20-Minute High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Routine

Looking to get a quick and effective workout in the comfort of your own home? Look no further than the 20-Minute High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Routine. With the rise of home workouts as a hot trend during the pandemic, this HIIT routine is designed to help you maximize your fitness gains in a short amount of time. Get ready to break a sweat, burn calories, and challenge yourself with this high-intensity workout that will leave you feeling energized and accomplished. Say goodbye to lengthy gym sessions and hello to a quick and efficient workout that fits seamlessly into your busy schedule.

Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is a popular exercise method that has gained significant attention in recent years. One of the main reasons for its popularity is the numerous benefits it offers. Let’s take a closer look at some of the key advantages of incorporating HIIT into your fitness routine.

Efficient use of time

One of the biggest advantages of HIIT is its efficiency. In today’s fast-paced world, finding time for exercise can be a challenge. However, with HIIT, you can achieve a highly effective workout in a short amount of time. Traditional workouts often involve spending long hours at the gym, but HIIT can give you the same benefits in just 20 minutes.

Increased calorie burn

If calorie burn is a priority for you, HIIT is your go-to workout. This training method involves short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest or lower-intensity activity. These intense intervals push your body to its limits and significantly increase your calorie burn. Studies have shown that HIIT can burn more calories than traditional cardio exercises, making it an excellent choice for weight loss and overall fitness.

Improved cardiovascular fitness

HIIT is renowned for its ability to improve cardiovascular fitness. The repeated cycles of intense exercise followed by rest or active recovery work to increase your heart rate and strengthen your cardiovascular system. Regular HIIT sessions can improve your heart health, endurance, and overall stamina. Whether you’re an athlete or just someone looking to improve their cardiovascular fitness, HIIT is an effective way to achieve your goals.

Boost in metabolism

Another notable benefit of HIIT is its ability to boost your metabolism. The intense intervals stimulate the production of human growth hormone (HGH) in the body, which plays a crucial role in increasing metabolism and burning fat. Additionally, the high-intensity nature of HIIT keeps your metabolism elevated even after your workout is over, leading to continued calorie burn throughout the day. This afterburn effect, known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), can last for several hours after your HIIT session.

Equipment Needed for the Routine

One of the great things about HIIT is that it can be done with minimal equipment. Here’s a list of the basic equipment you’ll need to get started:

Timer or stopwatch

To effectively perform HIIT, you’ll need a timer or a stopwatch. This will help you keep track of your work and rest intervals, ensuring that you maintain the correct timing for each exercise.

Exercise mat

Having an exercise mat is essential for comfort and safety during floor exercises. It provides cushioning for your joints and prevents slipping, especially during intense movements.

Dumbbells (optional)

Although not necessary, incorporating dumbbells into your HIIT routine can add an extra level of intensity and help you build strength. Start with lighter weights and gradually increase the resistance as your fitness level improves.

Resistance bands (optional)

Resistance bands are another optional equipment that can enhance your HIIT workout. They provide constant tension throughout the movements, targeting specific muscles and adding resistance to bodyweight exercises.

20-Minute High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Routine

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Before jumping into a HIIT workout, it’s crucial to warm up your body to prepare it for the intense exercise ahead. A warm-up routine helps increase blood flow, loosens up your muscles, and reduces the risk of injury. Here are some warm-up exercises you can incorporate into your HIIT routine:

March in place

Begin by marching in place, lifting your knees high and swinging your arms gently. This exercise helps raise your heart rate and gradually warms up your entire body.

Arm circles

Extend your arms out to the sides, parallel to the ground, and slowly rotate them in a circular motion. Start with small circles and gradually increase the size. This exercise helps warm up your shoulders and upper body.

Jumping jacks

Perform a set of jumping jacks to further elevate your heart rate and engage your entire body. Jump your feet out wide while simultaneously bringing your arms overhead. Jump back to the starting position and repeat.

Dynamic stretches

Finish your warm-up with some dynamic stretches, such as leg swings, arm swings, and torso twists. These movements help increase your range of motion, improve flexibility, and activate the muscles you’ll be using during your HIIT workout.

HIIT Circuit 1: Cardio

The first circuit of your HIIT routine will focus on cardiovascular exercises that get your heart pumping and increase your endurance. Perform each exercise for the prescribed time, followed by a short rest period before moving on to the next one. Repeat the circuit for the desired number of rounds. Here are some effective cardio exercises for your HIIT circuit:

Exercise 1: Burpees

Burpees are a full-body exercise that targets multiple muscle groups while also providing a cardiovascular challenge. Start in a standing position, drop into a squat, kick your legs back into a push-up position, perform a push-up, jump your feet back towards your hands, and explode into a jump, reaching your arms overhead. Repeat for the designated time.

