What Are High-Intensity Interval Training Exercises?

What Are High-Intensity Interval Training Exercises?

If you are working out or interacting with individuals who are working out, you need to be familiar with high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Of course, most people associate it with panting, sweating, and even burpees (I.e. a lot of burpees). Now beyond these kinds of basic exercises, it understands such exercises are intense and is something that you do during intervals. Doesn’t it sound like training?

Frankly, it is not. There is more to high-intensity interval training (aka HIIT) than the name alone it suggests. Basically, HIIT is a or specific kind of training. It is possible to do high-intensity or interval training without doing any real HIIT workouts.

In addition, if you check out, there is a huge amount of misinformation regarding HIIT which might lead you to think that you are going to get the required (shredded) results you wanted without doing the required work.

The HIIT will be an incredible and great method to work out. With it, you can see that your body fitness and composition be just like you want, however, you need to do it in the right manner. Like most of the exercises, HIIT is all about torching your calories, burning the unwanted fats and creating more muscle growth.

Intensity – The Major Key

Unlike other exercises, HIIT is a cardio session. This is arranged as short bursts of few hard works. Here the whole point of doing HIIT is to get into or provide some intensity to your cardio exercises. For qualifying as the best HIIT, it is important that you push yourself to the maximum while doing each set.

This is the major reason why they are very short, which can be somewhere around 30 to 80 seconds to the maximum. Frankly, it is somewhat opposite of going for a long run where you need to ration your energy for sustaining the activity for a longer time.

Various studies show that working harder is the key to boost your endurance, regulate the levels of insulin and increase metabolism as well as lose excess body fat. Fitness experts feel that all exercises will assist in burning the required calories. So, more intense exercising means burning more fat. Hence, this is the major reason why HIIT is so famous and in demand.

Compared to other workouts like cardio ones, HIIT will be the most effective way of getting shredded. In the HIIT routine, it involves bodyweight work (like the push-ups) or even doing added weights like medicine balls, kettlebells, dumbbells, and exercises which will tone your muscles as well as help in spiking your heart rate.

Also, HIIT is effective in various ways. Not only it will improve your endurance, but it will also complement your strength development and assist you in getting shredded.

Frankly, this kind of intensity is something that needs a little to get used to. For finding out if you are working out hard enough, many fitness experts will use the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) scale which will provide the effort levels on the spectrum of one to ten, with ten being the all-out to the wall, providing all the things you never thought of or had the intensity.

So, it really sounds like a lot of work? Right? Well, that is the idea. Work harder = higher intake of oxygen = more calories burnt. With HIIT you can easily burn the required number of calories while as well as during the workout. All this, thanks to the post-exercise oxygen consumption or you can say the EPOC.

Research and studies show that high-intensity cardio exercises which make you out of breath will easily increase your metabolic rate. This will make you burn more calories right at the end of the session.

Taking Rest – An Important Element In HIIT

There is something that might not spring into your mind while doing HIIT. Well, what is it? It is nothing but taking rest. One important thing you need to realize and keep in mind is that taking rest during each of the set is very much important during the workouts. If you are not taking the required time to recover, then you are not properly doing the HIIT.

Besides, you must recover before the next interval and that is very much important. You need to force your body to repeatedly acclimate among two kinds of states. This will provide good cardio conditioning.

Now when the human body is working to adapt to the high-intensity (anaerobic) period towards the low-intensity recovery period in the HIIT, the exercising will lead to high caloric expenditure. This can lead to a good amount of fat loss.

Having a good rest period is very much necessary. It will prep the human body and allow it to reach its maximum while the high-intensity spurts. Now as you are aware of the basics, you need to make sure that your workouts regarding HIIT are hitting the right notes.

HIIT Is Great Workout – Still Try Other Training Workouts Too

Basically, the fact that too much is not good is correct. Keep in mind that overkill will make you avoid working right at your maximum capacity while doing each session. So, just don’t schedule the HIIT session every day in a week. A better approach would be to do HIIT three times a week along with two days of simple and moderate cardio exercises.

Also, you must keep in mind that HIIT is not for everyone. If you are planning on training for any specific race or goal, then you must follow the proper training program. HIIT might or might not be a basic part of that plan. As there is a huge intensity involved in HIIT exercises, you need to consult with your doctor before beginning any HIIT exercises along with other exercising programs.

