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Too often, people use time as an excuse to avoid exercising. In most cases, this usually applies to the time it takes to get to the gym. Fortunately, while gyms, equipment, and personal trainers can all help us pursue our fitness goals, they are not required! 

Our body weight, desires, and enough space to move around are more than enough to engage in training that can help us improve our health and advance our athleticism.

Furthermore, hours of monotony are not required to burn calories, overcome stress, or improve our health. With the proper fat-burning anaerobic exercise routine or high-intensity interval training, you can increase your heart rate and begin advancing your fitness ability in minutes from the comfort of your home.

Below, eight HIIT cardio workouts at home that can help you to save time, get results, and stop the excuses. 

Woman doing jumping lunges

Why Do HIIT?

HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, requires you to work with intensity and has dedicated rest periods. It offers a refreshing exercise style with various proven benefits you can achieve by working harder rather than longer. Furthermore, HIIT is versatile, offering both strength training with cardio conditioning and a full-body workout all at the same time.

HIIT can help with weight loss, burn fat, build muscle, boost endurance, and help you to develop athletic versatility not restricted to one particular exercise or pace. HIIT can also get your metabolism in full swing for hours after training, reduce your blood pressure1, and, most notably for some, not disrupt your schedule!

Furthermore, a less-spoken benefit of  HIIT is that it can help those suffering from stress, depression, or anxiety. A February 2020 study2 on the effects of HIIT on those struggling with symptoms of mental illness found that beyond the fitness benefits of HIIT, the training style can help those struggling with depression, stress, or anxiety better cope or find relief.

Lastly, you can engage in HIIT training with equipment (like kettlebells, weighted vests) or without equipment, or simply in a park or your living room. Making HIIT uniquely accessible regardless of your resources and space. 

With so many benefits to this training style, let’s get right into some ways to help you discover the benefits of HIIT.

HIIT Cardio Exercises for At-Home Workouts

Here is a list of the equipment-free lower-body, upper-body, and full-body exercises you can incorporate into any HIIT routine:

  • Burpees
  • Mountain climbers
  • Twisting mountain climbers
  • Double mountain climbers
  • Jumping jacks
  • High-knee sprints
  • Tuck jumps
  • Jump lunges
  • Push-ups
  • Diamond push-ups (tricep push-ups)
  • Reverse lunges
  • Calf raises
  • High plank
  • Plank with alternating shoulder touches
  • Side planks
  • Air squats
  • Jump squats
  • Butt kicks
  • Sit-ups
  • Russian twists
  • Bicycle crunches
  • Standing oblique crunches

5-Minute HIIT Cardio Workouts

These are short workouts when you need to move but don’t have much time. These are guidelines for workouts you can do in just 5 minutes; keep in mind that you can adapt each workout to your fitness level! If you have more time, do multiple rounds.

Bodyweight 5-Minute HIIT Workout

5 minute full body workout hiit

In this workout, you’re looking to move continuously for the entire minute.

  • 1 minute of push-ups
  • 1 minute of plank on your elbows
  • 1 minute of squats
  • 1 minute of up-and-down planks
  • 1 minute of up-and-down planks with a push-up

Quickly catch your breath between each set with 10 to 15 seconds of rest. You can deduct this time from a set or add it to the overall routine. Maintain steady and consistent push-ups and squats throughout the rounds. If you need a break, compensate by holding yourself in a push-up position, but never drop to the ground.

5-Minute Full-Body HIIT Workout

5 minute body weight workout

Try to maintain your intensity throughout the entire minute of work. 

  • High-knee sprints: 1 minute
  • Burpees: 1 minute
  • Jumping jacks: 1 minute
  • Burpees: 1 minute
  • High-knee sprints: 1 minute

Try to use the high-knee sprints and jumping jacks as a way to catch your breath from the superior intensity experienced during the burpees. You can take a break between each set, however, I suggest a light jog in place between sets to keep it moving if you can’t catch your breath doing the high-knee sprints or jumping jacks. 

