Leg day and ab workouts get all the love on social media, but there's no better workout for beginners than a tried-and-true, full-body workout. That's because you're targeting all your major muscle groups and not hammering away on just one, so you lower your risk of injury and burnout.
That's especially important when you're getting started with HIIT workouts. Because this type of exercise requires you to go all-out for 20 to 30 seconds, you want the support of your entire body. The workout below is a great way to familiarize yourself with HIIT while burning some serious calories.
Full-Body Superset HIIT Workout for Beginners
Do this workout from Anna Larsen, certified personal trainer and Fit Body Boot Camp co-owner, once a week to build full-body strength. You'll be performing supersets — two exercises performed back to back — to maximize your muscle-strengthening efforts.
Do: Each move for 30 seconds. Repeat two times.
- High plank
- High knees
Move 1: High Plank
- Begin on your hands and toes; lengthen from the crown of your head to your heels.
- Keep your core pulled into your spine, back is flat.
Move 2: Burpee
- Stand with your feet together.
- Squat down and place your hands flat on the floor in front of you.
- Jump both feet back so you finish in a plank.
- Perform a push-up, keeping your elbows at a 45-degree angle to your body and maintaining your body alignment.
- Jump your feet back underneath your hips.
- Stand up with a flat back as you transition into a jump.
- Land softly with your hips back and knees in line with your feet and hips.
Move 3: High Knees
- Stand up tall, as you draw one knee, then the other up to chest height.
- Continue running in place like this.
Do: Each move in the superset for 60 seconds without rest in between. Rest for 30 to 45 seconds before moving onto the next superset. Do the entire workout twice.
- Superset #1: kettlebell swing and mountain climbers
- Superset #2: single-leg squat and goblet squat
- Superset #3: bicycle crunches and push-ups
- Superset #4: side-to-side jumps and dumbbell front raise
Move 1a: Kettlebell Swing
- Stand with feet hip-width apart and a kettlebell a few feet in front of you.
- Hinge at the hips (knees slightly bent) to pick up the kettlebell.
- Swing the kettlebell between your legs.
- Use the force of standing up and straightening your hips to push the kettlebell out in front of you to shoulder height.
Move 1b: Mountain Climber
- Start in a plank.
- Alternate bringing your right and left knee toward your chest.
Move 2a: Single-Leg Squat
- Stand with all of your weight in your right foot, your left foot floating about the ground slightly behind you.
- Bend your right knee to bend down as if you were squatting on just one leg.
- Go as far down as your mobility and balance will allow.
- Press back up to standing.
Move 2b: Goblet Squat
- Stand holding a kettlebell or dumbbell in front of your chest, feet hip-width apart.
- Bend your knees and hinge your hips back so you're sitting into a squat.
- Stop when your thighs are parallel to floor, knees behind toes.
- Press back up to standing.
Move 3a: Bicycle Crunch
- Lie on your back, legs extended and hands behind your head.
- Twist to the right as you bring your left elbow across your torso and bend your right knee to meet it.
- Return to center and repeat on the opposite side.
Move 3b: Push-Up
- Begin in a plank, supporting yourself on your toes and hands.
- Bend your elbows and lower your chest to the floor, maintaining a straight line from head to toe.
- Press back up to start.
If you're not yet strong enough for full push-ups, drop to your knees or perform them on an incline (hands on a box or step) until you build up the requisite strength.
Move 4a: Side-to-Side Jump
- Stand with most of your weight in your left leg.
- Press off that leg and leap to the right, landing on your right foot with your right knee slightly bent.
- Repeat, leaping back to the left.
Move 4b: Dumbbell Front Raise
- Stand holding a dumbbell in each hand in front of your thighs.
- Keeping your core tight, lift both weights up to shoulder height.
- Lower back down with control.