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HIIT Cardio Workout for Weight Loss

HIIT Cardio Workout for Weight Loss

There are tons of weight-loss exercises and workout routines available, but losing weight is not as easy as it sounds like. People hardly find any time for exercise out of their busy work lives. Maintaining an optimum weight is essential to sustain a healthy lifestyle.

That’s why HIIT cardio has become popular as it can boost fat loss process in a relatively short period of time. This article contains everything you need to know about HIIT cardio workouts, how they cause weight loss and how you can perform them efficiently at home.

1. What is HIIT?

HIIT – High-Intensity Interval Training is a form of cardio that is performed in short intense bursts of exercise combined with rest or low-intensity intervals.

You work harder compared to a typical cardio exercise but in spurts of 30 seconds to 3 minutes. This strategy saves time compared to a steady cardio workout.

Your body is put into an anaerobic state by the intense bouts that help burn more fat and calories. The high-intensity period elevates the heart rate until it reaches at least 80 percent of its maximum capacity, normally for 1 to 5 minutes. The low-intensity period allows the body to recover in the same amount of time or longer.


1.1 Why Choose HITT Cardio?


HIIT pushes a person out of his/her comfort zone and takes cardio to another level.

It enables you to complete a more intense, strenuous workout in a relatively short period of time. It helps you to boost metabolism and lose weight efficiently. Moreover, a bonus is that you can burn calories for hours even after the workout.

2.   How does it cause Weight Loss?

During HIIT, high intensity aerobic exercises are done alternatively with less intensive recovery intervals. These exercises speed up glucose metabolism and improve the athletic ability of the body. Consequently, the metabolic rate of the body improves, helping in continued weight loss.

Studies have shown that HIIT cardio can burn approximately 450 calories per 30 minutes.

3.   A Typical HIIT Workout

Typically, a HIIT workout has five to eight exercises which are done for 30 to 60 seconds each. Each of them is followed by a recovery time of 20-30 seconds.

A session can last for about 5 to 30 minutes depending upon the workout plan. The duration of the intense part can be from 15 seconds to a few minutes

You start working out at a very intense level and slow down for a recovery period, followed by another round of high-intensity exercises.

A simple HIIT cardio workout routine you can try may involve:

simple HIIT cardio workout

Warm-up

2-3 minutes

Run on Treadmill at 8mph

1 minute

Run of Treadmill at 5mph

2 minutes

Repeat the entire process for 12-15 minutes.


4. Best HIIT Cardio workouts for Weight Loss:

Looking for ways to burn fats quickly? Struggling to get rid of extra pounds in a short time?  Here are some best HIIT Cardio workouts that will help you reach your goals.

4.1. Jumping Jacks


Jumping jacks is a well-recognized cardio HIIT that efficiently burns calories by challenging the cardiac system. It does not require any equipment and can be performed at any place. It targets the muscles in your shoulders, calves, hip flexors, and core.

It is most effective when used in combination with other cardio and strength training.

How does it work?

Jumping jacks act as an effective calorie-burning cardio due to their intensive nature. It elevates the heart rate to the point where weight can be lost effectively.

Technique to Perform:

  • Stand straight by keeping your feet together and arms to your side.
  • Jump by moving your feet and arms laterally outwards.
  • Touch down the floor by keeping your arms overhead and legs apart.
  • Jump again by lowering your arm and return legs to the starting point.
  • Repeat the process by following the same steps.

Workout Plan:

  • Jump as much as you can for about 30 seconds without stopping. Then take a rest for 10 seconds and repeat again.
  • Start with a set of 10 jumping jacks on a daily basis in combination with other exercises.
  • Once you get used to it, go for a set of 25.

4.2. Burpees


Burpee is another HIIT cardio workout that is efficient in reducing the overall body weight. This exercise is a combination of push-ups, jumps, and squats. It focuses on the muscles in the core, calves, shoulders, chest, glutes, and triceps.

How does it work?

  • It burns the fat from the entire body as it targets almost all muscle groups e.g. core, chest, legs, The number of calories burned varies depending on the individual’s weight.
  • It is estimated that for every minute of burpees, roughly 10 calories are burned. Almost 50 calories can be burned by performing 100 burpees.
  • “An average person doing 20 burpees can burn from 8 to 12 calories.”

Technique to Perform:

  • Start by keeping a squat position and bringing hands to the floor.
  • Quickly shift to the push-up position and do one push-up.
  • Take a frog jump and bring both legs together.
  • Jump up with your hands in the air.

Workout Plan:

  • Do burpees 10 times in 30 seconds.
  • Take a rest for 30 seconds.
  • Repeat this entire process for five minutes.

4.3. High Knees


High knees serve as both warm-up and cardio bursts exercise just like jumping jacks. It increases heart rate and strengthens muscles in the legs, improving coordination in the body.

How does it work?

