Top 10 HIIT Exercises for Quick Results

​High-intensity interval training (HIIT) yields remarkable results. The results aren’t just more pronounced than with other workouts, they also happen much more quickly. However, doing it correctly is the key to those results. Lots of gyms offer “HIIT” classes that simply incorporate high intensity. But the right work to rest ratios and the right balance of resistance and cardio are essential to the method.

HIIT depends on short bursts of intensity, intervals of rest, and compound circuits to harness your full fitness potential. Sweat440 is a dedicated HIIT gym, where every class delivers an expert HIIT session. For the best equipment, trainers, and HIIT exercises, try a free class today! Here are the top 10 HIIT exercises we use at Sweat440.


1. Versa Climbers

Versa Climbing is a superior way to burn fat and build muscle with one machine. Our Versa Climbers provide a full-body workout, engaging all muscle groups as you pull down and step up in tandem. Unlike most cardio machines, it also provides resistance for your core and upper body. It’s unique in that it provides a high intensity workout with low impact on knees and joints, unlike rock or mountain climbing. The vertical design keeps your arms above your heart for optimal blood flow and maximum calorie burn. Like all true HIIT exercises, this innovative machine provides equal parts cardio workout and resistance.

2. Ski Ergs

Have you ever skied before? Were you sore after your first run down the mountain? That’s because skiing engages your core, legs, glutes, chest, back, neck, and arms simultaneously, not to mention your fear of falling! Ski Ergs bring that killer workout indoors for a safer, ergonomically correct HIIT session. Our machines keep you properly positioned so you avoid injury while enjoying the exhilarating rush you get on the slopes. Not to mention, you don’t have to worry about wiping out! In addition, there’s no coasting with Ski Ergs, the way you can coast down an actual mountain. Your heart and lungs get a total workout while you’re toning those abs and hamstrings.

3. Assault Bikes

Speaking of coasting, most spin classes and exercise bikes let you coast aimlessly toward mediocre results. Assault Bikes do no such thing. Powered by an intuitive fan, they actually increase in resistance as you gain momentum. No passive pedaling with our bikes, your arms have to crank, and your legs have to grind to stay in motion. What does that mean? You build muscle while burning calories, rather than burning through muscle with your cardio, like spin classes cause you to do. In addition, our HIIT stations are just 45 seconds, so you don’t have a chance to get complacent. You crush your Assault Bike session and jump off to the next station to keep your muscles guessing.

4. Battle Ropes

This is no schoolyard jump roping session. Battle ropes engage your whole body as you lift their weight, heave them into action, and steer them in different directions. Prepare to sweat and feel the burn in your legs, core, and upper body as you wrangle these powerful ropes. You’ll feel empowered, toned, and free from stress after one high intensity battle rope station.

5. Rowers

Rowers are a great way to keep your muscles guessing during a cardio workout. Most of us perform “cardio” movement from a standing position throughout the day: unloading the dishwasher, vacuuming, ironing, dusting the furniture, etc. But the rowing motion isn’t common in our day-to-day activities, which means our body has no muscle memory to rely on. That’s why it’s an excellent way to get a full body cardio workout, since it targets underused muscle movements. It’s also equally effective at shaping our legs as it is our back, core, arms, and chest. A brief session on a rower benefits more muscle groups than long sessions on the treadmill.

6. Sleds

Have you ever tried to shove a large piece of furniture across the room? It can be a humbling experience. That’s because there are multiple forces at play– gravity, inertia, friction from the carpet, plus the lack of places to grip the heavy item. Sleds implement these powerful forces to your advantage. Since our trainers can control how much weight to add to the sled, we can enable you to combat those forces at a level you’re capable of. The smooth surface, handles, and proper positioning allow you to increase your resistance beyond what you could move in other circumstances.

7. Slam Balls

A full body workout is best when it engages a full range of motion. Slam balls take your arms from the floor, up over your head, and back down with force, while carrying resistance. From the bend in your knees, to the arm extension, you lengthen all muscles in your body while making them stronger. Also, it’s just incredibly fun! One of the keys to superior fitness is consistent exercise. When you can achieve weight loss by slamming balls to the ground, shoving sleds, and throwing battle ropes, who wouldn’t come back for more?

8. Kettlebells

Kettlebells are an essential part of high intensity interval training workouts because of their flexible uses. You can do lunges, overhead rotational squats, farmer’s carries, single arm deadlifts, curls, figure 8’s, sit-up presses, tricep extensions, need we say more? There’s simply no limit to the moves you can perform with a kettlebell, which means you can add resistance to virtually any cardio workout. Unlike barbells, which are more limiting, kettlebells can travel with you to each station. No matter what your weight lifting ability is, kettlebells are easy to incorporate.

9. Plyometrics

Plyometrics are aerobic exercises that increase speed, strength, and endurance, often through jumping or pushing the upper body off the ground. Think jump squats, box jumps, clapping push-ups, and the notorious burpees. Why are these so important for HIIT? Because they engage your whole body and use your own body weight as resistance. This means you can build muscle without unnecessary bulk. They’re also high-intensity, so they’re perfect to perform in intervals. Try doing burpees for 40 minutes straight. It’s probably not going to happen! Plyo moves get your heart pumping so you can maximize calorie burn.

10. Cardio Planks

If you’ve tried a plank, you know the meaning of a full-body exercise. If you hold a plank long enough, you’ll swear even your teeth and brain start to shake! Planks require strength and endurance, as well as proper breathing to hold the pose. That’s why they are so effective. You’re using everything you’ve got to stay in proper form, which yields, you guessed it, even better form. Our gyms fuse planks with cardio through side plank crunches, knee to elbow planks, plank jacks, TRX planks, and more. Once you’ve achieved proper position and stability, there are endless ways to work your core beyond a standard plank.


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Try the Top 10 HIIT Exercises at Sweat440

10 HIIT Exercises to Try:
  • Versa Climbers
  • Ski Ergs
  • Assault Bikes
  • Battle Ropes
  • Rowers
  • Sleds
  • Slam Balls
  • Kettlebells
  • Plyometrics
  • Cardio Planks
Sweat440’s HIIT Sessions to Try:
  • SHAPE– Lower Body
  • SHRED– Upper Body/Core
  • SWEAT– Core/Conditioning
  • SHRED– Lower Body/Core
  • SHAPE– Upper Body/Core
  • WARRIOR– Total Body Workout

Our classes start every 10 minutes, repeat all day long, and are different each day, so you can come multiple times a week!