This 15-minute HIIT workout for beginners takes zero equipment (and zero excuses)

This 15-minute HIIT workout for beginners takes zero equipment (and zero excuses)

What is HIIT?

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. It involves short, intense bursts of exercise followed by periods of rest or lower intensity exercise. This type of workout helps to improve cardiovascular fitness and burn calories efficiently in a short amount of time.

Benefits of HIIT for beginners

Here are some of the key benefits of HIIT for beginner exercisers:

  • Efficient calorie burn – You can burn more calories in less time compared to steady state cardio
  • Builds cardiovascular fitness – By pushing your heart rate up during the intense intervals, HIIT builds aerobic capacity over time
  • Convenience – Most HIIT workouts are short, lasting 15 minutes or less, which is achievable for busy schedules
  • No equipment required – Bodyweight HIIT workouts can be done anywhere with no special equipment

15-minute beginner HIIT workout

This beginner HIIT workout alternates cardio bursts and strength training in short intervals to raise your heart rate. It requires no equipment and can be done anywhere with just your bodyweight!

The 15-minute routine

Do each exercise for 30 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds between each move.

Perform 2 rounds total.

  • Jumping jacks
  • Squats
  • High knees running
  • Push ups
  • Plank
  • Lunges
  • Burpees
  • Mountain climbers
  • Crunches
  • Jumping rope (pretend to jump rope)

Modify the workout intensity

You can modify this beginner workout to suit your current fitness level:

  • Reduce or extend the intervals
  • Take longer rest periods as needed
  • Modify the moves to be low impact (i.e. regular squats instead of jump squats)

Tips for starting a HIIT routine

  • Always warm up first with 5-10 minutes of light cardio
  • Start slowly and listen to your body – build up as your fitness improves
  • Focus on good form to avoid injury
  • Remember to breathe! Don’t hold your breath during intense bursts
  • Cool down and stretch afterwards


How often should a beginner do HIIT workouts?

For beginners, aim for 1-3 HIIT workouts per week. Allow plenty of time for rest and recovery between sessions.

How do I know if HIIT is working?

After 4-6 weeks of consistent HIIT training, you should notice improvements like better cardiovascular endurance, more toned muscles, and faster sprinting speed.

Is HIIT bad for your knees?

HIIT is high impact, but shouldn’t be bad for your knees if done properly. Listen to pain signals and modify moves as needed. Focus on soft landings and proper form.

Can I build muscle with HIIT?

While HIIT focuses more on burning fat, incorporating strength moves like squats, push-ups etc. can help stimulate muscle growth over time, especially if paired with a good nutrition plan.

How can I make this workout harder over time?

To progress, you can increase the intensity by reducing rest periods, adding more intervals with different exercises, using weights/resistance bands, and pushing yourself to maximum effort in the intense bursts.