3 Beginner-Friendly HIIT Workouts

Life by DailyBurn
by Life by DailyBurn
Share it:
3 Beginner-Friendly HIIT Workouts

Just because you’re new to fitness doesn’t mean high intensity interval training isn’t for you. Otherwise known as HIIT, these fast-paced workouts have been shown to torch tons of calories in a short amount of time—so you don’t need to spend hours in the gym. This type of training will have you alternating between periods of maximum effort (think: 20 seconds of jumping jacks) and short recovery.

DailyBurn: 7 Easy Pilates Moves for a Beginner Core Workout

If you’re just getting into fitness, or starting over after an injury, the key to success lies in doing the right moves at your own pace. Yes, HIIT should be intense, but pushing too hard, too fast can result in injuries and other setbacks. Your task: Listen to your body, modify as needed, and complete each movement with proper form.

To kick off your journey without a hitch, we’ve tapped Justin Rubin, trainer for DailyBurn’s True Beginner program, to create three workouts, ranging from 10 minutes to 30 minutes. Each one has easy-to-master moves, made just for you. All you need is water, a chair and a yoga mat.

DailyBurn: How to Get Over Your Fear of the Gym, For Good

Before each workout, start with this dynamic, two-minute warm-up to get your muscles ready to go.

  1. Jog or march in place for 30 seconds.
  2. Then, stand and circle your arms backwards, one after the other (as if you’re pretending to do the backstroke) for 30 seconds.
  3. Finally, perform a front lunge, side lunge and back lunge, stepping with the same leg, then switch to the other leg and repeat. Continue for one minute.

Now, get ready to HIIT it!

10-Minute HIIT Workout

10-minute HIIT workout

Photo: Pond5

Work up a sweat in less than the time it would take you to drive to your gym with this simple routine. Best of all, you don’t need any equipment to jump right in.

DailyBurn: 8 Minutes to a Better Butt with Trainer Brett Hoebel

Jab, cross, front (right side): Stand with the right foot in front of the left, hips facing to your left side. Bring your arms up into a boxing position. Jab (punch) forward with the right arm, then throw a “cross” punch with the left arm, letting your body rotate as your left arm crosses over your body to the right. Your bodyweight should be over your right foot, with your back heel picking up off the floor slightly. Bring both arms back into the body, shifting your weight back to the starting position and facing front. (This is the “front” move.) Repeat on the left side.

For more detailed instructions, try Cardio Kickboxing 1 and 2 in DailyBurn’s True Beginner program.

DailyBurn: The 7 Best Strength Exercises You’re Not Doing

Jumping jacks: Start by standing upright with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides. Jump your feet out while raising your arms. Repeat as fast as possible. If a regular jumping jack is too difficult, step side to side while raising your arms instead.

Sumo squats: Position your feet a little more than hip-width apart and point your toes out at a 45-degree angle. Keeping your weight in your heels, back flat and chest upright, lower yourself until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Engage your glutes and quads, and push back to the start position. Repeat.

Cool down with an overhead stretch, reverse lunge and forward fold.

20-Minute MetCon: HIIT Workout

20-minute HIIT workout

Photo: Pond5

Metabolic conditioning is designed to maximize your caloric burn, so you should expect this workout to feel challenging. You’ll go through five exercises that focus on full-body, multi-joint movements. Try to do as many reps as possible during each 45-second interval, then rest for 15 seconds before repeating.

Push-ups: If you can’t complete a traditional push-up, place your hands on a stable chair or plyo box instead of the floor. Or, try doing push-ups with your knees resting on the ground.

Squats: For extra assistance, use a chair for added support. Remember to keep your feet under your hips and your bodyweight in your heels, says Justin.

Butt kicks: Jog or walk in place, kicking your right heel up to touch your bottom. Repeat with the left leg.

Tricep dips: Place your hands on a chair or a low table, with your back to the chair. Put your legs straight out while balancing on your palms. Bending from your elbows, lower as far as you can, then press up to the original position. Engage that core!

Side lunges: With your bodyweight in your heels and your toes facing forward, step to the left in a deep lateral lunge, keeping your knee above your toes. Alternate legs.

Cool down with an overhead stretch, quad stretch and forward fold.

30-Minute METCON: HIIT Workout

30-minute HIIT workout

Photo: Pond5 

Got half an hour? Try this longer workout to challenge your core, upper and lower body. (Fun fact: This will burn more calories than 30 minutes spent walking on the treadmill!) Complete the same three-minute warm-up as in the previous workout, then get ready to move it, move it.

For exercise descriptions, see above.

Cool down with an overhead stretch, reverse lunge, quad stretch and forward fold, holding each move for 30 seconds.

—By Alex Orlov for Life by DailyBurn

About the Author

Life by DailyBurn
Life by DailyBurn

Life by DailyBurn is dedicated to helping you live a healthier, happier and more active lifestyle. Whether your goal is to lose weight, build strength or de-stress, a better you is well within reach. Get more health and fitness tips at Life by DailyBurn.



5 responses to “3 Beginner-Friendly HIIT Workouts”

  1. Avatar Jasmine says:

    I have the same issue. But I just take it slow and practice proper form and I don’t have as much pain. I don’t jump on any movement and just completed the same move with out the jump. Good luck!

  2. Avatar Star says:

    I just modify the jumping with a side step or leg lift.

  3. Avatar Shannon Bruun says:

    Is there a way to add the 30 minute beginner HIIT workout to my exercises for the day?

    • Avatar barrhon says:

      sure. just add the 30 min. beginner HIIT workout to your exercises each day. probably at the start would be best. since we have no idea what your exercises for the day are, some of the HIIT routines may be able to replace what you’re now doing. HIIT is intended to replace less-effective and longer length aerobic routines and other exercises, with a shorter length but more intensive workout. saves time; better workout.

  4. Avatar barrhon says:

    1. just do any of the above exercises not involving the knees, such as the triceps dips, sit ups or crunches, push ups, jabs. planks, russian twists. hold hand weights and do various arm movements in different directions.

    2. super-slow-motion weight lifting will also raise your heart rate like aerobics: example: do a regular biceps curl but do both the curling up and extending out motions to a count of 8-10 in each direction, rather than the usual count of 2-3 in each direction. use a heavier weight than you usually would for curls, because with super-slo-mo you only do ONE set of 5 reps with the heaviest weight you can, and not many times a week. do a google search under ‘super slow motion weight lifting’ and you’ll get a bunch of good articles and youtube videos.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Never Miss a Post!

Turn on MyFitnessPal desktop notifications and stay up to date on the latest health and fitness advice.


Click the 'Allow' Button Above


You're all set.

You’re taking control of your fitness and wellness journey, so take control of your data, too. Learn more about your rights and options. Or click here to opt-out of certain cookies.