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Published on August 5, 2021

30-Minute HIIT Workout You Can Do At Home (Without Equipment)

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30-Minute HIIT Workout You Can Do At Home (Without Equipment)

The “HIIT” in HIIT workout is an acronym for “High-Intensity Interval Training.” It is an interval program that alternates a high-intensity exercise, which is done for a short amount of time with a less intense recovery period done until exhaustion.

This type of workout is not for the faint at heart. HIIT workouts should be approached with caution. If you are beginning your fitness journey, this workout may not be out of the question as it can be adjusted for any “body” type. Once you are familiar with the format, it is one of the best styles to add to your weekly routine.

Benefits of HIIT

Adding HIIT workouts at home to your routine offers many benefits. It is the best way to boost your metabolism, lose unwanted pounds, build strength, save time, and help you notice steady progress in your fitness journey.

Adding a 10 to 20-minute bodyweight HIIT workout to your week is beneficial when at home or when traveling and you are short on time. Activities should be adaptable to your fitness level, daily needs, and current life situations to see fast results and avoid wasting time.

What to Expect While Performing a HIIT Workout

Any exercise program will elevate your heart rate, so if you have been out of the game for a bit, always consult with your doctor before undergoing any fitness program. It is also advisable to start small and build up your endurance.

If you are just starting, your rest period may be a bit longer initially, but with consistency, you will become more fit, allowing you to handle shorter rest periods and more intervals at a higher intensity. Expect to give maximal effort for the first few intervals.

Remember that this is your fitness journey, and everyone’s experience will be different. The most important thing is to meet yourself where you are and be consistent, so you can begin to notice your results.

Let’s get started.

30-Minute HIIT Workout

Here is a quick 30-minute HIIT workout you can do anytime, anywhere. Go at an appropriate pace for your fitness level so you can maintain good form throughout the routine, and always begin and end with a stretch.

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I like to follow the RPE scale or Rate of Perceived Exertion to gauge my intensity. If you do not own a heart-rate monitor, this scale will allow you to identify when you need to decrease or increase the intensity. (See chart below.)

    On a scale of 1 to 10, how are you feeling? 1 equals very light effort with a regular breathing pattern, and 10 means an all-out max effort where you are unable to carry a conversation. Throughout the video, I will provide tips and modifications to help you adjust your levels accordingly.

    For this HIIT workout at home, there will be one circuit of five exercises with three rounds each, 35 seconds of work, and 10 seconds of rest. Allow for a 30-second to 1-minute recovery after each round.

    Always begin each session with a dynamic warm-up to prep the body for more intense moves. Once you have mastered the technique for each exercise, challenge your body by adding another set and increasing your speed.

    Let’s dive right in:

    5-Minute Dynamic Warm-Up

    Decrease muscle tension and increase your flexibility and mobility around the joints with this 5-minute dynamic warm-up.

    (1 x 10 repetitions for each move)

    1. Jumping Jacks

    Stand with your feet together and place your arms by your side. At the same time, jump the feet apart and raise your arms overhead. Jump your feet back together and bring your arms back down. Repeat until the desired reps are met.

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    Modification: Lose the jump and step side to side.

    2. Hamstring Crossovers

    Begin at the end of your mat. Cross your right leg over your left and bow or fold forward from the hip crease, reaching toward your toes. Repeat on the other side, walking to the right. Come back up and repeat five times while walking left.

    3. Walking Quadriceps

    Stand at the back of your mat facing forward. Bend your right knee and grab the top of your right foot, pulling your heel to your glutes. Push your hips forward so you feel the stretch in the front of the thigh. Alternate with the left foot and complete five per side.

    4. Walkouts With Low Lunge Hip Stretch

    Stand at the back of your mat. Inhale as you sweep your arms up overhead. Then, exhale and fold forward towards your toes. Walkout to a high plank. Take your right foot and bring it up to the outside of the right pinky toe. Keep the left hand on the ground and reach the right arm straight up the sky. Twist. Bring the right arm down and come back to plank. Switch to the left side. Come back to plank and walk the hands back to the feet. Come back up to standing and repeat.

