The Women’s Fitness Guide To HIIT Workouts

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High-intensity interval training (HIIT) describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest. A common example would be sprinting for 30 seconds then resting for 30 seconds and then repeating this for a number of given times.

HIIT is a great tool to have in your fat loss armory; high intensity exercise boosts your metabolism, improves insulin sensitivity in the muscle and increases fat oxidation essential for your health and fitness goals. HIIT is only suitable for individuals who have been exposed to regular training for a prolonged period of time, as the workouts should be performed maximally to maximize benefits.

Another great thing about high intensity exercise is that it can be performed almost anywhere with as much or as little equipment as you desire. Below are three different workouts that are aimed at a specific environment all geared towards fat loss and increasing lean muscle tissue.

Complete each exercise in order working maximally for 30 seconds before resting for 30 seconds then move onto the next exercise. Repeat twice until the 8min is up. Before carrying out the below workouts make sure you warm up thoroughly include various dynamic stretches such as lungessquats and spinal rolls to prevent potential injury!

8 Minute Home HIIT Workout

Equipment: stopwatch

Air squat

Stand feet shoulder-width apart with your hands on your head. Drop your hips back and bend at the knees pushing your heels into the ground as you squat down. Make sure your chest is upright and your knees track over your toes.


Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, step out one foot at a time landing heel then toe, lower yourself into your back knee almost touching the ground. Push back to the start position then alternate legs.


Start in a plank position and lower yourself down until your chest hits the floor then push back up. Squeeze your abs and glutes tight to increase mid-line stability.


From a standing position drop to the floor, kicking your feet behind you and touching your chest on the ground. Then quickly return to standing by pressing yourself off the floor and finish the move by jumping vertically before repeating.

8 Minute Gym Workout

Equipment: stopwatch, jump rope, kettlebell, two dumbbells, treadmill (or your preferred cardio machine)


Keep your elbows close to your hips your feet together. Jump vertically up swinging the rope over your head.

Kettlebell swing

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Pull the kettlebell up off the floor, just above the height of your ankles. Dip down slightly and swing the kettlebell back under your hips. Swing the kettlebell forward and up. Make sure you keep your head up and pull your shoulder blades back and down to maintain postural alignment.

Dumbbell thruster

Place your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip racked on your shoulders. Then squat down pushing your heels into the ground and as you stand back up press the dumbbells above your head. Then return the dumbbells to the starting position on your shoulders.


Get on the treadmill (or whatever your favourite cardio machines is) and work maximally for 30 seconds before taking a rest.

8 Minute Urban Workout

Equipment: stopwatch, park bench

Box jump

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Stand a foot away from the park bench. Initiate the movement by pushing your hips back and keeping your chest and eyes up. Swing your arms back until they reach full extension before throwing your arms forward quickly as you jump onto the object. Stick the landing in a partial squat with your arms above eye level.

Mountain climber

Start in a plank position. Bring the knee of one leg up towards the chest, then switch legs as though you're climbing steps. Make sure your weight is evenly distributed between your hands and feet. Brace your abs and squeeze your glutes to maximize midline stability.


Set out two markers 10m apart. Move as quickly as possible between both markers for the given time.


Lie face-down on the floor supported by your forearms and toes. Imagine pulling your belly button into your spine and squeeze your glutes to create body tension. Your body should be in a straight line. Hold this position for 30 seconds.

Follow Ollie Frost on Twitter @ollie_frost

This article first appeared in Women’s Fitness

Former deputy editor of Women’s Fitness

Amanda Khouv formerly worked for Women’s Fitness magazine, which briefly shared a website with Coach. Khouv began working for Women’s Fitness as editorial assistant in 2012, working her way up the masthead, finishing as deputy editor between 2015 and 2018.