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10 HIIT Workouts for Beginners (At Home or At Work)

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has gained immense popularity in recent years for its efficiency in weight loss, improving cardiovascular health, and boosting metabolism. One of the greatest advantages of HIIT is its adaptability to various settings, including home or office environments.

Whether you’re a beginner looking to kickstart your fitness journey or someone with a hectic schedule seeking quick and effective home workouts, HIIT can be the perfect solution.

How Long Should a Beginner HIIT Workout Be?

For beginner HIIT workouts, it’s essential to start with shorter durations to allow your body to adapt to the intensity. A typical HIIT session usually lasts between 10 to 30 minutes, including warm-up and cool-down periods. However, beginners might want to begin with shorter intervals, aiming for around 15 to 20 minutes total.

You can also do the workout at your own pace so that your body can adjust to it. This allows sufficient time to perform a variety of exercises while minimizing the risk of overexertion.

Can a 10-Minute HIIT Workout for Beginners Be Effective?

Yes, a 10-minute HIIT workout plan can be remarkably effective, especially for beginners or those with limited time. The key lies in maximizing the intensity during those brief intervals. 

Choose HIIT exercises that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously, such as burpees, jumping jacks, or mountain climbers. Alternate between periods of high-intensity exercise and brief rest or active recovery. Even in just 10 minutes, you can elevate your heart rate, burn calories, and experience the metabolic benefits of HIIT.

Is 20 Minutes of HIIT per Day Enough?

Absolutely. Twenty minutes of HIIT per day can yield significant results, both in terms of fitness improvement and weight management. The intensity of HIIT workouts stimulates the body to burn calories during the session and continues to burn calories post-exercise due to the afterburn effect, also known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). 

Incorporate a mix of cardiovascular exercises like sprints or jumping rope with strength-based movements like squats or lunges to maximize the benefits within the 20-minute timeframe.

Is 30 Minutes of HIIT a Day Enough to Lose Weight?

Thirty minutes of HIIT a day can certainly help you lose fat when combined with a balanced diet and lifestyle. A full-body HIIT workout has been shown to be highly effective in burning fat and preserving lean muscle mass, making it an excellent choice for those aiming to shed pounds.

To optimize weight loss, ensure your HIIT sessions are challenging enough to elevate your heart rate and induce sweat. Incorporate a variety of exercises targeting different muscle groups to keep your body challenged and avoid plateaus.

High Intensity Interval Training Workouts for Beginners

High-intensity workouts bring a lot of fitness benefits! It helps you burn fat, improves your blood pressure, improves your fitness, and strengthens the body. Before you jump into a HIIT workout, it’s best to warm up to get your blood pumping and prepare your muscles for the high-intensity workout ahead.

Many of these HIIT exercises don’t require equipment, you might want to get a yoga mat for the workouts that require you to be positioned on the floor. While many of the exercises have recommended timings, you can definitely play around with them depending on your fitness levels.

With that said, here are some best HIIT beginner exercises that can be done at home or work:


Many people don’t think of walking as a form of workout but in reality, it’s the one exercise that anyone can do anytime. If you’re an absolute beginner at working out, you can start by integrating movements at moderate intensity while walking to help you get the maximum benefits of your daily stroll.

For a starter walking HIIT workout, you can begin with a slow-paced warm-up for 5 minutes, then walk at a steady pace for 3 minutes. Next, walk at a brisk pace for 1 minute, then walk at full intensity for 1 minute, and repeat the first four steps as you’re walking. Finish with 3 minutes of slow recovery walk to cool down.


Cycling is also an intense workout that beginners can do aside from walking. Using an exercise bike or an actual bike, cycling can help you get used to the intensity required in a HIIT workout. Start with a 1-minute quick cadence, followed by a 3-minute rest period, then follow it up by pushing out of the saddle for 1 minute, followed by another period of recovery.

Jumping Jacks

This is one of the best HIIT exercises that anyone can do. Start by standing upright with your feet hip distance apart and your arms at your sides. Jump your feet out while raising your arms. Repeat as fast as possible. If a regular jumping jack is too difficult, step side to side while raising your arms instead.


This HIIT workout targets both the upper and lower body, making it one of the best bodyweight exercises out there. For your starting position, crouch down, feet just further than shoulder-width apart, and hands on the floor. With your body weight in your hands, kick both feet out behind you, resting on the balls of your feet. Jump forward and propel your body up in one swift move, landing in a standing position.

Lateral Shuffle

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step out to the left and lower into a deep squat. While sitting in the squat, quickly shuffle to the left side as your space allows, keeping the hip-width distance. Repeat on the right.

High-Knee Forward and Backward Jog

Drive right knee toward chest and pump left arm up. Switch, driving left knee toward chest and right arm up. Continue alternating quickly, pumping the opposite arm with each leg, while moving forward five to 10 feet and back again.

Butt Kicks

To do this HIIT workout, first stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands clasped in front of your chest. Shift weight to left foot and quickly bring right heel to butt. Bring the right foot back to the floor, shift weight to the right foot, and quickly bring the left heel to the butt. 

Runner’s Lunge

This HIIT workout for beginners targets the quads, glutes, and core. From standing, step back into a reverse lunge with your left leg. Push through your right heel to come back to standing, following through with your left leg to raise it in front of you at 90 degrees.

Walkout with Push-Up

You might want to use a mat for this exercise. Place your feet flat on the floor, your hands close to your feet, and you’ll feel your hamstrings stretch. Next, walk your hands away from your legs, keeping your legs straight as you move forward until you’re in a high plank position. Perform a pushup, returning to a high plank. Walk your hands back towards your feet and repeat.

Dumbbell Thrusters

For this strength training exercise, you’ll need to use dumbbells. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand next to your thighs, palms facing in. Next, brace your midline, then hinge your hips back, lowering dumbbells to mid-thigh.

Next, simultaneously straighten your legs and pull the dumbbells vertically up, rotating elbows underneath to catch the dumbbells at shoulder height in a quarter squat. Stand. This is the start position.

Keeping core tight, elbows high, and chest forward, sit glutes back toward the floor into a squat. At the bottom of the squat, press heels into the ground to straighten your legs while pressing dumbbells overhead. The rep is complete when legs are straight and dumbbells are directly over shoulders, biceps are pressed against ears.

Lower dumbbells back to shoulders while descending into a squat to start the next rep.

Final Note

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. HIIT workouts will turn anyone into a sweaty mess as they generally involve alternating between quick bursts of full-body exercises and short rest periods after, performed at max effort for two to three rounds. 

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, HIIT workouts remain as one of the “Top 20 Worldwide Fitness Trends” and it’s easy to see why. Compared to a steady-state cardio workout, incorporating HIIT workouts into your routine can help you achieve your fitness goals efficiently, no matter your fitness level.

With a variety of exercises to choose from and the flexibility to do them virtually anywhere, HIIT offers an effective way to stay active and healthy, whether you’re a beginner looking to improve your health or a busy individual seeking a convenient workout style. 

If you experience discomfort during your HIIT workout, seek the guidance of a certified personal trainer. Stay safe and healthy!

Tricia Montano

Tricia founded Pain Free Working in 2019 due to suffering from degenerative disc disease in her L5-S1 from working an office job for the past 18 years. She and her team strive on finding and reviewing the best office equipment to help fellow pain sufferers find relief and to enable people like her to do their jobs comfortably.