HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is not as intimidating as it may sound. Even if you have very little information about fitness, you may have heard people bragging about the results of HIIT. It is a type of exercise that alternates short periods of intense activity with brief rest periods.
HIIT workouts for beginners have gained popularity in recent years due to their effectiveness in burning calories, increasing endurance, and improving overall fitness. There are beginner-friendly workouts that can help ease you into this challenging but rewarding fitness regimen. Read on this beginner’s guide to HIIT workouts to discover how you can get started with HIIT and achieve a fitter, healthier you.
Explanation of HIIT workouts
A HIIT workout alternates between brief bursts of intense exercise and slower or restings periods of exercise. HIIT workouts aim to increase heart rate swiftly, let it rest, and then repeat the cycle several times during a single workout session.
The length of a typical HIIT workout can range from 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the individual’s level of fitness and the particular regimen being used. The individual may engage in activities like cardio and plyometric exercises for beginners or other actions that require maximal effort during high-intensity intervals.
The individual might then walk, jog, or perform some light stretching during the low-intensity or rest periods to help the heart rate return to normal before the following high-intensity session.
Benefits of HIIT workouts
HIIT workouts are one of quick workouts for beginners. It provides you various health benefits varying from burning fat to improving heart rate. Some of its major benefits are;
- By boosting heart and lung power and effectiveness, HIIT exercises aid to improve cardiovascular health.
- By speeding up your metabolism, HIIT exercises can help you continue burning calories long after the session is complete.
- Due to the high intensity of the activity, HIIT exercises are believed to burn more calories than conventional aerobic workouts for beginners.
- This workout is a fantastic option for individuals with busy schedules because it can be completed in less time than typical cardio training.
- It can also contribute to increased muscle mass and strength.
Why HIIT workouts are great for beginners
If you are a beginner looking forward to strength training, High-Intensity Interval Training can be a great option. We briefly looked into the benefits of HIIT workouts above; now let’s discuss in detail why these workouts are great for beginners.
- Low time commitment
You can get a fantastic workout using HIIT in a short amount of time by pushing your body to its limits during the high-intensity phases. Therefore, even a short, high-intensity workout of about 10 and 15 minutes—can be more beneficial than a longer, low-intensity workout.
- Flexibility in workouts
Another reason why HIIT workouts for beginners is great is its flexibility. This exercise program can be altered in various ways to suit each exerciser’s specific needs and goals.
First off, a HIIT workout’s duration may be changed to fit into a busy schedule. It can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, making it simple to fit in a workout even while you are on a busy schedule.
Secondly, this workout can be done anywhere, whether you are at the gym, at home, or on vacation.
Last but not least, HIIT workouts can involve a variety of exercises, including cardio, weightlifting, and bodyweight exercises for beginners.
- Adaptability to individual fitness levels
Depending on an individual’s level of fitness, the intensity of a HIIT workout can be changed. This makes it an excellent option for both beginners and advanced athletes as they can scale up or scale down the workout intensity on their preference.
Essential HIIT exercises for beginners
Jumping jacks can be a great addition to a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout routine. It improves cardiovascular health and works as a total body workout for beginners. Here’s how you can incorporate Jumping Jacks into your HIIT workout:
- Warm up for 5-10 minutes.
- Perform jumping jacks quickly and swiftly for about 20-30 seconds.
- You can perform jumping jacks by raising your arms and landing with your feet open. Then jump up with arms at the side and land with feet together.
- Give a 10-15 seconds break for any low-intensity exercise.
- Repeat high and low intensity 5-10 rounds.
Burpees are great to incorporate into your HIIT workout as they rapidly elevate heart rate and can be performed anywhere without equipment. Here are steps to perform burpees in the high-intensity part of HIIT:
- Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, begin this exercise.
- Put your hands on the floor in front of you as you squat down to the ground.
- Keep your arms extended and kick your legs back into a plank position.
- Push up with your arms to raise yourself back to a plank position after lowering your chest to the floor.