Exercise 2: Mountain climbers

Mountain climbers are a dynamic exercise that engages your core, shoulders, and legs. Assume a push-up position with your body in a straight line. Alternately drive your knees towards your chest as if running on the spot. Maintain a quick and controlled pace throughout the exercise.

Exercise 3: High knees

High knees are a fantastic cardio exercise that targets your leg muscles while also engaging your core. Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Drive one knee towards your chest while hopping on the opposite foot. Alternate the movement between your legs, maintaining a brisk pace.

Exercise 4: Jumping lunges

Jumping lunges are a powerful lower body exercise that improves leg strength, balance, and coordination. Start in a lunge position with your right leg forward and left leg back. Jump explosively, switching the position of your legs mid-air, and land with your left leg forward. Continue alternating between legs for the designated time.

20-Minute High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Routine

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HIIT Circuit 2: Strength Training

Strength training is an essential component of a well-rounded fitness routine, and HIIT can provide an effective way to incorporate it into your workouts. The following circuit consists of strength exercises that target various muscle groups. Like the previous circuit, perform each exercise for the specified time, followed by a short rest period before moving on to the next exercise. Repeat the circuit for the desired number of rounds.

Exercise 1: Squat jumps

Squat jumps are a high-intensity exercise that targets your lower body, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower into a squat position, keeping your chest up and weight in your heels. Explosively jump off the ground, straightening your legs and reaching your arms overhead. Land softly and immediately lower back into a squat to repeat.

Exercise 2: Push-ups

Push-ups are a classic exercise that strengthens your chest, shoulders, triceps, and core. Start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your body towards the ground, keeping your elbows tucked close to your sides. Push back up to the starting position, focusing on maintaining a strong and stable core.

Exercise 3: Russian twists

Russian twists target your abdominal muscles, obliques, and lower back. Sit on the ground with your knees bent, leaning back slightly to engage your core. Lift your feet off the ground and interlace your fingers in front of your chest. Rotate your torso from side to side while keeping your balance on your sit bones. For an extra challenge, you can hold a dumbbell or a medicine ball.

Exercise 4: Tricep dips

Tricep dips are effective for targeting the muscles on the back of your arms. Sit on the edge of a bench or chair, placing your hands on either side of your hips. Slide your hips off the edge and bend your elbows to lower your upper body towards the ground. Push through your hands to extend your arms and return to the starting position. Keep your shoulders down and avoid sagging your hips.

HIIT Circuit 3: Core

A strong core is essential for stability, balance, and overall functional fitness. The following circuit focuses on core exercises that strengthen your abdominal muscles, obliques, and lower back. Perform each exercise for the specified time, followed by a short rest period. Repeat the circuit for the desired number of rounds.

Exercise 1: Plank

The plank is a fundamental core exercise that engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Start in a push-up position, resting on your forearms instead of your hands. Keep your body in a straight line from head to heels, ensuring that your hips are neither too high nor too low. Engage your core, squeeze your glutes, and hold the position for the designated time.

Exercise 2: Bicycle crunches

Bicycle crunches target your rectus abdominis and oblique muscles. Lie on your back with your hands behind your head and your knees bent. Lift your shoulder blades off the ground and bring your right elbow towards your left knee, simultaneously extending your right leg straight. Repeat on the opposite side, mimicking a bicycle pedaling motion. Continue alternating sides for the designated time.

Exercise 3: Leg raises

Leg raises primarily work your lower abdominal muscles. Lie on your back with your legs extended and your arms by your sides. Keeping your core engaged, lift your legs off the ground until they’re perpendicular to the floor. Lower them back down with control, keeping your back pressed into the mat. For an extra challenge, you can keep your legs straight and lower them slightly towards the ground without touching it before raising them again.

Exercise 4: Russian twists

Refer to the previous section, “HIIT Circuit 2: Strength Training,” for the description of Russian twists. This exercise is repeated in the core circuit to further target your obliques and abdominal muscles.

20-Minute High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Routine

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HIIT Circuit 4: Plyometrics

Plyometric exercises, also known as jump training, involve explosive movements that utilize the stretch-shortening cycle of your muscles. This type of training enhances power, agility, and overall athletic performance. Perform each exercise with maximum effort for the specified time, followed by a short rest period. Repeat the circuit for the desired number of rounds.

