keep your balance but don’t put weight on the bars on the treadmill with your arms.
The 10-Minute Workout:
For this workout, go all out for 30 seconds and then rest for one minute.
1. Jumping jacks
3. Peddling on a stationary bike
5. Sprinting in place