    5. Cat-Cow

    Come down to hands and knees. Inhale, lift your gaze, and drop the belly to the mat, coming to a slightly arched back. Exhale, tuck the chin, pull the belly in, round the spine, and repeat five times.

    6. T-Spine

    Stay on your hands and knees. Place your right hand behind your head. Twist the body, reaching the right elbow to the left thumb. Repeat 10 times, then switch sides.

    7. Bear Crawl to Down Dog

    Stay on your hands and knees, and tuck your toes under. Hover your knees about an inch off the ground. Inhale to prepare, then exhale, and straighten your legs and lift your hips to the sky, coming to an inverted “V.” Peddle your feet, bending one knee and then the other to feel the stretch in your calves and hamstrings.

    HIIT Exercises

    Here are the HIIT workouts you can do at home. Remember to take 30 seconds to one minute of recovery time after each round.

    1. Squat With Kick

    Begin standing with your feet slightly wider than your hips with toes turned out. Keeping your core engaged and chest proud, begin to engage your glutes and sit the hips back and down as if sitting in a chair. Continue engaging the glutes and legs as you drive through the feet to stand up. Balance on the left leg as you kick the right foot out. Pretend you are knocking down a door. Squat back down and repeat for 35 seconds, then switch sides

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    Modification: Keep the kick low.

    2. High Plank Shoulder Tap to Push-Up

    Begin in a High Plank position. Keeping the core tight, and lift the right hand to the left shoulder. Place it back down and repeat on the other side. Alternate three times per side, then add three push-Ups. Repeat this sequence until 35-seconds is up.

    Modification: Elevate the floor by performing the exercise on your kitchen counter or a sturdy coffee table.

    3. Lateral Lunge to Single-Leg Hop

    Begin by stepping the right foot to the right. Keeping the left leg straight, bend into the right knee, and sit the hips back and down. Come back up, step the right foot up, and hop on the left foot driving the right knee to the chest. Repeat for 35 seconds, then switch sides.

    Modification: Lose the hop.

    4. Side Plank Reach Through

    Begin in Side Plank, supporting your body weight on your left elbow and lifting the lower body off the ground. Ensure your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles are stacked. Take your right arm straight to the sky. Bring your right arm down and reach it underneath the body, coming into a twist. Untwist and bring it back up to the sky. Complete 35 seconds and switch sides.

    Modification: Keep the bottom knee down.

    5. Single Leg Knee Drive

    Support your body weight on your right leg and extend your left leg to the side. Bend into the right knee and raise your arms. At the same time, bend your arms by your side and bring your left knee in towards your chest, then back out straight to the side. Continue with this motion until the 35 sec is complete, then switch sides. Move at a speed that is appropriate for your fitness level.

    Just Getting Started?

    It is normal to be intimidated by HIIT programs due to their intensity, but do not let that discourage you from trying it out.

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    If you begin slow and adjust the workout to your own fitness level, you will eventually reap the benefits. Begin by adding a few jog intervals if you are currently walking comfortably for 30 minutes at a steady pace. Walk two minutes, then jog for one alternating a few times until fatigue or for the remainder of the time.

    Once you feel ready, decrease the amount of walking. If staying home is more your jam, perform a strength exercise like push-ups followed by 30 seconds of jumping jacks.

    Don’t like to jump? Perform the same move. Only do a side step and lose the jump. Once you have built a baseline fitness level and are ready to take up your level, perform the workout above once per week.

    If you have been working out for longer than six months and have a solid baseline, add the below workout two to three times per week. You can also adjust the intensity by increasing the time to 45 seconds to one minute instead of 35 seconds, and keep the recovery to 20 to 30 seconds after each exercise and rest time per round to 30 to 40 seconds.

    Takeaways

    HIIT workouts at home are a great addition to your weekly programing to improve your fitness level and change your body composition. Adjusting the intensity as you improve will give you the confidence to continue.