Exercise 1: Box jumps

Box jumps work your leg muscles and improve your jump power. Stand facing a sturdy box or platform. Assume a slight squat position and explosively jump onto the box, landing with both feet simultaneously. Step down carefully and repeat the jump. Make sure the box or platform is secure and at a height appropriate for your fitness level.

Exercise 2: Jump squats

Jump squats combine the benefits of squats with the explosive power of jumps, targeting your lower body muscles. Start in a squat position with your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight in your heels. Explosively jump as high as you can, extending your legs fully. Land softly in a squat position and repeat the movement.

Exercise 3: Lateral jumps

Lateral jumps enhance your agility, balance, and leg strength. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Explode off both feet and jump sideways as far as you can, landing softly on both feet. Immediately jump back in the opposite direction and continue alternating side to side.

Exercise 4: Skaters

Skaters simulate the movement of a skater gliding from side to side. Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart. Jump laterally to the right, landing on your right foot while sweeping your left leg behind your right leg and touching the ground with your left hand. Quickly reverse the movement, jumping to the left and touching the ground with your right hand. Maintain a swift and controlled pace throughout.


After an intense HIIT workout, it’s essential to give your body time to cool down and recover. The cooldown phase allows your heart rate to gradually return to normal and prevents blood pooling in your extremities. It also helps reduce muscle soreness and stiffness. Here are some cooldown exercises to incorporate into your HIIT routine:

Light jogging

Start by slowing down your pace and transitioning into a light jog. This gentle cardiovascular activity helps gradually lower your heart rate while maintaining blood flow to your muscles. Jog for a few minutes, allowing your body to gradually ease into a more relaxed state.

Static stretching

After your light jog, perform a series of static stretches to target the muscles you worked during your HIIT session. Focus on stretching your hamstrings, quadriceps, hip flexors, chest, shoulders, and calves. Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds, being mindful of your breathing and maintaining good posture.

Deep breathing

Finish your cooldown with deep breathing exercises to promote relaxation and mental clarity. Find a comfortable position, either standing or sitting, and take slow, deep breaths in through your nose, filling your lungs fully. Exhale slowly through your mouth, allowing any tension to release. Repeat this deep breathing pattern for a few minutes, focusing on each breath and letting go of any stress or distractions.

Tips for an Effective HIIT Routine

To make the most out of your HIIT routine, consider the following tips:

Listen to your body

While pushing yourself during a HIIT workout is essential, it’s equally important to listen to your body and understand its limitations. Pay attention to any pain or discomfort and modify exercises or rest periods accordingly. Pushing through pain can lead to injury, so always prioritize your safety and well-being.

Maintain proper form

Maintaining proper form throughout your HIIT routine is crucial for maximizing results and minimizing the risk of injury. Focus on your posture, engage your core, and perform each exercise with control and precision. If you find it challenging to maintain proper form during certain movements, consider reducing the intensity or seeking guidance from a fitness professional.

Start slow and gradually increase intensity

If you’re new to HIIT or have been inactive for a while, it’s essential to start at a beginner level and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. HIIT can be demanding on the body, so allowing yourself time to adapt and build strength is key. Begin with shorter intervals and gradually progress as your fitness level improves.

Stay hydrated

During a HIIT workout, your body sweats and loses fluids. It’s crucial to stay adequately hydrated before, during, and after your session. Make sure to drink water throughout the day and have a water bottle nearby during your workout. Hydrating properly helps maintain your energy levels, prevent muscle cramps, and support optimal performance.


Incorporating High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) into your fitness routine can provide a multitude of benefits. From saving time to increasing calorie burn, improving cardiovascular fitness, and boosting metabolism, HIIT offers an efficient and effective way to achieve your fitness goals. By following the suggested HIIT circuit routines, using the recommended equipment, and paying attention to warm-up, cooldown, and proper form, you can make the most out of your HIIT workouts. Remember to listen to your body, start gradually, and stay hydrated. So why wait? Start incorporating HIIT into your exercise routine today and experience the incredible results for yourself.

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About the Author: Jonathan Ackerman

Hi there! I'm Jonathan Ackerman, the author behind Best In Home Workouts. Welcome to my site, where I aim to empower your fitness journey right from the comfort of your own home. With our busy schedules and hectic lifestyles, finding time to go to the gym can be a challenge. That's why I created this platform to provide you with honest reviews of various workout products that you can use at home. Whether you're looking for equipment, DVDs, or digital programs, I've got you covered. Get ready to transform your fitness routine and achieve your goals effortlessly with Best In Home Workouts.