10-Minute HIIT Cardio Workouts

If all you have is 10 minutes, you can make the most of it!

Bodyweight 10-Minute HIIT Workout

10 minute bodyweight hiit workout

Here, our goal is to hit all your muscle groups by doing a full minute of activity, moving consistently the entire minute.

  • Push-ups: 1 minute
  • Alternating lunges: 1 minute
  • Bicycle crunches: 1 minute
  • Side-to-side jump squats: 1 minute
  • Diamond push-ups: 1 minute
  • Calf raises: 1 minute
  • Russian twists: 1 minute
  • Low-squat pulsing bunny hops: 1 minute
  • Standard push-ups: 1 minute
  • Squat with kicks: 1 minute

Make sure you reset properly after each exercise to maintain a fluid and consistent technique. When engaging in the squat kicks, alternatingly kick forward with your right leg or left leg once returning upwards.

RELATED: 9 Heart-Pumping, 10-Minute Workouts

10-Minute Full-Body HIIT Workout

10 minute full body hiit workout

In this workout, we will do an EMOM, which stands for “every minute on the minute.” This type of workout requires that you do the number of prescribed repetitions, and then rest for the remainder of the minute before moving on to the next movement: 

10 Minute EMOM (Two Rounds)

  • Minute 1: 15 Dumbbell deadlifts
  • Minute 2: 15 Dumbbell tricep extensions
  • Minute 3: 15 Dumbbell lunges
  • Minute 4: 15 Dumbbell curls
  • Minute 5: 30-second plank

If you don’t have dumbbells, you can easily use kettlebells, soup cans, milk jugs, or anything else that has some weight to it.

15-Minute HIIT Cardio Workouts

Squeeze in these workouts on your lunch break, early in the morning, or after dinner!

15-Minute No-Equipment HIIT Workout

15 minute bodyweight HIIT workout

No equipment? No problem! Try out this workout, which incorporates plyometric exercises like jumping with strength-based movements:

3 Rounds:

  • Calf raises: 1 minute
  • Jump squats: 1 minute
  • Russian twists: 1 minute
  • Standard push-ups: 1 minute
  • Burpee with a tuck jump and push-up: 1 minute

RELATED: The Best 15-Minute Workouts

15-Minute Full-Body HIIT Workout

15 minute full body wrokout

If you have weights at home, try this 15-minute dumbbell workout:

3 Rounds:

  • 40 seconds of dumbbell curls, 20 seconds rest
  • 40 seconds of dumbbell squats, 20 seconds rest
  • 40 seconds of dumbbell presses, 20 seconds rest
  • 40 seconds of dumbbell deadlifts, 20 seconds rest
  • 40 seconds of dumbbell rows, 20 seconds rest

Make sure to safely transition into the next exercise, keeping an intense exercise pace without rushing or losing your form!

RELATED: Dumbbell Leg Workout

20-Minute HIIT Cardio Workouts

If you have a little more time, push hard through 20 minutes on these workouts.

RELATED: 20-Minute Upper-Body Workout

20-Minute No-Equipment HIIT Workout

20 minute bodyweight workout

In this workout, we will do four Tabata workouts, with 1-minute rest between each one. A Tabata workout is 20 seconds of work, 20 seconds of rest. 

Tabata 1

4 Rounds:

20 seconds high plank

10 seconds rest

20 seconds push-ups

10 seconds rest

Rest 1 minute

Tabata 2

4 Rounds:

20 seconds jumping lunges

10 seconds rest

20 seconds jumping jacks

10 seconds rest

Rest 1 minute

Tabata 3

4 Rounds:

20 seconds speed skaters

10 seconds rest

20 seconds high knees

10 seconds rest

Rest 1 minute

Tabata 4

4 Rounds:

20 seconds sit-ups or crunches

10 seconds rest

20 seconds jump squats

10 seconds rest

20-Minute Full-Body HIIT Workout

20 minute full body workout

In this workout, we are going to hit all those muscles: glutes, core, quads, hamstrings, biceps, triceps, shoulders, and back.

