HIIT Training: Everything You Need To Know

Written by
8fit Team @ 8fit
Diahala, female, woman plank, happy, fun, phone
Written by
8fit Team @ 8fit
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Not everyone can afford a costly gym membership or even has the time to get to the gym. Being an adult is hard! You’ve got your day job, family responsibilities, and it’s not like you can afford a butler to help pick up the slack. Then you add bills, romantic relationships, kids, everyday errands––you name it––and life can get overwhelming fast. The last thing you might be thinking about is squeezing in time for exercises.

The thing is, regular exercise can make the daunting tasks of everyday adult life more manageable and even enjoyable. Committing to a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to take over your life. With 8fit, all of your workouts will take around 20 minutes or less and can be done from the comfort of your living room. Doing a HIIT workout is one of the best ways to energize your body and get your heart pumping.

What is HIIT Training?

Skaters ame female workout indoors

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training and it’s an effective way to burn calories and get stronger in a short amount of time. Best of all, it can be done right from the comfort of your living room––saving time on getting to the gym. It's an increasingly popular form of exercise because you can get the work done without worrying about messing up your schedule for the rest of the day. The fitness industry has fallen head-over-heels in love with HIIT, specifically for its ability to burn fat in a healthy, sustainable way.

Read more about what HIIT is.

Benefits of HIIT

The benefits of HIIT are varied. Workouts can be under 10 minutes (but rarely longer than 20 with 8fit), they can be done from the comfort of your living room, and they’re incredibly effective when it comes to building and toning muscle. Plus, thanks to the high-calorie burn, it’s an effective tool for anyone looking to meet their weight loss goals.

Tabata vs HIIT

You often hear about HIIT and Tabata in the same breath. That’s not just because both became popular in the fitness world around the same time. Rather, both operate under the same principle of devoting a small period of time to intense exercise. Tabata is a form of HIIT that simply operates under a specific set of guidelines.

The methodology was started by a Japanese professor by the name of Dr. Izumi Tabata (hey, that's the name of the workout!). The program was first developed to train Olympic speed skaters, but these days, it's being celebrated across the fitness world.

So what does a Tabata workout look like? For the first 20 seconds of an exercise, you work at about 80% to 90% of your max power. Then, rest for 10 seconds. You repeat the exercise again for another 20 seconds, rest yet again for 10 seconds, and complete those intervals for a total of eight times––adding up to four minutes of combined work and rest. Do that and congratulations! You’ve just Tabata-ed.

Read More about Tabata vs HIIT

HIIT Workouts at Home

A HIIT workout at home generally focuses on a list of exercises, performing either a certain amount of reps quickly or as many reps as possible in a limited amount of time. HIIT is a versatile form of exercise, meaning you can focus your efforts either on a specific part of your body or get your entire body involved.

With that in mind, we’re sharing some of our 8fit-favorite HIIT workouts that you can do at home, targeting a variety of fitness needs.

Want the latest? Check out this 16-minute HIIT workout at home.

HIIT Workout For Beginners

If you're brand spanking new to HIIT, you might want to ease into it before taking on more challenging routines. Besides, you don't want to overwhelm yourself and set yourself up for failure. Small, incremental steps will get you to your goals faster than trying to go all out and risk burning out.

So if you're tip-toeing into a healthy lifestyle change, try our four-round HIIT workout for beginners.

Full-body HIIT Workout

This full-body HIIT workout doesn’t require any equipment and only demands 20 minutes of your time. After a brief warmup, you'll perform a series of full-body exercises like bear crawls, push-ups, mountain climbers, jackknives, side kicks, curtsy lunges, and more to build strength, burn calories, and get you feeling energized.

Want to try something longer? Check out our 30-minute full-body HIIT workout.

Low-impact HIIT Workout

You might think something like HIIT is pretty intense. After all, “intensity” is in the name. But if you’re just getting started or are coming back from an injury, you might want to try a low-impact HIIT workout to get into the groove again. A low-impact workout usually leaves out more, well, intense movements like jumping, burpees or other plyometrics. Instead, a low-impact HIIT workout focuses on exercises like deep squats, isometric movements, push-ups, and marching in place.

Try our 20-minute, low-impact HIIT Workout.

