50 HIIT exercises you can use to create your workout

In Fitness, Weight Loss by Rachel SmithLeave a Comment

HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, is being shown time and time again by current science to be the #1 way to lose fat and gain muscle by way of exercise.  (This doesn’t mean that you don’t need to take a good hard look at your whole lifestyle!)

Are you sure?

Yes!  Slogging away hours and hours on the treadmill to burn calories is less effective in the long term for healthy weight loss than HIIT.  Fat loss is so incredibly much more complicated than the overly simplified calories in/calories out model.  I can go on and on about the various things that impact healthy weight loss.  But I’ll keep to the topic at hand!

Why is HIIT so effective?

HIIT influences hormone levels, most notably human growth hormone, which causes the body to put on muscle which burns energy all day long.  The stimulation of muscles is the most effective way to burn energy through the day.

And now….

50 HIIT exercises that you can use to make up your very own circuit workout!
  1. Pushups (on feet)
  2. Pushups (on knees)
  3. Pushup claps
  4. Crunches
  5. V sits
  6. Lunges (no weight)
  7. Lunges (with weight)
  8. Lunge jumps alternating
  9. Lunge jumps alternating with dumbbell punches
  10. Star jumps
  11. Running on spot (high knees)
  12. Boxing (air)
  13. Boxing (pads or punching bag)
  14. Boxing (dumbbells in hand)
  15. Boxing (theraband resistance)
  16. Step ups (no weight)
  17. Step ups (with weight)
  18. Sideways step overs
  19. Exercise bike sprints
  20. Plank Jacks
  21. Skipping
  22. Burpees (no pushups)
  23. Burpees with pushups
  24. Burpees without the jumps
  25. Shuttle runs
  26. Mountain climbers
  27. Squats (body weight)
  28. Squats (with bar)
  29. Squats (goblet)
  30. Box jumps
  31. Push press with barbell
  32. Cleans with barbell +/- presses
  33. Fast feet
  34. Tuck jumps
  35. Squat jumps
  36. Kicks (pads or punching bag)
  37. Knees (punching bag)
  38. Elbows (punching bag)
  39. Speedball
  40. Step up hops
  41. Tricep dips
  42. Bending leg lifts (supine)
  43. Straight leg lifts (supine)
  44. Cycling sit-ups
  45. Medicine ball push-pulls
  46. Medicine ball squat-lifts
  47. Downward dog pushups
  48. Single leg squats +/- hops
  49. Hopping sprints
  50. Jumping sprints

You can pick the exercises randomly or choose ones that specifically will work different areas.  I suggest choosing 5-10 at a time and doing your intervals with those exercises.  If you go through every selected exercise based on your total number of intervals, start again at the start until you have completed your intervals.  Ensure you have correct technique.  You will want to modify your work/rest load based on your current fitness levels.  But keep in mind that no matter your fitness, you have to be working as hard and fast as possible during your work period and then resting in the rest period.

Warm up is crucial prior to beginning your workout due to the fact that you will be exercising as intensely as possible.  Ensure your muscles and body are warm and spend some time doing each activity at a fairly easy pace prior to beginning your training session.

Suggested programs:

Beginners – 30 sec work, 30 sec rest for a total of 20 intervals (20 min workout)

Moderate – 45 sec work, 30 sec rest for a total of 30 intervals (37.5 min workout)

Advanced – 1 min work, 15 sec rest for a total of 40 intervals (50 min workout)

After your workout is complete, be sure to drink plenty of water and stretch.  You may want to consider adding electrolytes to your water such as lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt or himalayan salt to avoid cramps and help your body make a great recovery after losing so much salt in your sweat.

Now I want to hear from you.  What other exercises do you add into your HIIT workout?

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About the Author

Rachel Smith


Rachel completed her Bachelor of Physiotherapy from the University of South Australia in 2006 and left private practise to open BodySmith Fitness with her husband, Matt Smith, in 2014. Rachel was awarded her Black Belt and Diploma from the Japan Karate Association in 2012. Rachel spent 6 years in competitive Olympic Weightlifting and in 2006 was ranked 7th in Australia in her class. Rachel spent 10 years in Gymnastics growing up, which set her up to springboard into her other pursuits. 😉 Rachel has extensively researched Health and Nutrition and this is her passion; to help people in their Fitness journey.