    Listen to your body to understand what’s best for you, and know your limitations. The more consistent and committed you are to adding these workouts to your routine, the faster you will see results.

    More Workouts You Can Do at Home

    Featured photo credit: Olivia Bauso via unsplash.com

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    Tara Mazanec

    Master Personal Trainer, Holistic Health Counselor and Yoga Instructor

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    Last Updated on October 4, 2021

    5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

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    5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

    With the lines of work and home becoming increasingly blurry, it’s no wonder why we struggle to find the time to prioritize our health. Particularly with weight loss, it’s often difficult to manage the ever-present constraints around work, children, time to exercise, and the feeling of exhaustion at the end of the day.

    Taking the effects of stress and the rise of remote work and work-from-home situations, we need to be far more tactical in our weight loss pursuits. Quite often, these exercises for weight loss at home aren’t even fitness-related.

    Firstly, let’s look at a standard day in the life of a busy professional or parent to really understand the battlefield in which we need to operate.

    We all have 24 hours in a day to work with. Knowing how we spend that 24 hours is crucial when learning where time will be best spent for our weight loss journey. Setting unrealistic expectations can be a quick way to end up back at square one.

    • Sleep: 8 hours (parents, if you’re lucky)
    • Work: 8 hours (sometimes more)
    • Children: 2 to 4 hours (includes pickups, drop-offs, and play)
    • Meal Preparation: 1 hour (at a minimum)
    • Household Activities: 1 to 2 hours (because someone’s got to do it, right?)
    • Total: 20 to 22 hours

    Taking into account that switching between tasks takes time and cognitive space, we can start to understand why people just want to sit and scroll through social media at the end of a day. We also haven’t factored in the work commute if you have to report to the office.

    Just realized you now have minimal time to yourself? This might start to explain why you struggle to gain momentum in your weight loss journey. Let’s work out how to take back the initiative:

    • Automate – Are there any tasks you can automate? If you’re fortunate enough to be gainfully employed, maybe it’s time to hire a cleaner or have ready-made meals delivered to your door. It doesn’t have to happen every night, but removing the decision of “what’s for dinner?” can be a great way to reduce stress and free up brain space and time.
    • Optimize – If you’re time-poor with kids, it’s time to optimize your activities. Turn screen time into playtime outdoors, and get them to join in on your activities. If your children are old enough, it might be time to start offering pocket money for chores and meal preparation. This strategy helped me stay fit as a single parent. By getting out and active with my son, I doubled my return on investment by staying fit and enhancing my relationship.
    • Eliminate – We’re only human. Sometimes, we simply have too much on our plate due to our high expectations. Take a look through your daily tasks and work out what can be removed.

    Now, go through this exercise yourself. What potential spare time do you have to work with? If the answer is none, you might want to keep reading.

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    Exercise Selection: It’s Not All About the Burn

    No equipment? No problem.

    So, we’re finally tracking the elements that matter. It’s time to start leveraging exercise to accelerate our weight loss journey. Alongside focusing on individual exercises that help with weight loss at home or caloric expenditure, we’re going to focus on another method to help keep you consistent and accountable for the long term: interest.

    Interest has been linked as one of the key motivating factors to maintain consistency towards a goal. By choosing a form of exercise that your body and mind can enjoy, your chances of weight loss success are far greater.

    Here’re the 5 best exercises for weight loss at home:

    1. Low-Intensity Interval Training (LIIT)

    Maybe the body isn’t what it used to be, and intense forms of training simply just aren’t safe anymore. Also considering the body’s response to stress, it might be in our very best interest to choose low-intensity activities that we can repeat daily.

    Mobility and movement flows have risen in popularity in recent years. This form of exercise focuses on restoring range of motion (ROM), improving stability, and returning people to activity. Some exercise options include:

    • Quadruped Rocks
    • Frog Stretch
    • Hip Prying
    • Scapula Push-ups
    • Hindu push-ups

    Below is a 10minute warm-up flow that shows you how to put all of this together:

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    2. Yoga

    Yoga is another perfect example of LIIT methodology that can be advanced as your ability improves. Focusing on mobility, stability, and range of movement using only your body weight, it’s a perfect entry-level activity for those that may have lost their way on their weight loss journey.

