Beginner HIIT Workout: Get Fit with Body Weight Exercises

If you’re looking to get a workout in and get the best bang for buck… HIIT training is your answer.

People love a good HIIT workout mainly because it can cover resistance training and cardio in the one session and not only that, you can do it anywhere with just your body weight in a short amount of time.

HIIT can be used in a few different ways, I personally use it as a burner at the end of my workout but depending on goals, most people like to use HIIT as a standalone workout session.

Before we go any further and go into some examples lets just get into what HIIT is exactly incase you’re not sure.

What is HIIT?

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training.

HIIT workouts can take as little as 10-20 minutes or as long as 45-60 minutes. They consist of short, vigorous, all-in bursts of exercise followed by periods of rest or active recovery.

HIIT burns calories in a short period and can boost the metabolism for 48-72 hours after your workout, aiding in fat loss and increasing muscle gains. Not a bad deal for a 20-minute workout!

If you are new to exercise or HIIT workouts, start with a ratio of 30 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest. For the 30 seconds of work, give 100%. Go all in. For the 20 seconds of rest, take a breather, walk around with a stressed look on your face and then get straight back into it.

Once you build up your fitness level, these 20 seconds can include active recovery exercises, such as the plank. In the beginning, keep it simple.

Just remember to warm up before you session. Because HIIT workouts are all in you have to be ready to go from 0 to 100 from the very beginning.

HIIT Program Examples

Lets get into a few examples of HIIT workouts. Some can be done at home, some outside and some better to be in the gym.

HIIT workout at home with body weight

Do the following 4 exercises for 30 seconds, with 20-second breaks in between. Repeat 3-4 times.


The squat builds muscles in the glutes and legs. It is a compound exercise, meaning it uses multiple joints and muscle groups. The squat is an important functional exercise. It can aid in movements such as lifting or standing up from a chair.

  1. Begin with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Slowly bend your knees and stick your buttocks back, as if you were going to sit in a chair.
  3. Lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor or lower.
  4. Slowly push back up through the heels to start, and repeat.

Progression: To advance this exercise, add a jump when you push back up through your heels.

Mountain Climbers

Mountain climbers challenge the core, shoulders, and legs. If done fast enough, this exercise can also provide a great cardio burst!

  1. Start on all fours, with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Send the feet back so that your body forms a straight line from your heels to your shoulders.
  3. Drive one knee up toward your chest.
  4. Send your knee back and drive the opposite knee up toward the chest.
  5. Continue alternating knees.

Progression: To make this exercise more difficult, jump both feet up together to one side, then back. Continue doing so and alternating sides.


Push-ups target the upper body and core. For beginners, we recommend starting from your knees. Once you build strength, you can progress to a full body push-up.

  1. Start on all fours, with your hands under your shoulders and your knees under your hips.
  2. Walk the hands slightly forward, so that your body creates a straight line from your shoulders to your knees.
  3. Keeping your elbows alongside your body, slowly bend the elbows and bring your chest toward the floor.
  4. Push back up straightening your elbows, and repeat.

Progression: To advance the push-up, perform the exercise up on your toes, with your knees lifted off the ground.


Lunges, like the squat, focus on the lower body. Similarly, lunges also transfer over into everyday activities, such as vacuuming or gardening.

  1. Begin standing tall with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips.
  2. Step one foot forward. Bend your front knee over top of your front foot. Bend your back knee under your hips.
  3. Step your foot back to the start position and alternate sides.

Progression: To advance this exercise, add a jump to switch sides.


HIIT is a great way to burn fat, build muscle, and improve your cardiovascular health. 

If you’re just getting started with HIIT, this body weight workout is the perfect place to start. 

Give it a try today and see how you feel!

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