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This Home HIIT Workout For Beginners Will Get You Started With Lockdown’s Biggest Fitness Trend

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(Image credit: Unknown)

Interest in high-intensity interval training (HIIT) exploded during lockdown in the UK according to Reebok’s analysis of Google searches (opens in new tab), with interest rising by 60%. That’s on top of its rocketing popularity over the past few years.

We’d wager the dramatic rise was mostly driven by HIIT hero and PE teacher to kids and adults alike, Joe Wicks, whose daily HIIT workouts reached millions of people. Of course there were plenty of other PTs and studios streaming their own workouts, which would have contributed to the surge, and the fact that as a format it’s easy to create workouts without equipment meant everyone could have a crack.

“Lots of people are seeing the benefits of HIIT workouts,” says Joe Mitton, founder of MittFit (opens in new tab). “The soaring popularity will continue post-lockdown now that people have seen the benefit and created the habits.”

We asked Mitton to share a simple routine first-timers could try, or fans could have in their back pocket to fall back on, and he came back with the fine full-body workout below. It cycles through five fundamental exercises which together hit your upper and lower body and abs and slip in some cardio for good measure, too.

Here’s Mitton to run you through the workout.

Home HIIT Workout

Run through the following five exercises, doing as many reps as you can in 50 seconds. Rest for ten seconds, then move on to the next exercise. Don’t worry if you need to take more rest when you’re starting out – ten seconds of rest is short for HIIT. An interval timer on a fitness tracker like a Fitbit or Garmin device will help you keep tabs on the time, or you can use a dedicated interval timer – there are web-based ones (opens in new tab), as well as apps on the App Store (opens in new tab) or Google Play (opens in new tab).

You can perform the sequence just once for a short five-minute HIIT taster, repeat it three times for a 15-minute workout or six times for a 30-minute session. Adjust your intensity according to how many rounds you plan on doing – you should aim to maintain the same intensity throughout, so dial it down if you’re going to work for 30 minutes.

Before you start make sure you perform some dynamic stretches to warm up and spend some time winding down afterwards to avoid stiff and sore muscles later.

Squat

Time 50sec Rest 10sec

Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart. Bend at your knees and hips to lower, pushing your bum back as if you were sitting down. When your thighs are roughly parallel to the ground, push through your heels to stand back up. Keep your back straight throughout.

Press-up

Time 50sec Rest 10sec

Get on all fours with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your body forming a straight line from your head to your heels. Lower your chest to the floor, then push back up. Go from your toes to your knees if you need to make it easier.

Lunge

Time 50sec Rest 10sec

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Keeping your torso upright, step forwards, bending both knees and lowering until your rear knee is about to touch the floor, then return to standing. Alternate legs with each rep.

Jumping jacks

Time 50sec Rest 10sec

With your feet almost together and hands by your sides, jump your feet wider than hip-width apart and simultaneously raise your hands to the sides, bringing them back together above your head. Reverse the movements back to standing.

Crunch

Time 50sec Rest 10sec

Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Using your abs muscles, raise your shoulders off the floor, pushing your chest towards your hips, then lower back to the start.

Try One Of These Home HIIT Workouts Next

We have a wealth of HIIT workouts to help you pick your next workout, – so many, in fact, that you’ll be at risk of decision fatigue. If the above has whetted your appetite, allow us to point you in the direction of the two most popular HIIT workouts.

30-Minute Functional HIIT Circuit

This session comes from a branch of F45, a global brand of studios which, in normal times, holds intense group classes. One move requires a kettlebell and another dumbbells, but you can either improvise (a backpack loaded with books can work for both) or skip that pair. You’ll still work up a sweat. The format of this session is work for 35 seconds, rest for 25 seconds, and do three rounds in total.

  1. Kettlebell swing
  2. Burpee
  3. Bear crawl
  4. High knees
  5. Press-up
  6. Star jump
  7. Dumbbell overhead press
  8. Bodyweight squat
  9. Bicycle crunch
  10. See the workout

Joe Wicks’s Four-Week Fat Loss Workout Plan

The godfather of HIIT himself blessed us with this bodyweight plan, which asks you to do four 15-minute workouts a week. There are five moves in each workout. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds each, then rest for no more than two minutes. Repeat that sequence three more times. Here’s Monday’s workout.

Jonathan Shannon has been the editor of the Coach website since 2016, developing a wide-ranging experience of health and fitness. Jonathan took up running while editing Coach and has run a sub-40min 10K and 1hr 28min half marathon. His next ambition is to complete a marathon. He’s an advocate of cycling to work and is Coach’s e-bike reviewer, and not just because he lives up a bit of a hill. He also reviews fitness trackers and other workout gear.