High intensity interval training has become so popular that it might resemble one of those healthy-living trends that fade away as fast as they came. But this might be one of the cases where popularity testifies of success – not confined to the gym with its equipment, HIIT workouts for beginners are making their way into the homes and fitness routines of people who are not typical gym-goers. Not asking for much of your time (only much of your energy), high intensity exercises are a good way to lose weight, strengthen your body and improve your general well-being.

There’s so much to choose from, if you’re looking for a HIIT routine, but if you’re searching for something quick and easy, here are 5 workouts that will bring you good results without any equipment (or even without much space in your apartment!). Make sure to warm-up before and get ready to sweat!

15-minute wonder

cycling exercise

Set your timer for 50 seconds for each exercise and 10 second rest.

  • Start with cardio – jumps or jumping jacks are my personal favorites, or burpees if you’re feeling up to a challenge.
  • Continue with arms – push-ups or triceps dips. Feel free to modify your exercise so that you feel comfortable, yet challenged. Push-ups from the knees work just fine!
  • Another minute of cardio – high knees or jump rope.
  • Don’t forget the legs! 50 seconds of squats or lunges, or even jump lunges to really boost your energy.
  • End the cycle with an exercise for abs: crunches or plank.

Finished the cycle? Now it’s time to repeat everything twice more. You can choose a different exercise for each interval to avoid feeling monotonous. The quick pace and short duration make it an ideal HIIT workout routine for beginners.

Iron core

side plank

To strengthen your back muscles (and let’s admit, for those of us with desk jobs, a poor sitting position always makes for the risk of back problems) without losing much time, core HIIT exercises are the best solution. And who doesn’t want to have flat abs? This quick and challenging interval routine will make you feel exhausted… and after that, great!

Besides, it doesn’t require a timer as it is based on repetitions of movements. Repeat each one 20 times, after completing the whole cycle rest for 30-60 seconds and repeat everything again, twice.

  • Lateral plank tucks. Begin in the plank position, then bring both of your feet to the right, return to plank, bring both of your feet to the left, repeat.
  • Toe touches. Lay on your back with feet up in the air (straight legs) and hands above your head. Crunch to touch your toes.
  • Bird dogs. Begin on all fours, keeping your abs in. Reach your left hand forward and right leg back, without allowing your core to drop. Go back, repeat with right hand forward and left leg back.
  • Russian twists. Sit on the floor with your legs bent, heels touching the floor. Keeping your hands at your chest, twist from side to side.

Remember to always hold your abs in while doing those exercises to avoid injury!

Quick HIIT for lazy people

jumping jacks

If the moves seem too complicated and setting up your routine seems too overwhelming, you might be tempted to postpone your workout to tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow, or Saturday, when you have more time… To avoid postponing forever, remember that making a little effort is better than making no effort at all.

This short HIIT routine doesn’t require any equipment or knowledge of any complicated moves. It only takes 6 minutes, so you can even do it during your coffee break… and still have time for a cup of coffee!

Do each exercise for 30 seconds with 10 second pauses, then repeat the whole cycle twice more.

  • Jumping jacks.
  • Jumping lunges.
  • Invisible jump ropes.

Easy jumping HIIT exercises for beginners will not only boost your stamina and make your legs stronger, but also highten your spirits and put a smile on your face.

Upper and lower body drill

classic plank

Losing fat and building stamina is great, but what about building muscle? When combined with a proper diet plan, HIIT training aimed at strength is a perfect solution for that. Here’s a challenging, but fun workout for upper and lower body. After all, strong arms and muscular legs is something worth fighting for!

Do each exercise for 45 seconds with 15 second pauses.

  • Push ups
  • Triceps dips
  • Pull ups (if possible)
  • Diamond push ups (with your hands under your chest)
  • Jumping jacks
  • High knees
  • Burpees
  • Squat jumps (make sure to land softly on your toes to protect your knees!)
  • Walking lunges

Remember that you can always modify each exercise according to your abilities. Skip the pull ups if needed, or do push ups from the knees. After all, this is a HIIT workout plan for beginners and it’s natural that none of us start out perfect.

Brazilian butt workout


It seems that lately the world has gone crazy about having a thick butt. While some photoshop their pictures to appear to have a bigger backside, and others discuss the risks of butt implants, many choose the healthier alternative – exercise.

In addition to many fitness programs at the gym, you can boost your energy (and your booty) at home with those simple exercises.

Do each exercise for 30 seconds, have a 10 second rest, and repeat the whole cycle.

  • Squat jacks
  • Elevated bridge
  • Mountain climbers
  • Side step-up
  • Tuck jumps
  • Side step-up
  • Alternating forward kicks
  • Single leg deadlift
  • Single leg burpee
  • Single leg deadlift

While typical deadlifts require weights, you can do the same (or almost the same) exercise with no equipment: lean forward and reach one leg behind you, without dropping your belly. Try to keep the hips even and parallel to the ground. This exercise is great for your legs, back and hamstrings, in addition to improving your balance.

Try out any (or all!) of these HIIT workouts for beginners at home to loose fat, gain muscle, increase metabolism or simply boost your general mood.

Written by Migle Anusauskaite
Migle is interested in a variety of subjects and finds expression in different mediums. She’s a researcher, comics artist, writer and illustrator. She...
View all articles