  • High knees are considered a high-intensity Within a few minutes, it greatly increases both the heart and breathing rate, helping to burn calories quickly.
  • Although the fat burned depends on the individual’s weight, approximately 8 calories are burned per minute of high knees.

“An average person can burn about 90 to 150 calories by doing a heavy high knee workout for 15 minutes.”

Technique to Perform:

  • Stand straight with open feet.
  • Lift up your right leg towards your chest by bending it at the knee.
  • Repeat the same with your left leg at a running
  • For advanced training, extend your hands straight and try to touch your palms with your knees.

Workout Plan:

  • Start by doing 3 sets of high knees for 30 seconds with a 10 sec resting period.
  • Gradually increase the time and frequency once you have adapted to the exercise.

4.4. Push-Ups


Push-ups are famous for building muscle strength. But when practiced as a HIIT workout, they are efficient in burning fats. Push-ups focus on the muscles of the entire body and help burn calories quickly.

They are a good choice for people who want to do a full-body HIIT workout for weight loss.

How does it work?

  • The effectiveness of a weight loss exercise depends on the number of muscles it involves during exertion. Since push-ups focus on the core, chest, shoulder, and triceps all at once, they serve as a great exercise to lose fat.
  • Lean muscles are more effective at weight loss as they have a higher resting metabolism than the fat mass. An increase in muscle mass helps increase the resting metabolic rate.

“According to research, a 3-pound gain in muscle mass can burn about 600 extra calories per week.”

Technique to Perform:

  • Get into the plank position with your hands spread apart slightly wider than the shoulders.
  • Make sure your body forms a straight line from neck to heels.
  • Then lower your chest to touch the ground by pushing your shoulders forward and bending your elbows.
  • Make sure your legs are straight and spin does not bend.
  • Stay in that position for a few seconds and then go back to the starting position.

Workout Plan:

  • If you have just started, do 3 sets of 10 push-ups with a rest period of 60 seconds between each set.
  • Increase the number of repetitions gradually over time.

4.5. Squats


Squats mainly engage the muscles of the lower body e.g. thighs, hips, and legs.

It strengthens the abdomen and core muscles. It is a great way of burning fats in the lower body if performed correctly as part of a HIIT cardio workout.

How does it work?

  • Squats result in an increased production of anabolic hormones in the body, which are of great help in burning fats and building muscles.
  • The number of calories burned depends on the intensity of the squats and the individual's
  • On average, about 5 calories can be burned by doing a normal intensity squat for 1 minute. However, doing high-intensity squats can burn around 8 calories per minute.

Technique to Perform:

  • Start by standing up straight with your chest up and your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Inhale while bending down at your knees and hips. Stick out your butt as if you’re sitting on a chair.
  • Keep squatting down until your knees are at a 90-degree, while your ankle and your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Keep your back straight and pause for a second.
  • Exhale by pressing down your heels and return to the starting position.

Workout Plan:

For good results

  • Do 3 sets of 15 squats daily.
  • Or do 6 sets of 5 squat reps once or twice a week.

4.6. Planks


Plank is one of the best HIIT workouts used all around the world to help reduce weight. It is a type of isometric exercise that involves the contraction of a specific group of muscles in a stationary position. Plank aids in strengthening the shoulders, abdomen, core, and glutes.

How does it work?

  • Planks can engage various muscle groups at a time. It boosts the body’s metabolic rate quickly and helps to burn fat rapidly.
  • The number of calories burned, depends on various factors such as body weight, metabolic rate, muscle to fat ratio, The more repetitions you do, the more fat you burn.

“An average person weighing 110 pounds can burn 2 calories per one minute of a plank.”

Technique to Perform:

  • Start with a push-up position with both your forearms on the floor.
  • Keep your elbows directly under your shoulders.
  • Extend your legs in a way that balances your body between toes and forearms.
  • Make sure your body makes a straight line from head to heels.
  • Either look forward or gaze at the Hold this position for 10-20 seconds or as much as you can.

Workout Plan:

  • Start by doing planks 2 to 4 times a week for 20-30 seconds.
  • Gradually increase the time to almost 60 seconds by adding small increments of 5 to 10 seconds.

4.7. Butt Kicks


Butt kicks are widely used as a warm-up exercise. But these are equally effective in shedding extra pounds when used as part of a HIIT cardio workout.

Butt kicks target the muscles in your hamstrings and glutes.

How does it work?

  • They work as a powerful aerobic exercise and enhance the overall working of the cardiovascular system.

Fat burning requires elevating the heart rate via any cardio exercise. Butt kicks are great at accelerating the heart rate either as a warm-up or a classic HIIT workout. Hence, they are extremely useful in burning extra calories.

  • Apart from that, butt kicks also prevent injuries by strengthening the quads and hamstrings.

Technique to Perform:

  • Stand still and bring one heel from the floor towards your buttock. Move the opposite arm towards your shoulder.
  • Switch to the other side and repeat the process smoothly.