- Return to the squat position, and leap your feet up.
- Explosively jump up from the squat position, reaching your arms overhead.
- You can perform burpees for 20-30 seconds, followed by a low-intensity exercise of 15 seconds.
Mountain climbers are an effective exercise to add to your fitness routine if you are a beginner. They help target all the muscles in the body to increase cardiovascular endurance. Here are the mountain climbers’ HIIT workout steps;
- Start with 5 minutes of warm-up with jogging or a treadmill.
- Set up a plank position with your feet hip distance apart and your hands shoulder distance apart. Quickly switch to bringing your left knee up to your chest after bringing your right knee to your chest. For 30 seconds, quickly alternate the legs while performing this action.
- Rest for 10 seconds and then repeat with high-intensity exercise.
High knees are the ideal addition to a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout since they are an excellent way to increase heart rate and burn a good amount of calories. You can use these steps to perform this workout:
- Start with light cardio for warm-up.
- Do high knees for 30 seconds by bringing your legs at 90 degrees one by one, as high as possible.
- Rest with low-intensity exercise for 10 seconds.
- Repeat and cool down at the end.
Building a HIIT workout plan for beginners
- Time duration and frequency
HIIT workout for beginners is the best kind of a short workout. The actual high-intensity component of a normal HIIT workout can last anywhere from 20 seconds to 2 minutes, followed by a rest period that can last from 10 seconds to 1 minute. A typical HIIT session can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.
The number of rounds or intervals can also change depending on the activity. Typically, a beginner will start with 2 to 4 intervals, while a more professional person can go for 6 to 8.
Moreover, typically the suggested frequency of high-intensity interval training is twice or thrice a week.
- Incorporating different exercises
Incorporating different exercises in HIIT workouts can have several advantages. Some of them are;
- Working of different muscles with different exercises.
- Avoiding repetitive stress on certain muscles hence reducing risk of injury.
- Help prevent boredom and avoid demotivation.
- Increase overall intensity.
- Rest periods
For the body to recover and recharge before the following round of exercises, rest intervals are crucial in HIIT workouts for beginners. This recovery time is essential since HIIT workouts challenge the body to its maximum capacity and can result in tiredness and damage if rest breaks are not taken.
Rest intervals also allow the body to refuel the vital energy systems that are stressed during exercise.
Tips for beginners
- Proper warm-up and cool down
In a HIIT workout, a proper warm-up and cool-down are crucial since they assist the body in getting ready for the intensive activity and speed up recovery.
The risk of injury is decreased by warming up because it increases blood flow, raises body temperature, and relaxes muscles. Conversely, cooling down helps to gradually lower heart rate, stop blood from clotting in the legs, and lessen muscle pain.
- Listen to your body
To succeed in your workout journey, the key step is to listen to your body. Your body should not be forced to exercise more than its capacity as it can even lead to severe injury.
- Stay consistent
Any fitness program must be consistent, but this is especially true for high-intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT exercises might be challenging because of their intensity. However, it’s crucial to maintain consistency with your workouts if you want to benefit from HIIT.
Consistent engagement in HIIT can help you progressively increase the intensity, duration, or frequency of your workouts.
What types of exercises are included in a HIIT workout?
Exercise sessions using HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) frequently involve quick bursts of intense exercise followed by rest or low-intensity recovery periods.
Depending on the trainer or program, the exercises used in a HIIT workout might vary. Still, some exercises you can perform in different combinations are Jumping jacks, Burpees, Mountain climbers, Squat jumps, High knees, Jump rope, and Push-ups.
How intense should a HIIT workout be?
A HIIT workout’s intensity should be challenging and personalized to the individual’s fitness level and goals. Therefore, it is best to boost the intensity gradually.
HIIT workout consists of intense, challenging exercises followed by a period of recovery or slow intensity. They are highly flexible workouts catering to the needs of beginners and experienced individuals. These workouts can be easily performed at home and help you in overall fitness and increase muscle strength. We highly encourage you to try it without any fear and see the results yourself.