The Perfect 20-Minute HIIT Workout You Can Squeeze in Anywhere

Do this HIIT workout any time, anywhere (Image: visualspace/E+/GettyImages)

HIIT workouts are still some of the most popular for one simple reason: they work! By performing quick bursts of high-intensity movements with all-out effort, followed by short periods of rest, you can torch calories and sculpt lean muscles in a relatively short amount of time.

"One of the big benefits of HIIT is the ability to maximize caloric output during a shorter workout," says Noam Tamir, CSCS, owner of TS Fitness in New York City. "It improves heart health, increases VO2 max and creates more of a post-exercise oxygen consumption or afterburn effect, helping to burn more calories than moderate intensity exercise."

And they're just as effective as longer workouts or steady-state cardio. "A 20-minute HIIT workout can be as beneficial as a 40-minute moderate intensity workout," Tamir says. "Depending on an individual's fitness level these workouts have all shown to build strength, increase muscle mass and burn fat, too."

Want to give it a go? Try this 20-minute HIIT workout from Tamir for a whole series of benefits and a serious calorie burn. It doesn't require any equipment, so it can be done anywhere, by pretty much anyone!

20-Minute HIIT Workout You Can Do Anywhere

Just a few things to keep in mind before you get going on this workout. "Make sure to warm up and cool down," Tamir says. "During your rest period, focus on breathing and shaking out your body to release the tension you build up during the exercise part." And lastly, make sure you're well hydrated, and don't eat too close to training time, he says.

Warm Up

  • 3 minutes of dynamic stretching and/or cardio drills

Interval 1

Perform all four moves below for 30 seconds. Repeat the circuit for three rounds total, then rest for 60 to 90 seconds before the second interval.

Move 1: Reverse Lunge to Balance (Right Side)

Challenge your balance and build lower body strength. (Image: TS Fitness)
  1. Step your right foot back, bend knees and lower into a lunge, keeping left knee stacked over left ankle, right hip stacked over right knee.
  2. Push through feet to stand back up and drive right knee toward chest, thigh parallel to the floor, foot flexed, opposite arm lifting at your side.
  3. Lower back down to reverse lunge.

Move 2: Jumping Jacks

Get your heart rate up with jumping jacks. (Image: TS Fitness)
  1. Jump your legs wide, clapping your hands to meet overhead.
  2. Jump your feet back together and bring your hands to your sides.

Move 3: Reverse Lunge to Balance (Left Side)

  • Same as above, but step back with your left foot.

Move 4: Jumping Jacks

Interval 2

Perform a Tabata (20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest) for both exercises. Repeat for a total of eight rounds, then rest for 60 to 80 seconds before the third interval.

Move 1: Body-Weight Plank Row

You don't need weights for this row variation. (Image: TS Fitness)
  1. Start in a high plank, hands under shoulders, core braced, legs extended behind you, balancing on balls of feet, body in a straight line from head to toes.
  2. Squeezing shoulder blades together, bend left elbow and lift left hand to chest.
  3. Lower hand back to floor and repeat with the right hand.

Move 2: Knee Tuck Crunch

Your abs will be on fire at the end of this move. (Image: TS Fitness)
  1. Sit on the floor.
  2. Lie back until head, shoulder blades and upper back are just slightly off the ground, legs extended out in front of you and slightly lifted off the ground a couple inches, arm extended toward toes.
  3. Bracing your core, sit up, bringing knees fully into chest, wrapping hands over them.
  4. Slowly lower back down and repeat.

Interval 3

Perform each exercise for 40 seconds, followed by 20 seconds of rest. Repeat for two rounds total.

Move 1: T Push-Up

Work your upper body and obliques at the same time. (Image: TS Fitness)
  1. Start in a high plank, hands under shoulders, core braced, legs extended behind you, balancing on balls of feet, body in a straight line from head to toes.
  2. Keeping your body in straight line, elbows close to sides, brace through core and bend elbows to lower chest towards floor.
  3. Push back up.
  4. Lift left arm off the ground and stretch toward ceiling as you open your body to the left side.
  5. Come back to plank.
  6. Repeat on the right side.

Move 2: Fast Body-Weight Squat

Do these squats as fast as you can with good form. (Image: TS Fitness)
  1. Stand with feet a little wider than hip width apart, toes pointed slightly outward.
  2. Pushing knees outward, bend knees to sit down and back into a squat, making sure that knees don't track past ankles, heels stay flat on the floor.
  3. Push through heels to stand back up.

Move 3: Superman

Channel your inner Superman to strengthen your back. (Image: TS Fitness)
  1. Lie flat on the floor on your stomach, arms extended out in front of you, legs stretched out behind you, forehead on the ground.
  2. Bracing through core, lift legs, arms, and chest slightly off the floor.
  3. Hold for 40 seconds.

Cool Down

  • 5 minutes of stretching
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