What Is The Best HIIT Workout?

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Published: January 30, 2024

Ever find yourself scrolling through endless HIIT workouts, unsure which one will deliver the results you crave? We get it – the fitness world can be overwhelming. But fear not! We’re here to simplify the chaos and help you discover the HIIT workout that will transform your fitness experience. Imagine a routine that not only fits into your busy schedule but also delivers maximum results. That’s the magic of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and the best personal trainers in Dubai are about to break down some great routines tailored just for you.

What Is HIIT?

HIIT stands for “High-Intensity Interval training” and it is exactly that. This is a recently popularized type of cardio workout that improves your stamina and endurance by putting an incredible strain on your body over short periods of time. It is a workout strategy that alternates between short, intense bursts of exercise and brief periods of rest or lower-intensity activity. The primary goal of HIIT is to elevate your heart rate significantly during the intense intervals, followed by a short recovery period.

A girl kickboxing
HIIT is popular for its time efficiency and effectiveness in improving cardiovascular fitness.

Typically, a HIIT workout consists of a series of exercises performed at maximum effort for a specific duration (usually 20 to 60 seconds), followed by a rest or active recovery period that can last anywhere from 10 seconds to a minute. This forces you to give maximum effort in intervals of time. It drives your body to work at its fullest capacity even when you’re tired and sore. In turn, your body uses up all of your hidden power supplies. Additionally, the intensity of HIIT triggers a physiological response that continues to burn calories even after the workout, known as the afterburn effect or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). HIIT can be adapted to various forms of exercise, including running, cycling, strength training, and bodyweight exercises. However, they are very popular with martial arts and fighting sports such as boxing or MMA. If you like sports like these, you can ask our boxing personal trainers in Dubai to introduce HIIT exercises to your training regime.

The Benefits of HIIT Workout

HIIT offers a range of benefits, making it a popular and effective workout option for many individuals. Here are some key advantages:

  • Efficient Time Use: HIIT workouts are known for their time efficiency. Due to the intense nature of the exercise intervals, you can achieve significant results in a shorter amount of time compared to traditional steady-state cardio workouts.
  • Increased Caloric Burn: As we mentioned, HIIT induces the afterburn effect, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), leading to continued calorie burning after the workout is completed. This can contribute to weight loss and fat burning.
  • Improved Cardiovascular Health: These exercises have been shown to enhance cardiovascular health by improving aerobic capacity and endurance.
  • Fat Loss and Muscle Preservation: HIIT is a great weight loss exercise that helps to preserve muscle mass. The combination of high-intensity efforts and short recovery periods promotes fat utilization for energy.
  • Metabolic Rate Boost: This workout can elevate your metabolic rate, leading to increased calorie expenditure throughout the day. This can be beneficial for those looking to maintain or lose weight.
  • Time Variety Keeps Workouts Engaging: The structured intervals and variety in HIIT workouts can make them more engaging and less monotonous compared to traditional steady-state cardio exercises.
A man and a woman doing a HIIT workout
Many HIIT workouts can be performed with minimal or no equipment.

Who Should Avoid HIIT?

Unfortunately, we’re not close to finding the perfect exercise – the one that will help you gain muscles, lose weight, and is perfectly safe! So, there is a bad side to HIIT. Unsurprisingly, working out like this is very demanding of your body. So, if you have bad joints, sensitive blood vessels, or a history of heart conditions you should avoid HIIT drills. The High-Intensity part is real and it can cause serious problems for those not used to it, so you can try to reduce the intensity of the workouts in the routine. Finally, if you’re an elderly person or you’re looking to stay safe while exercising, you’ll want to avoid HIIT cardio altogether.

The Best HIIT Exercises to Try

When doing a HIIT cardio program, the exercises themselves aren’t as important as your workout plan. So, the individual exercises can vary to your preferences, but you’ll need to stick with a high-intensity routine. What does this mean?