2 Rounds:

  • Tuck jumps: 1 minute
  • Burpee with tuck jump and push-up: 1 minute
  • Mountain climbers: 1 minute
  • Double mountain climbers: 1 minute
  • Twisting mountain climbers: 1 minute
  • Slow up-and-down standard push-ups: 10 seconds down, hold 5 seconds, 10 seconds up (4x equaling 1 minute)
  • Wall sit with calf raises: 1 minute
  • High-knee sprints: 1 minute
  • Jumping jacks: 1 minute
  • Burpees with or without a push-up: 1 minute

With the slow up-and-down push-ups, you are moving gently to the ground at the pace of your 10-second count. So, for example, when going down, you should be a fist’s distance from the ground by the time you count to 10, and when coming up, you should be in your original push-up position at 10. Also, if you do not have a wall nearby for wall sits, you can do the calf raises on their own. 

HIIT Cardio Workouts at Home: Final Tips 

There is an array of HIIT exercises here. Some of you may be familiar with a few of them, and some of you may have experience with all of them. Regardless, what should stand out about the benefits of HIIT is what can be achieved without equipment and from anywhere. 

With this said, here are a few more tips:

  • Always carefully reset between exercises to avoid strains or losing balance.
  • Be sure to hit a quick warmup and cooldown, such as light jogging or dynamic stretching, before and after each HIIT session.
  • Always land on the balls of your feet when jumping or sprinting to keep the exercises more low-impact and maintain your composure. 
  • If going from one exercise into another without resetting is possible, such as going from a high-plank position into a push-up, this will help to keep fluidity and intensity.
  • Make sure you know how to correctly do an exercise before jumping right into it! Video tutorials and various articles are available online for all the listed exercises in case you’re unsure you are doing them right. 

My suggested workouts are simply guidelines but should show how HIIT allows you to pack so much into a short period of time while granting you the ability to get creative. Don’t be obliged to follow my routines precisely; you can always choose what works best for you. For example, the 5-minute HIIT workout could easily become a 15-minute session by doing it three times. Mix and match these exercises and routines as you see fit! 

HIIT Cardio Workouts at Home: Q&A

How do you do HIIT cardio at home?

Make sure you have the space and a safe floor! You want space to jump and move and a safe and stable floor to move around on. You can determine what is needed by the exercises you will be doing. 

For example, you want to ensure you have a high enough ceiling for burpees and a mat or floor that you can comfortably use for push-ups or sit-ups (wooden floors, for example, may be hard on your back or become slippery as you sweat). 

Beyond the obvious, the best way to do HIIT training at home is to set time aside, organize a routine, and do it!

Is 10 minutes of HIIT cardio enough?

If you only have 10 minutes to spare, then 10 minutes is enough! More sets, reps, and time can lead to more calories burned or gains made. However, with HIIT training at home and generally all fitness training, it’s very important to avoid an all-or-nothing attitude. 

You can get plenty out of a 5-minute HIIT workout despite being able to get more out of a 10-minute one. Go ahead and do burpees for a 5-minute high-intensity workout and see how you feel. My main point is that what is certain is that you can always accomplish more, but you will not accomplish anything by doing nothing!

What is the best HIIT workout at home?

The best HIIT workout at home is one that is easily done with the space and resources you have available in your home. 

Is 15 minutes of HIIT cardio enough?

If you only have 15 minutes to train, then it is enough! 

Whether five or 20 minutes, with a properly orchestrated workout plan and minimal resting periods, you can burn a ton of calories and accomplish a lot in a short amount of time doing HIIT at home. 

References

  1. Carpes L, Costa R, Schaarschmidt B, Reichert T, Ferrari R. High-intensity interval training reduces blood pressure in older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PMID: 34921916 (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.exger.2021.111657
  2. Martland R, Mondelli V, Gaughran F, Stubbs B.Can high intensity interval training improve health outcomes among people with mental illness? A systematic review and preliminary meta-analysis of intervention studies across a range of mental illnesses. PMID: 31780128 (2019) DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2019.11.039

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