    3. Calisthenics

    Strength training at home can be difficult when you lack equipment or experience. An obvious path to building strength at home is calisthenics. Starting with just the following basic bodyweight movements:

    You can begin your journey with no equipment and build to quite an advanced level. Here are five movements you can look to master over time are:

    Depending on your ability, choose movements that allow you to progress safely over time. There is also gymnastics-based training you can move towards if your body is ready for a more demanding form of training.

    4. Aerobic Exercise

    Another underrepresented form of exercise, aerobic exercise is often overlooked for its sexier counterparts like strength and HIIT. With the prevalence of obesity nearly tripling between 1975 and 2016 and the major cause in adults being cardiovascular disease, it makes sense to focus on activities that improve cardiovascular or heart health.

    Another benefit is that it can be as simple as getting your steps in, going for a swim, or going for an easy ride or run. Phil Maffetone pioneered the Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) Method that almost anyone can adopt regardless of fitness level and experience.[1]

    Here’s a 30-minute session of aerobic exercises you can try:

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    5. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

    High-intensity interval training is a great way to elevate the heart rate and get the endorphins flowing. It can also be super time-effective, giving you a great bang for your buck. Try sequencing some of the movements and exercises above together with minimal rest to keep your heart rate elevated. Be sure to select movements that suit your current level of fitness and ability.

    Here’s a HIIT workout that takes little time and is suited for any level:

    Chipper 60

    Complete all reps of every exercise for time. Exercises can be done in any order and repetitions to complete the workout.

    If you can’t do jump squats, regress to normal squats, and don’t be afraid to change the leg raises to a 60-second plank if you need to. Finish up with some light stretching or foam rolling.

    What Also Matters: Sleep, Stress, and Stimulants

    Sleep, stress, and stimulants, also known as the hamster wheel of death. Tracking these elements gives us the power to finally stop relying on our ever-depleted stores of discipline and motivation to get the job done. It will also highlight the self-destructive habits that sabotage your weight loss journey.

    Simply put, stress affects stimulants, sleep affects stress, and the vicious cycle continues.

    Sleep

    Are you getting enough sleep? It’s well documented that sleep is an important factor in weight loss and recovery.

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    “Restricted sleep and poor sleep quality may lead to metabolic disorders, weight gain, and an increased risk of obesity and other chronic health conditions.”[2]

    Start this journey by tracking how much sleep you’re getting. Certain wearables can also track the amount of movement and time you spend awake or in lighter sleep cycles. Getting enough time in REM or deep sleep is critical for weight loss.

    Stress

    We don’t need to be fancy. A simple daily measurement out of ten indicates how much stress we think we are under. Using this number, we can observe the effects that sleep, stimulants, and exercise have on our stress levels, allowing us to deploy the right strategy for our weight loss goals.

    Stimulants

    Stimulants can be classified as anything we put in our mouths. Tracking calories, alcohol, and caffeine is a great way to observe, predict, and avoid trends or at-risk periods of overeating and destructive behaviors. Tracking this is aligned with how well we sleep, and our stress response gives us enough information to start forming better weight loss habits.

    Work to identify the trigger, observe the response, and then look to adjust.

    Final Thoughts

    Whether you’re fighting fit or returning to activity, the best exercises for weight loss at home are the ones that you can do day in day out that you enjoy. Think of exercise for weight loss as we do for compound interest. Consistently and regularly making deposits may not show immediately, but with time, they give you the momentum you need to reach your goals.

    Featured photo credit: Olivia Bauso via unsplash.com

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    Reference

    [1] PhilMaffetone: Maximum Aerobic Function
    [2] SleepFoundation.org: Why is sleep so important to weight loss?

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