HIIT Cardio Workout

This HIIT cardio workout features six exercises performed over three rounds with each round repeated three times. This is one HIIT workout that will get your heart rate pumping and really challenge your endurance thanks to its mix of standard exercises, like side lunges and sumo squats, with plyometric exercises such as skaters and jumping squats.

Read more about this HIIT Cardio Workout.

HIIT Workout with Weights

Adding some dumbbells to your routine is a great way to reap the benefits of weight training, like increasing muscular strength, endurance, and power. The above HIIT workout with weights includes a mix of upper- and lower-body exercises, like squats and shoulder presses. Follow along with this fast, eight-minute HIIT workout.

Read more about this HIIT workout with weights.

HIIT Core Workout

Reducing belly fat is often a top New Year's Resolution (or just lifelong goal). If that sounds like you, then working HIIT core workouts into your training is vital. Besides, there are plenty of other, more practical benefits of developing core strength than just the visual of a toned stomach. A strong core means better balance and overall stability. You might not realize it, but your core is involved in almost every movement of your day-to-day lives––only weakened by sedentary jobs. If you’re working at a computer most of the day, then strengthening your core is especially important.

Start off your core training with this eight-minute HIIT core workout for an easy-to-follow routine.

HIIT Yoga

yoga-for-flexibility-warrior-man

HIIT yoga might sound like an oxymoron. HIIT is by its very definition an intense workout. Isn’t yoga supposed to be, you know, a bit more zen? A little confusion is understandable but hang tight. HIIT yoga is a relatively recent trend that, when you think about it, seems inevitable. Both HIIT and yoga are ever-growing, popular methods of training. It was only a matter of time before their worlds combined, like whoever first figured out that melting cheese on toasted bread can be a simple, tasty snack.

HIIT yoga essentially combines your HIIT workout and your yoga workout into one session. Rather than doing a HIIT workout and cooling down with some yoga, you’re bringing together the best of both worlds. For example, you might start with an intense series of mountain climbers, burpees, and spider push-ups and then fill your break with a little downward dog before moving onto your next round of HIIT. That means you’re getting the sweaty, caloric burn of HIIT without sacrificing the stretching and breath practice so many of us love about yoga.

New to yoga? Try our 10-minute yoga for beginners workout.

HIIT Treadmill Workout

A HIIT workout doesn’t always mean you’re racking up burpees. Sometimes it means you’re hitting the treadmill for a series of sprints and jogs to help build up your cardiovascular system. That’s essentially HIIT on a treadmill. For something more challenging, you can play with speed and incline to make for a more challenging HIIT treadmill workout.

Curious to try it? Try 8fit's HIIT treadmill workout.

HIIT Exercises

Want to piece your own workout together? Lucky for you, we’re constantly updating our 8fit library with some of the best HIIT exercises out there.

You’re probably pretty familiar with how to do push-ups and squats. So rather than share basic HIIT exercises that you can already figure out on your own, we’re going to share some of our latest HIIT exercises to help bring a little excitement to your routine. Perform any of these for 20-30 seconds within your customized workout.

Punch Run

1. Stand straight with feet under hips
2. Make two fists and bring hands to cheeks
3. Run in place and punch forward simultaneously

Berlin Jump

1. Stand with feet under hips
2. Jump up, bringing knees towards the chest (tuck jump)
3. Land in a squat, place hands on the ground, crawl out to plank
4. Crawl hands back to feet, stand up and prepare to jump again

HIIT Berlin Core

1. Start seated with knees bent
2. Lift feet off the ground, reach arms out to the sides at shoulder-height
3. Keep the spine and neck straight, twist left while reaching right arm over to the left
4. Return to start position with both arms out, then twist right while reaching left arm to the right

Power Jacks

1. Stand with feet under hips
2. Jump feet apart, bring hands behind head
3. Jump feet together, pulling elbows down with force
4. Move fast for indicated time or reps

HIIT with 8fit

If you’re sold on HIIT and want to dive in further, we’re going to be a bit biased and suggest you download the 8fit app. 8fit believes in transforming the concept of fitness from the pursuit of perfection, to a liberating journey of healthy, body-positive and lasting changes. Our app features a variety of HIIT workouts and exercises that will set you off on your journey toward a healthy and empowered lifestyle.

Start your transformation todayGet your workout plan

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