HIIT Exercises You Can Try at Home Without Breaking Any Sweat

Now the following are some of the major HIIT exercises you can do following a certain procedure. It involves doing these exercises for 45 seconds, then taking rest for 15 seconds after each exercise. You need to repeat this circuit two times.

1) Jump Squats – Do This For 45 Seconds

First, you must stand to make your feet a bit wider, with the hips a distance apart. Then you need to bend your knees and make sure that you sit with your butt back and keeping your chest a bit upright. After that, you need to jump into the air as high as you can. Later, land softly and immediately try to lower into the next rep. Make sure that you do as many reps as much as possible in the given 45 seconds.

2) Butt Kicks – A 45 Seconds

Here you need to stand with your feet as well as hip-distance apart. Then you must kick your left heel to the left glute. After that, you must set your foot back down. Repeat this with your right foot. Make sure to continue alternating faster in the 45 seconds.

3) Mountain Climbers – 45 Seconds

Here you need to start in the high plank. Then you must draw your right knees just under the torso. Keep your toes right off the ground. After that, you need to return your right foot to the starting position. Now switch your legs and try to bring your left knee right under the chest. Also, make sure that you keep switching your legs as if you are running in place. Try to do it as much as possible in the 45 seconds.

4) Burpees – For 45 Seconds

In this exercise, you need to stand to keep your feet as well as hit a distance apart. Then you need to bring your palms right to the floor. After that you need to jump your feet back, making sure that you are in the high plank. Also, this will keep your core tight, as well as your hips, lifted.

Now you need to bend your elbows and do one push-up. After that, you need to jump your feet right outside of your hand. So, as you are standing up, you explode up and try to jump as high as you can, thereby bringing your arms overhead. Continue to do it reps as much as possible in the 45 seconds.

5) Alternating Lunges

Now in this exercise, you need to start standing to keep your feet together. Then step your left foot right out to the left. Also, keep your right leg straight and try to bend your left knee. After that step your left foot back to a standing position and try to repeat this procedure. After that step out using your right foot this time. Continue to switch back and forth. Do this exercise for about 45 seconds.

6) Jumping Lunges – 45 Seconds

First, you need to start by standing to keep your feet and shoulders width apart. Then jump the left leg forward and after that your right leg back and slowly land in the lunge position.

Then you need to jump up and switch your legs in mid-air. You will end up landing in a lunge using your right leg in the front. After that continue to jump back and forth, making sure that you pause a little as possible. Continue to do this exercise as much as possible in 45 seconds.

Besides these above-given exercises, you can do the next set for 40 seconds and then drop into the forearm plank for about 20 seconds as soon as you complete each of the given exercises. You must then rest for one minute after completing each set.

1) Forearm Plank – With 20 Second Hold

Begin with your knees and forearms, making sure that they are on the ground, along with keeping the shoulder-width apart. Also, the elbows must be stacked right underneath the shoulders, along with the forearms kept in a straight manner right in front of your ground.

Then you need to lift your knees right off the ground and make sure that you push the feet right back so that you can bring your body to the full extension. This will help your body to create one long line. After that keep your core tight as well as the hips lifted. Also, make sure that the neck is right in line with your spine. After that hold for 20 seconds.

2) Mountain Climbers – In 40 Second

Here you need to start in high plank and then you must draw the right knee right under the torso. Make sure that you keep your toes right off the ground. After that, you need to return your right foot right to the starting position.

Once you have done that then you must switch your legs and try to bring the left knee right under your chest. Try to keep switching your legs as if you are running in a place. Make sure that you do this as much as you can in the 40 seconds. After that take rest for one minute.

3) Forearm Plank – With 20 Second Hold

4) Plank Jacks – In 40 Seconds

Here you need to start in the high plank. After that keep the core engaged and make sure that you jump your feet in and out (like jumping jacks). Keep in mind that if your wrist bothers you, you can do this move on your forearm. Make sure that you do it as many times as possible in 40 seconds.

5) Lateral Plank Walks – 40 Seconds

Here you need to begin in the high plank where your shoulders should be right above your wrist and tight abs. Then step the right foot and right hand into the right side immediately. This should be followed by using your left foot and left hand. Also, make sure that you take a few steps right in a single direction, and then walk into the opposite direction. Try to do this as much as possible in about 40 seconds.


High-intensity interval training exercises are great for your body. Even though it involves various intense movements of your body, you do need to make sure to take constant breaks while doing them. Also, consulting with your physician and doctors would be advisable if you want to get the required results.


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.