  • Exercise swap: Changing workouts is basically the trademark of HIIT cardio. So, make sure you cycle through as many exercises as you’re able. Choose a couple of beginner-friendly exercises, and perform each exercise for 40 seconds, followed by a 20-second rest. Complete the circuit 3 times.
  • Short rests – don’t rest a long time between sets. This will allow your body to cool down, and you don’t want that when you’re doing HIIT!
  • Maximum effort – you know what they say “No pain, no gain”. If you don’t give it your maximum, HIIT workouts won’t give good results. Unlike most workouts where you need to preserve your strength and distribute it carefully, HIIT training will require 100% from you, all the time!
A woman stretching
The best HIIT workout is one that you enjoy and can consistently incorporate into your routine.

Exercise Suggestions

Even though we suggest that you make your HIIT training as diverse as possible, some exercises are just too good to avoid notice! They target the most important parts of your body as well as raise your heart rate, which makes them perfect for any HIIT workout!

  • Burpees: The Mighty Burpee is one of the best exercises to use in any workout. Popularized by the US Marines Corp, this exercise not only improves your endurance but also your muscles.
  • Squats: Jumping squats, half squats, wall squats – take your pick! Getting your legs involved is a great idea as they carry the entire weight of your body. This means they get to work twice as hard.
  • Plank: Plank is good for obtaining balance and coordination. However, with HIIT exercises, you should make your plank as active as possible. Do plank jacks, plank rows, or any other plank movement you know.
  • Jumping Lunges: Elevate your lower body game with jumping lunges. Whether you’re a fan of explosive movements or looking to tone those thighs and glutes, jumping lunges is a powerhouse exercise that adds variety to your routine. This move not only targets your legs but also engages your core for a full-body burn.
  • Bicycle Sprints: Spice up your cardio routine with bicycle sprints! Mimicking the intensity of cycling, this exercise combines cardiovascular benefits with targeted core engagement. By incorporating quick, controlled sprints, you’ll not only boost your heart rate but also sculpt your abdominal muscles

How to Plan Your HIIT Workout?

Since HIIT is mainly a cardio workout, you can combine it with any training program. However, HIIT cardio is the most common sports that require a lot of endurance in tough situations. That’s why many people implement it in CrossFit workouts, preparations for fighting sports, and martial arts as well as basketball. So, when you’re planning your HIIT workout, you’ll need to know why you’ll need it. If you’re looking only to lose weight, there are much easier ways to achieve it.

A girl jumping rope
Consulting with a fitness professional or healthcare provider can provide personalized guidance.

HIIT cardio provides a combination of explosiveness and endurance you’ll need in specific situations. So, plan your workout accordingly. If you’re unsure, don’t try to make a HIIT program yourself. Instead, look for a quality yet cheap personal trainer in Dubai to help you make the perfect plan suited to your fitness level and your body type. Remember to plan your exercises by time, not by the number of repetitions. This is crucial cause it will force you to do as many repetitions as possible in the limited time you have.

How Often Should You Do It?

Because of the nature of the HIIT workout, you shouldn’t overdo it unless you’re preparing for a competition or you’re really confident in your fitness. However, even in these cases, you should be careful. Remember, it’s important to do all of the HIIT circuits, so pace yourself and don’t take it lightly. Jumping in place for 30 seconds is super easy when you do it for the first time, but it’s unbelievably tiring when you have to do it for the third time after completing two full circuits. Keep your safety in mind first, but don’t give up! If you’re new to HIIT or have been relatively inactive, start with 1-2 sessions per week. This allows your body to adapt to the intensity and reduces the risk of overtraining or injury. For those with more experience and higher fitness levels, 3-4 HIIT sessions per week can be appropriate.

Your Ultimate Workout Routine for Maximum Results

In the world of fitness, where time is precious and results matter, High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) stands out as a game-changer. We’ve explored a diverse range of HIIT exercises, each designed to push your limits, elevate your heart rate, and sculpt your body in ways that go beyond the ordinary. Remember that the key to a successful workout routine lies in its diversity and alignment with your personal fitness goals. These exercises, carefully selected to target different muscle groups and cardiovascular intensity levels, serve as the building blocks of a dynamic and effective HIIT workout. So, feel empowered to mix and match these exercises, modify durations, and tailor the routine to suit your needs.

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