10 Moves to Create Your Own HIIT Workout

Torch fat and build muscle!

Lately, the fitness buzz has been all about high-intensity interval training, or HIIT. Many people find it more fun than steady-state cardio, and research shows that it’s more effective at torching calories and burning fat. This means that HIIT is a better and more effective way to get a toned physique than spending hours on a treadmill.

So what exactly is HIIT? HIIT is a training style where you work out at a high-intensity for a set amount of time, then take a short rest period before repeating the process. Usually, you’ll repeat one move as many times as you can for a 20-30 second period. Take a short break to catch your breath and do it again.

A different type of HIIT might ask you to perform a set of moves over several minutes before taking a break. Regardless of how you choose to structure your workout, what matters is that you put all your energy into the high-intensity interval. This will bring your heart rate up and drive your body into fat burning mode.

If you’re interested in creating your own HIIT workout, below we’ve compiled a list of our favorite HIIT moves. Mix and match them to build your ideal routine!

Upper Body Moves

1. Push-Up
The classic push-up is one of the best exercises to build muscle and burn fat. Even though it’s a common, relatively simple move, it’s still one of the most effective exercises out there. They’re harder than they seem!

2. Up & Down Plank
This is a plank variation that uses your body weight to build muscle. It can be a challenge to perform this move for an extended period of time. It’s great for beginners because it can easily be modified by keeping your knees on the ground.

Core Moves

3. Bicycle Crunch
This basic crunch modification works your upper abs and obliques.

4. Leg Raises
This second core move targets your lower abs. Although it looks easy, it can be quite tough. To make it more of a challenge, hold a light dumbbell in between your feet.

Lower Body Moves

5. Jump Squats
Jump squats are a plyometric move, meaning they require you to propel your body into the air. This kind of body weight exercise is great for burning fat.

6. Reverse Lunge
This move works all the muscles that a lunge would, but provides an additional challenge. It’s great for targeting your quads and hamstrings, and can be performed with or without dumbbells.

Total Body Moves

7. Squat Thrusts/Burpees
Burpees are a plyometric move that rapidly raise your heart rate. It’s a three-part move where you lower your hands to the ground, jump your legs back to a plank position, do a push-up, and then reverse until you’re standing again. A squat thrust is a variation that eliminates the push-up.

8. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers work your arms, shoulders, and abdominals. This exercise will also raise your heart rate quickly so you burn more calories.

9. Jump Rope
Jumping rope is great for working your calves. However, we’ve included it with the total-body moves because it raises your heart rate in a short period of time. By raising your heart rate, you’re building endurance and torching calories, getting your entire body warmed up.

10. Squat & Press
This exercise is a two-part move. The squat portion will target your legs, while the press will work your arms and shoulders. It’s an effective full-body move that anyone can perform.

For more ways to get in shape this year, check out one of our workout calendars or browse our workouts. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and follow up your workout with a protein-packed snack.

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Sofia Lopez

Sofia received her BA from Cornell University and her MFA from San Francisco State University. She creates workouts and fitness challenges. Her hobbies include running, hiking, and listening to audiobooks from the exercise bike.

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