Best HIIT Workout Exercises & Program

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has long been touted as the best workout style that burns calories in a short period of time compared to steady-state cardio. HIIT workout refers to a workout style in which you alternate a quick burst of high-energy exercise with a rest period. For example, you may run at the fastest pace possible for 20 seconds and then jog for 1 minute. You can switch that ratio according to your body’s capacity.

HIIT workout is one of the best ways to burn the most calories in the shortest period of time. Various studies have shown that HIIT workout is far more effective than steady-state cardio — for burning calories and weight loss within a short period of time. That’s because HIIT workout aims to increase your heart rate and maximize your metabolic rate, which creates an “afterburn” effect in which your body burns calories even during rest periods.

Furthermore, while steady-state cardio only focuses on cardiovascular health, HIIT workout may also include strength training elements. For example, instead of running on a treadmill, you can also incorporate weighted exercises or strength training movements into your HIIT workout. In this article, we give a brief overview of some of the best HIIT workout exercises and movements to make the most of your HIIT workout. Following that, we’ll introduce you to the best HIIT workout program available.


HIIT Workout Format

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) refers to a format of exercises rather than any specific set of exercises. Most people mistakenly assume that HIIT only includes cardio-based exercises, like running and cycling, but that’s not true. You can incorporate any exercise into the HIIT workout format. The primary purpose, however, is to push yourself in the first stage, and then rest, and push again, and so forth.

If you’re running or cycling, you should do 20-seconds of high-intensity exercise, followed by a 1-minute rest period, i.e., a 1:3 ratio. If you’re doing strength-training exercises with your HIIT workout, you can do 2-seconds of high-intensity strength training, followed by 20-seconds or 40-seconds of a rest period, i.e., a 1:1 or 1:2 ratio.

As you get accustomed to it, you can also change the ratio, bridging the gap between the high-intensity burst and the rest period.

Best HIIT Workout Exercises

  • Hand-Release Push-Ups: Start with the regular push-up and gently go all the way down to the floor. Once you’re down, exhale and release your hands while pushing your body up. Be sure to land on the flats of your palms and go down for another rep. If you can’t handle this variation, you can drop your knees. This HII exercise will target your upper body, especially your biceps, shoulders, and chest.
  • Russian Twists: Sit down on the floor while keeping your upper body tilted to a 45-degree angle. Your feet should be lifted off the floor. If you can’t manage that, your feet can gently touch the floor. Bring your hands close to your chest and twist side-to-side. If that’s too easy, try holding a weighted ball, dumbbell, or any kind of weight between your palms as you twist. This is the ideal HIIT exercise to strengthen your core, abdominal muscles, and obliques.
  • Supermans + Lateral Raises: Lie down flat on your stomach with your arms and legs extended. Breathe in and lift your legs and arms off the floor. Your arms should reach out in front of you. Squeeze your back and glutes for stability. Now, pull your elbows all the way down to your waist. Exhale as you lie down flat again. If you want to scale up, hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands. This HIIT exercise targets your lats and core.
  • Mountain Climbers: Start with the high plank position, your arms extended all the way down, maintaining a straight line between your shoulders to your legs. Now start driving your knees into your chest in a running motion. This HIIT exercise is great for overall strength and conditioning.
  • Star Jumps: Stand with your feet apart, knees slightly bent, and arms by your side. Jump and extend your arms all the way to the top, and extend your legs wide. Return to the original position. Repeat this star-shaped movement for the requisite period of time.

Sweat440’s HIIT Workout Program

Curating a HIIT workout program that incorporates the right combination of movements to lose weight and build muscle is difficult. That’s where Sweat440 comes in.

We have one of the best HIIT workout programs in the country. We provide a highly-scalable training module that incorporates elements of HIIT workout, strength training, core training, and cross-training. Through the week, we take you through four workout modules — Sweat, Shred, Shape, and Warrior. Our goal is to ensure that you burn calories while building muscle mass in the most intelligent way possible.

Sweat440 gyms are located in New York and Florida, though we will expand to other parts of the country as well. If you’re in New York, you can find our Sweat440 gym near the Flatiron Building. If you’re in Miami, you can find our gym near Miami Beach.

We provide free trial sessions to first-timers, so claim your free sweat session today!

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HIIT Workout

Best HIIT Workout Exercises
  • Hand-Release Push-Ups: Biceps, shoulders, and chest.
  • Russian Twists: Abdominals and obliques.
  • Supermans + Lateral Raises: Core, lats, biceps, and shoulders.
  • Mountain Climbers: Full-body conditioning.
  • Star Jumps: Full-body conditioning and cardio.
Sweat440 HIIT Workout Locations