The Best HIIT Cardio Workouts You Can Do At Home

There is a certain advantage to being able to work out at home: there is no fighting crowds for your favorite machine, no commute,

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There is a certain advantage to being able to work out at home: there is no fighting crowds for your favorite machine, no commute, and no membership fees. When it comes to HIIT cardio workouts, what are some of the best exercises you can do at home?

The Best HIIT cardio workout you can do at home include decline pushups, hand release pushups, forward dumbbell lunge with twist stand, kettlebell swings, plank, plank with dumbbell row, Russsain twist, single-leg burpees, weighted step-ups, and wall squats. 

HIIT cardio is a fantastic way to get your heart rate accelerated so that you can keep your body healthy, condition muscles, and improve your strength. This method of exercising is made even better when you are able to do those same workouts from the comfort of your own home. Continue reading to figure out what exactly HIIT is and how it benefits your cardio workout along with the best HIIT cardio workouts you can do from home.

What is HIIT?

The acronym HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. The name may sound intimidating, but it is certainly anything but. HIIT refers to a very specific type of exercise that involves brief moments of intense workouts followed by intervals in between that allow your body a period of recovery. Intense may be a word that scares some off, but through this type of exercise, your heart rate is increased quickly and your metabolism is kick-started.

How does this happen? Let’s look at an example. If you were to go on a long run, it is likely that you would remain at the same constant speed over a period of, let’s say, 30 minutes. This means that after the initial jump that your heart rate experiences in the beginning, there is no increase to follow because you are maintaining the same pace. This is not to say that this form of exercise is not beneficial, but it may not be the most efficient when it comes to cardio.

When you are in the middle of a HIIT workout, your body is pushed to its maximum capabilities during those high-intensity moments. Through this, your anaerobic pathways are used to help provide the energy that your body needs to power through. Your body is capable of supplementing the needed energy for such intense moments, but it is short-lived, as in, there is no way that you could maintain that level of intensity for a 30 minute period.

Therefore, the need for recovery comes into play so that your body can rest and refuel for the next moment of intensity and supply the energy that you need. Through this process, your heart rate spikes which will burn a larger amount of calories leading to a higher amount of weight loss, but even more importantly, lead to better cardiovascular function. Even better, HIIT workouts are typically very simplistic in nature, as they do not require a gym.

Best HIIT Cardio Workouts You Can Do At Home

Now that you know what exactly HIIT is and what it can do for your overall health as well as your cardiovascular health, you are likely wondering how you could achieve such a high-intensity workout from home. It may seem impossible, but so long as you have your body and a few free weights or dumbells, you have all the equipment you need. Knowing this, grab your favorite workout clothes and take a pick below to start your HIIT workout from home.

1. Decline Pushups

Decline pushups are a quick way to intensify a regular pushup and get your heart rate going at record speed through intense intervals. To perform a decline pushup, place your hands on the floor with your feet on either a bench, chair, or low couch. Be sure to keep your back straight and then lower your body onto the floor. This does not need to be done quickly, but in a way that pushes your body, which typically means a slower descent.

2. Hand Release Pushups


For this exercise, you will be enacting a bit more agility and concentration with your cardio increase. To complete a hand release pushup, you will begin in a standard push-up position and lower your body totally down to the ground and release your hands. Keeping your abdomen engaged and your back straight, evenly bring your body back up from the ground as you exhale. Before thinking this is too easy, give it a try and watch your heart rate race.

3. Forward Dumbbell Lunge With Twist Stand

© eHowFitness

The name is long, but the lasting effects are even longer. For this exercise, you will need a dumbbell that is held directly in front of you. You will then step forward into a lunge and very slowly twist your torso to one side while keeping the dumbbell held out straight in front of your body. You will then retract your foot and get back into your starting position. Once you are back to where you began, repeat this same process with the opposite side.

4. Kettlebell Swings

© Men’s Health

A kettlebell is most ideal for this, but if you have a dumbbell that can be gripped easily, it can also work. Start by bending your knees at a 90-degree angle with your feet just a tad wider than shoulder-width apart. You will then take the kettlebell and place it between your left as you lean forward. Then, begin to move upward quickly as you thrust the kettlebell upward to get it to shoulder height. Then, let it drop and go back to your starting position and repeat.

5. Plank

Performing a plank is one of the most effective ways to get multiple muscles working towards one exercise without having a ton of movement. Sounds almost fairytale-like, right? To complete a plank, you will start on the ground by laying down flat. Place your hands shoulder-width apart while also getting up on your toes. Keep your back flat and prop yourself up with your elbows as you keep your hands grasped together for 60 seconds.

6. Plank With Dumbbell Row

The plank alone is plenty challenging, but if you want something even more than the average plank, try completing a plank with a dumbbell row. Get into a regular pushup position, but with your arms extended completely, you will have two dumbbells grasped within your hands. Keeping your back straight and your core engaged, lift one dumbbell at a time and barring them towards your abdomen. Slowly bring it back down and repeat with the other hand.

7. Russain Twists

© Howcast

The Russian twist is a sure way to get your heart rate accelerated in a matter of seconds while also significantly strengthening your core. Begin by sitting on the floor and only touch your heels to the floor. You will keep the other parts of your feet lifted upward, avoiding any surface contact. Lean slightly forward and clasp your hands to your chest. Once you are in the proper position, twist from side to side with as much intensity as you can bear.

8. Single-Leg Burpees

© Michael Vazquez

Burpees are intense, but a single-leg burpee is just what you need to get your cardio soaring. To complete single-leg burpees, lower your body into a squat position. Once you are there, place your hands on the floor directly in front of your feet. You will then jump your feet back, but only allow one foot to touch the floor rather than both. Then, jump right into the air with that same foot, keeping the other off the ground and go directly into the next rep.

9. Weighted Step-Ups

© Constantly Varied Gear

To add a little more intensity to the regular step-up, a weighted step-up allows you to get the same workout while pushing your cardio just a bit further. To complete a weighted step-up, start by holding two dumbbells in each hand and put one foot either on a bench or on a flat surface (like a chair) that is weighed down. Then, forcefully lift your body from the ground by using your food on the bench and immediately go into the next rep with the other foot.

10. Wall Squat

© Josh Wilson

A wall squat is similar to a plank as it uses multiple groups, creates an intense cardio experience, and is simplistic in motion. To complete a wall squat, stand with your back against a wall and lower yourself down until your knees are at a 90-degree angle. Keep your hands clenched together as you stay in this position for 15-30 seconds before breaking and going back into another high-intensity interval.

11. Mountain Climbers

This workout got its name due to the motion used and the energy it takes to get it done. To complete a mountain climber, start in a pushup position with your arms extended. You will then take one knee at a time and bring it to your chest. This should be done at a rapid pace in intervals such as 30 seconds, going as intently as you can stand. Once the interval has passed, you will then rest and repeat.

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