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Published on September 13, 2019

10 Best HIIT Workout Exercises to Burn Calories Fast

10 Best HIIT Workout Exercises to Burn Calories Fast

High Intensity Interval Training, or as its street name better known as HIIT has been all the craze as of late. You might have heard your co-worker talking about doing HIIT with their trainer and saying how it has changed their life. Well so, what is HIIT? Let me answer that for you.

HIIT is a form of “cardio” training, the bouts are done in intervals, with high intensity during the active bouts and either active recovery or a stationary recovery during the rest bouts. When performing a HIIT interval, we would usually be aiming to achieve a max heart rate of 80% — (220-your age)x0.8. The work to rest ratio for a HIIT interval should be about to a 1:2 or 1:3, what does this look like? Well in a 1:2 work to rest ratio, we would be doing our high intensity portion for 30 seconds and have a complete minute (60 seconds) of rest.

What Are the Best HIIT Exercises?

Now that we know what HIIT is, and how to program it, you may be asking yourself, “What are the best modes of HIIT?”. Well is there a really best mode for HIIT for you? The answer is yes!

First, we have to see what we are looking to get out of it, and how long have we been training and, what we have been doing:

For someone who has been training, for a good amount of time and has running frequently might consider either sprints on the treadmill or outdoor/indoor track if it’s available.

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For a novice trainee, a good option might be to do something very low impact as they wont have the ligament and tendon strength to tolerate a lot of the impact that running/sprinting has.

This being said, a personal favourite exercise for HIIT for those just starting looking to get their conditioning up is Mountain Climbers, truly an oldie but goodie. Usually, a long lost exercise may be good to take off the shelf and put into work. Being a relatively low impact exercise, it also engages the full body, and firing up that core due to its hand plank positioning. The exercise is also a relatively very safe exercise especially when done on a matt, as the worst that can happen is you land on the matt. Also, the exercise is very scalable so as you get better you can easily increase the intensity.

How Many Times Should I Be Doing HIIT?

Once you have decided what type of HIIT to do, you have to come to a decision as to how many times to incorporate HIIT into your training week. This may vary heavily based on your training experience and current conditioning. For an intermediate trainee, this may be up to as many as 4 times per week in conjunction with a proper strength training regimen. When looking at a novice trainee, this may be about 1-2 times per week.

Although these are just general suggestions, some things that you should take into account when deciding what is right for you is what your goal is — is it just increasing your conditioning or, are you looking to burn a hefty amount of calories to help put you into a larger calorie deficit?

Obviously, if you’re looking to burn more calories, frequency will be very important. What that number may be will vary heavily on what your recovering ability is from workout to workout. What shouldn’t happen is after completing your HIIT portion of the session/workout, it shouldn’t trail into your next scheduled training session and impact your performance in that workout. That’s how you know you should tone it back and then increase according, with intensity and frequency until you find that sweet spot where you are able to get a good amount of volume while still killing the other portion of your workouts.

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Why Is HIIT Good for Losing Weight?

HIIT is good for losing weight due to its time efficiency. When performing these high intensity intervals, it causes your heart rate and rate of breathing (respiration rate) to increase dramatically, like literally fly through the roof.

This is good for you because it causes your body to burn a lot more calories minute for minute when compared to standard resistance training/strength training. Especially when you are cut for time and trying to make the most of that hour that you are able to set a side, this will be your secret weapon for increasing your energy expenditure and really aiding in helping you in shedding off those last extra pounds and bringing you to your end goal.

What Burns the Most Calories in 30 Minutes?

Ideally in this situation, we would be able to get you doing a movement that engages your full body. When able to run with efficiency and intensity, this would be our best fat burner. Getting those sprints on the tracks (or treadmill alternatively), in the sun and really getting that heart rate up there would be killer!

If you’re just starting, we are going to get you onto those matts and firing up those knees getting those mountain climbers on. Same thing, same concept really getting that heart rate up and getting that sweat on! Either or will be equally as effective especially when starting work your way into it and melt that fat off!

10 Best HIIT Workout Combinations to Burn Calories Fast

Combo #1

  1. High Knees (20 seconds work- 40 seconds rest) x 5 sets
  2. Plank Jacks (20 seconds work- 40 seconds rest) x 5 sets
  3. Burpees ( 30 seconds work- 60 seconds rest) x 4 sets

Combo #2

  1. Side Plank Walks (30 seconds work- 60 seconds rest)x 5 sets
  2. Jumping Lunges (20 seconds work- 40 seconds rest)x 5 sets
  3. Mountain Climbers (20 seconds work- 40 seconds rest)x 5 sets

Combo #3

  1. Jump Squats (20 seconds work- 40 seconds rest)x 5 sets
  2. Plank Jacks (20 seconds work- 40 seconds rest) x 5 sets
  3. High Knees (30 seconds work- 60 seconds rest) x 5 sets

Combo #4

  1. Side Lunges (30 seconds work- 60 seconds rest)x 5 sets
  2. Saw Plank (30 seconds work- 60 seconds rest) x 5 sets
  3. Butt Kick (30 seconds work- 60 seconds rest) x 5 sets

Combo #5

  1. Side plank walks (30 seconds work- 60 seconds rest) x 5 sets
  2. Burpees (30 seconds work- 60 seconds rest)x 5 sets
  3. High Knees (30 seconds work- 60 seconds rest)

Combo #6

4 sets of:

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  1. Jumping Jacks 20 seconds work
  2. Mountain Climbers 20 seconds work
  3. 60 Seconds rest

Plus 4 sets of:

  1. Side Plank Walks 20 seconds work
  2. Saw Plank 20 seconds work
  3. Burpees 20 Seconds work
  4. 90 seconds rest

Combo #7

4 sets of:

  1. Dumbbell Squats 30 seconds work
  2. Side Squats 30 seconds work
  3. 60 seconds rest

Plus 4 sets of:

  1. High Knees 30 seconds work
  2. Butt Kick 30 seconds work
  3. Burpees 20 seconds work
  4. 90 seconds rest

Combo #8

4 sets of:

  1. Jumping Lunges 20 seconds work
  2. Mountain Climbers 20 seconds work
  3. 60 seconds rest

Plus 4 sets of:

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  1. Jumping Jacks 30 seconds work
  2. Side Squats 30 seconds work
  3. High knees 20 seconds work
  4. 90 seconds rest

Combo #9

4 sets of:

  1. Squat Jumps 20 seconds work
  2. Jumping Jacks 20 seconds work
  3. 60 seconds rest

Plus 4 sets of:

  1. Mountain Climbers 20 seconds work
  2. Side Plank Walks 20 seconds work
  3. Saw Plank 20 seconds work
  4. 90 seconds rest

Combo #10

4 sets of:

  1. Jumping Jacks 30 seconds work
  2. A2. High Knees 20 seconds work
  3. A3. Butt Kick 20 seconds work
  4. 60 Seconds rest

Plus 4 sets of:

  1. Burpees 30 seconds work
  2. Mountain climbers 30 seconds work
  3. 90 seconds rest x 4 sets

Bottom Line

And there you go, 10 combinations of HIIT exercises that you can start trying to burn calories fast and stay fit.

If you want to learn more about burning calories and losing weight, take a look at these articles:

Featured photo credit: Sergio Pedemonte via unsplash.com

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Sergio Pedemonte

CEO and Certified Personal Trainer of Your House Fitness

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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