Five ideas for fun cardio HIIT workouts


If you’re looking to take your fitness to the next level, these five cardio HIIT workouts might be for you. Demanding, rewarding, and extremely time-efficient High Intensity Interval Training essentially combines short, very intense training sessions with relaxation phases (or recovery phases) that are used either to rest or to perform relatively moderate training sessions. Check out our guide to the best rowing machines to get an idea of ​​the machines you can use to perfect those HIIT workouts.

the American Council on Exercise isn’t the only one realizing how “hugely popular” HIIT has become in recent years. Why is it so popular? Well, in addition to being extremely convenient, this type of exercise is an incredibly efficient way to get your heart rate up and thus help you burn more fat in less time. In addition, HIIT can be easily added to almost any type of existing cardio workout. This means that you can apply it to your preferred fitness program with relative ease, be it running, rowing, or jumping rope. This, in part, helps explain why the U.S. Department of Health (HHS) has been promoting HIIT since 2018.

And if you want to support your fitness program with great exercise machines for home use, check out our articles on rowing machines vs. treadmills and are exercise bikes a good cardio workout?

What are cardio HIIT workouts?

In general, the high intensity workouts that make up cardio HIIT workouts can last anywhere from five seconds to eight minutes. However, to be truly effective, each phase of training should ideally be done at 80-95% of your estimated maximum heart rate – this is the maximum number of times your heart can pump in a minute without overexerting yourself.

Although there is no hard and fast rule, the periods of relief can be as long or short as the periods of exercise. Those who choose to exercise rather than rest during these periods do so moderately, usually reaching 40-50% of their estimated maximum heart rate.

Five ideas for fun cardio HIIT workouts: Woman running on the treadmill in a gym

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Cardio HIIT workouts are continued in this way, alternating between training and relief, for 20-60 minutes. That being said, most people find half an hour of HIIT more than enough!

So what are the rewards? Now, in addition to the immediate feeling of intense satisfaction that often accompanies intensive training, you can look forward to weight loss, muscle building, increased endurance and a stimulation of the metabolism. And as if that wasn’t enough, studies – like this Sports Medicine report – have shown that your body continues to burn calories even after you exercise, a process known as “afterburn” or EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) is. .

Cardio HIIT workouts at home

No matter how well your home or apartment is set up for exercising, doing cardio HIIT workouts at home is a breeze. Treadmills in particular are very suitable for all types of fun HIIT workouts. If you’re looking for something straightforward, yet challenging, just set up your device for a 100 meter sprint, cover the distance as quickly as possible, and then rest until your heart rate drops below 120 bpm (beats per minute) decreases. Repeat this process for a total of 10 rounds if you can.

If you want to include your rowing machine, give it a try. Set up the machine for a 2,000 meter line, then give all you have for 60 seconds – nothing more, nothing less. When you hit the 60 second mark, dismount and perform five hollow rocks, then jump straight back up and row again. Once you hit the two minute mark, get out and make another six hollow rocks. Continue this rowing cycle for a minute / do +1 hollow rocks at the beginning of each new minute until you have finished the 2,000 meters. Expect an intense burning sensation in your abs.

Cardio HIIT workouts in the gym

Regardless of what you might think at first, you don’t have to sign up for group classes to enjoy some quality HIIT time at the gym. In addition, many gyms nowadays only offer simple interval training in their group fitness arenas – i.e. training without the high-intensity aspect – or low-intensity impact training or LISS, which takes the opposite approach to HIIT.

Five ideas for fun cardio HIIT workouts: Woman training with battle ropes

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As simple and visceral as any other piece of equipment, battle ropes are great options for any HIIT routine. In fact, a 2020 randomized study was included in the Physiology & behavior Magazine highlighted like this.

They are so easy to set up; Just grab the ropes and get them moving. It is up to you whether you do slams or waves, just make sure you walk hard and fast to get the heart rate up. Once you’ve worked up a sweat, try walking for 30 seconds and then resting for 30 seconds. Do this for 10-15 minutes.

Top: Get closer to the anchor if you want to make the workout harder – this will force you to create bigger waves, which will ensure that you need to raise your arms more and expend more energy.

Cardio HIIT workout outdoors

If you’re lucky enough to have some natural inclines near where you live, you’ll find hill sprints in HIIT terms that really are the gift that you always give. You can adjust this to your liking once you’re up to date, but if this is your first time doing HIIT training, just find an empty green space with an incline (e.g., once you’ve reached your goal, go back to yours Start and walk again, completing a total of 10 laps, this is a particularly good workout for your abs.

Five Fun Cardio HIIT Workout Ideas: Picture of a woman running outside

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Briefly on hills near you? Do not worry; Instead, how about a simple sprint workout at your local park or sports field? All you have to do is sprint vigorously for 60 seconds, give at least 90% of the effort, and then jog for 90 seconds. If you feel like you have some gas left in the tank at the end, then by all means drive again.

A word of caution: It’s smart to start slowly when you’re new to HIIT – a couple of intervals for short bursts mixed with some simple restraints are fine. And be sure to follow them Mayo Clinic‘s lead and also include a warm up / cool down.


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