HIIT workouts have become a staple in many people’s workout routines. During a time where going to the gym might not feel like the safest place to be, many people have opted for at-home workouts in the midst of the pandemic. One of the most effective workouts you can do at home with no equipment is HIIT, or high intensity interval training. These exercises are massive calorie burners and will keep burning calories hours after your exercise. HIIT is perfect for people who want to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. Here are some simple, equipment free HIIT exercises that you can incorporate into your at-home workout routine.
This is an excellent exercise if you want to engage your quads during your HIIT workouts. Start in an upright, standing position, and lower into a squat, with your hips sitting further backwards and your knees staying over your toes. From here, burst into a jump and land back in that same squat position. Repeat for around 30 to 45 seconds and repeat at least 3 times during your HIIT circuit.
Burpees are an essential full-body HIIT exercise to include in your home workout. They’re excellent at burning calories and target almost every muscle group in your body. Start in a standing position and lower into a squat position with your hands on the ground. Kick your feet backwards into a push up position, keeping your chest low to the ground. Jump back to a squat position with your hands staying in the same position, and push upwards into your original standing position. Repeat for around 30-45 seconds.
These are excellent at getting your heart rate up and a very effective HIIT workout. Start in a push up position and quickly drive your knees into your chest one at a time, with your feet returning to their starting position after each kick. Repeat for around 45 seconds to a minute. You can also add variations into this exercise, such as angling your knees towards the center of your body instead of towards your chest.
This exercise might be a bit difficult, but is a perfect addition to your calorie-burning HIIT workout. Start in a standing position with your feet together and your arms by your side. Jump off the ground and extend your arms and legs out, forming a star shape with your body. Land in your starting position with your knees slightly bent. Repeat for 30-45 seconds for each round of your circuit. You can make this exercise even more challenging by adding it to the end of your burpees for an extra calorie-burning boost.
This is an excellent exercise to get your legs moving without having to commit to a full jogging session. Start in a standing position with your feet at a shoulder-width apart and your arms by your side. Lift your knee and drive it towards your chest and return it to the floor. Quickly do repeat the same motion with your other leg, and continue this as if you were running in place with your knees lifting higher. Continue with this motion for 45 seconds to a minute.
This exercise is excellent for targeting your core while also keeping your heart rate up. Start in a seated position with only your heels touching the floor and your arms at your chest. Twist your upper body left and right continuously for 45 seconds to a minute. If you want to make this exercise a bit more advanced, try lifting your heels off the floor, which will keep your core more engaged throughout the workout. To make the exercise even more challenging, you can find a slightly heavy object from your house and hold it in your hands while performing the exercise. If you choose to add some sort of weight, move the weight and your hands with your upper body, which will help stretch and strengthen your core even more.
We all did these as a kid, but jumping jacks are an excellent way to burn calories during your HIIT workouts. Start in a standing position with your arms by your side and your feet together. Jump and extend your arms to the ceiling and move your legs outwards. Jump once again, moving your arms back down and legs back together, returning to your starting position. Repeat for 45 seconds to a minute.
While most of these exercises on this list target your legs, we can’t forget about the upper body. Push-ups are an excellent way to engage most of the muscles in your arms. Start in a high plank position with your hands on the ground, underneath your shoulders. Make sure your back is completely flat and neutral. Keeping your core engaged, bend your elbows and lower your body to the ground. Your elbows should be at around a 45 degree angle. Straighten your arms and push your body back upward to the starting position. There are plenty of ways to vary your push-ups to make them more or less challenging, such as changing your hand placement and placing your knees on the ground, taking some weight off of your arms.
This HIIT exercise is similar to a traditional burpee, but specifically targets your quads. Start in a squat position with your feet shoulder width apart. Bend over and place both of your hands on the floor, and jump back into a high plank position. Reverse the movement and finish back in your initial squat position. Repeat this exercise for 30-45 seconds.
This final exercise also mimics a running motion but makes it a bit more challenging and engaging for your leg muscles. Start in a standing position with your feet under your hips and your arms at your side. Bend your right leg backward and kick towards your butt and return your leg to the starting position. Quickly repeat the movement with the other leg. Repeat this exercise for 45 seconds to one minute.
HIIT workouts are an excellent way to burn calories and engage your muscles without an expensive gym membership or exercise equipment. Hopefully this list gives you an idea of what you can do to help you reach your fitness goals.
Lara Hill is a senior Public Relations major at Emerson College from Groton, Massachusetts. She has contributed to several college publications, holding multiple editing positions and focusing mainly on sports journalism. When she is not in class or writing, she loves to sail, watch sports with her friends and family, sing with her sisters, and play with her dog, Cassie.