Workout Plan:

  • In the beginning, do butt kicks for 30 seconds combined with a 10 second resting period.
  • Then gradually increase the time, pace, and frequency.
  • An effective workout plan involving butt kicks with other polymeric exercises is as follows:


Plan 1

Butt Kicks

1-minute

Jumping Jacks

1-minute

Plank

1-minute

Hip Circles

10



Plan 2

Push-ups  

10

Butt kicks  

1 minute

Repeat  

3 times

Squats       

10

Butt kicks

1 minute

Repeat   

3 times


4.8. Russian Twist


Russian Twist is particularly famous among the athletes due to its after effects that help in quickly changing directions.  It targets the hips and core of the body. It is considered one of the best HIIT exercises to reduce belly fat.

How does it work?

  • Russian Twist is a remarkable fat burner. It is mostly recommended for burning belly
  • Performing Russian twists requires more energy compared to other exercises. The more energy you use, the more calories you burn.
  • It can burn almost 100 calories for every 10 minutes of high-intensity workout.

“Studies have shown that Russian twists when done vigorously for 30 minutes can burn almost 177-305 calories based on intensity, weight and various other factors.”

Technique to Perform:

  • Sit on the floor with your knees bent, legs extended in front, and heels on the floor.
  • Straighten your arms to hold your knees and form a V- sitting position.
  • Lift your arms from your knees and twist them from one side to another.

Workout Plan:

  • Perform 4 sets at the beginning with 15 reps.
  • Include this exercise in your workout at least 2 to 3 times a week.

4.9. Mountain Climbers


Mountain climber is another great HIIT fat-burning exercise. It targets the core muscles and builds cardio endurance. When practiced as a part of HIIT, mountain climbers can greatly enhance your heart rate which helps you to lose weight.

It is a powerful HIIT workout for abs as your core works hard to keep balance while you’re lifting your knees.

Technique to Perform:

  • Start with a push-up position.
  • Place your hands apart slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Bring one knee towards your chest. Move it back to the floor.
  • Repeat the same with the other

Workout Plan:

  • It is best to perform it in short bursts of 25 to 35 seconds at a time.
  • Do 3 sets of 12 1-5 mountain climbers’ rep in the beginning with a 10 second resting period.
  • Once you get used to the technique, gradually enhance the frequency and duration.

4.10. Crunches


Crunches can make an excellent addition to fat-burning HIIT when used in combination with other cardio workouts such as burpees, jumping jacks, etc.

Technique to Perform:

  • Lie down on the floor on your back.
  • Bend your knees and keep your feet on the floor.
  • Keep your arms behind your head.
  • Bring your torso up and down repeatedly.
  • Inhale and contract your core muscles.
  • Exhale while lifting up your upper body.

Workout Plan:

  • Incorporate crunches at least 2-3 times in your weekly routine.
  • 3 sets with 10 to 12 reps are good for taking a start.

5. Number of calories burned by different HIIT Cardio Workouts:

Calories burned by different HIIT Workouts (60 kg weight)

Workout

10 min

20 min

30 min

Squats

58

116

173

Push-ups

84

168

252

Crunches

53

105

158

Burpees

84

168

252

Jumping jacks

81

162

243

Lunges

42

84

126

Jumping ropes

124

248

372


6. Full Body HIIT cardio Workout Plan for Fat-Loss

Set 1 --> Lower Body

Squats

40 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

High Knees

40 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

Butt Kicks

40 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

Complete 3 sets


Set 2 --> Upper Body

Jumping Jacks

 45 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

Burpees

 45 Seconds

Rest

15 seconds

Push Ups

45 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

Complete 3 sets


Set 3 -->Core Body (Abs)

Planks

40 seconds

Rest

10 seconds

Mountain Climbers

40 seconds

Rest

10 seconds

Russian Twist

40 seconds

Rest

10 seconds

Complete 3 sets



7. Beginners HIIT cardio Workout

Push-Ups

45 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

Squats

45 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

Butt Kick

45 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

Complete 3 sets, Perform 2-3 times a week


8. 18-minute fat-burning HIIT workout Plan from Home

Step 1

Push-Ups

30 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

Mountain Climbers

30 seconds

Rest

15 seconds


Step 2

Burpee

30 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

Jumping Jacks

30 seconds

Rest

15 seconds


Step 3

Plank

30 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

High Knees

30 seconds

Rest

15 seconds


Step 4

Crunches

30 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

Squat

30 seconds

Rest

15 seconds

Complete 3 round


9. Takeaway

No doubt, HIIT cardio workouts are game-changers in losing weight. But since all of these are high-intensity workouts, do not rush into doing all the activities listed at once. Make a proper mix of 3-4 types of exercises based on your own comfort level. Maintain that routine for almost a month. Then start bringing variations in the types and enhance the frequency over time.

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