Top Trainer Hannah Eden’s Favorite Five-Minute HIIT Workout

Woman exercises with kettlebell
(Image credit: FreshSplash / Getty Images)

Any five-minute workout is better than no workout at all, but there’s one way to get more out of short sessions—go hard. That’s what you get with Tabata training, a favorite of iFit trainer Hannah Eden

“This workout and I go way back,” says Eden. “We used to have a gym for a long time and we had a theme for each day.

“Tabata Tuesday was the most popular day and it’s one of my favorite intervals to work with, especially for high-intensity interval training. It’s hard to stay in those high heart rate zones where you’re at an RPE nine or 10, which is true interval training, but this format allows you to do it.”

How To Do Hannah Eden’s Five-Minute HIIT Workout

1A Russian kettlebell swing

Sets 4 Work 20sec Rest 10sec 

1B Alternating kettlebell snatch 

Sets 4 Work 20sec Rest 10sec 

“It’s 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off,” say Eden. “We couple two exercises together, alternating between them for four minutes with a 60-second rest afterward.”

There’s only one catch: If you want to reap the rewards of this workout, you have to step on the gas. 

“HIIT is about a burst of exertion,” says Eden. “Technically speaking, high-intensity interval training should be done at about 90% of your max heart rate, which is impossible to keep up for more than 20 seconds, maybe 30 seconds if you’re a killer athlete.”

If you’re going to work that hard, it’s more essential than ever to make sure you’ve warmed up properly before starting this workout. Begin with gentle cardio that gradually increases in intensity, then perform this gym warm-up routine. It’s also worth honing your kettlebell swing form and kettlebell snatch form with a few sets using a light weight. If you haven’t mastered the snatch yet—for instance if you bang your wrist with the kettlebell as you press—you can sub in kettlebell cleans instead.

Ready to go? Press play on this video of Tabata timings.

Benefits Of This Five-Minute HIIT Workout

The best thing about this format is that it naturally scales to any fitness level, because you’re working for a set amount of time, rather than a prescribed weight or number of reps. As long as you work hard, you’ll hit the stimulus. 

“I always say that you can do anything for 20 seconds,” says Eden. “It’s not a minute. You can easily just chomp off little bites as you go. It’s doable, it’s digestible and it’s for anyone.”

Eden’s choice of free-weight—kettlebells—also brings a unique combination of benefits. “It’s unconventional because kettlebells are an explosive, ballistic form of training,” she says. “It’s going to spike your heart rate, but that’s not all it’s doing. It’s a mixture of strength and conditioning, so you’re working both systems.”

Harry Bullmore
Staff writer

Harry covers news, reviews and features for Coach, Fit&Well and Live Science. With over a decade of training experience, he has tried everything from powerlifting to gymnastics, cardio to CrossFit, all in a bid to find fun ways of building a healthy, functional body.