Even if you’re just a beginner when it comes to fitness, there is no reason you shouldn’t give HIIT a go. Therefore, in this blog post we have created three HIIT workouts for women who are new to this type of training. If you’ve done your research into why HIIT is so popular and are ready to reap the benefits but aren’t completely sure on where to begin, we can help! There are countless different types of HIIT workouts for women of all fitness levels, so to make deciding which one to try easier for you, we have worked alongside our trainers to create three perfect HIIT workouts for women just starting out.
Yes, HIIT is meant to be intense. It involves you working hard, to increase your heart rate for a short period of time and then following this with a similarly short recovery period, allowing your heart rate to slow back down (think 20 seconds of jumping jacks, paired with a 10 second rest). But for anyone new to HIIT, it is more important that it is started slowly and performed safely to avoid any nasty injuries.
Before you start: Before you begin any type of workout, it is important that you warm up correctly and that when performing a HIIT workout that you know the essential HIIT training tips for beginners. Start slowly, warming up the muscles that will be used during the workout. Try jogging on the spot for 30 seconds, followed by slowly rotating you arms forwards and then backwards to loosen up your upper body and circling your hips to loosen up your lower half. Once you are warm you are ready to begin.
HIIT workouts for women #1 – Full body bodyweight circuit
In this workout, there is no equipment needed, therefore it can be completed absolutely anywhere – at home, in the garden… you don’t have to have access to a gym! Complete each exercise for 30 seconds and allow yourself a 15 second rest before moving on to the next one. Work through the five exercises in this way, rest for a 2 minutes and then repeat the circuit another 2 – 4 times.
- Jumping jacks – star jumps, just like you used to do as a child. Start off standing with your arms by your sides and jump up, landing with your feet wide and your hands up in the air. Jump again and return to the starting position.
- Press ups – if you can’t do a full press up just yet, don’t worry. Drop down to your knees and with your hands flat on the ground, in line with your shoulders but wider than shoulder width, slowly lower your chest to the ground and then push yourself back up to the top of the movement.
- Squats – standing with your feet just a little wider than hip width apart, push your hips back, lowering your bum towards the ground as if you were going to sit on a chair. Ensuring your knees do not go over your toes, once you’re at the bottom of the move, push your heels into the ground to stand yourself back up.
- Mountain climbers – starting in the position you would for a full press up (hands a little wider than shoulder width apart and your legs out straight behind you), one at a time, bring each knee up to your chest and then return your foot back to the floor, keeping your core tight and hips still.
- Lunges – standing up straight, start by stepping forward onto one leg and simultaneously bending your back knee and lower it towards the ground behind you. Aim to create a 90 degree angle with both knees, without the front knee going over your front foot.
HIIT workouts for women #2 – Abs circuit
Similarly to before, perform each exercise for 30 seconds and then rest for a further 15 before moving on to the next exercise. Rest for a minute or so after each round and perform the circuit as many times as you desire. Be sure to push yourself in your ‘work’ periods and rest completely in your 15 seconds recovery time.
- Bicycle crunches – laying on your back with your hands resting by your head, lift one of your shoulders off the ground and twisting your elbow round. At the same time, bring your opposite knee in towards the elbow. From this position, swap to do the same movement with your opposite elbow and knee.
- Russian twists – sitting on the floor with your legs bent in front of you, holding a light weight twist your hips from side to side, reaching the weight down to the floor.
- Leg raises – laying on your back, place your hands either by your sides or underneath your bum to support your lower back. Slowly lift both legs up off the floor together until they are straight and then return them slowly back down, without putting your weight back on to the floor.
- Plank – laying on your front, push yourself up so that you are balancing on your elbows (which are directly below your shoulders) and your toes. Keep your back straight and hold this position for the desired time period.
HIIT workouts for women #3 – Cardio
Whether you prefer the treadmill to the cross trainer, or the bike over the rower. HIIT can be done on any cardio machine. Choose your weapon and give this a go!
Start by warming up for 3 – 5 mins at a relaxed pace. Once warm, increase your pace for 40 seconds so that you are working at a much faster speed than before. After you have completed your 40 seconds at a high intensity, slow down and return to your relaxed pace for 20 seconds of ‘rest’. Keep switching between 40 seconds of high intensity work and 20 seconds of light recovery for around 10 minutes.