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10 HIIT workouts for beginners that will burn calories and boost your metabolism

Try these HIIT workout routines you can do at home using bodyweight strength, walking and the treadmill to torch calories and boost your metabolism.

Incorporating HIIT workouts into your routine is a great way to speed up the metabolism, burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time, and build strength and endurance.

Because HIIT workouts focus on working at a higher level of intensity, they require more energy from your body than exercising at a steady state. In addition to increasing the intensity of the movement, HIIT workouts also focus on intervals, which means doing different exercises for shorter periods of time, instead of the same thing over and over again.

Steady state cardio may look like walking or biking at a steady pace. HIIT workouts, on the other hand, have us alternating between different exercises to build strength and endurance with quick bursts, while still having some active recovery time. For example, alternating between high knees, speed squats and walking in place. Rests are minimal in HIIT workouts, so even during rests periods, you're moving.

Ready to give it a try? Here are some great HIIT workout routines that I love using myself and recommend to my clients. Some are great for beginners and others are a way to step it up and get more of a challenge. Remember to always use modifications and listen to your body. If something feels too intense, dial it back, and if you need a longer break, take it! 

10 HIIT workouts for beginners

20-minute HIIT workout for beginners

This routine is a great place to start. You'll repeat a circuit of five, bodyweight strength and cardio moves twice through for a full-body workout. I recommend doing this routine every other day for three times per week for maximum results.

Katie Austin's Beginner HIIT Cardio

I love Katie Austin’s workout videos because she is a real trainer! Her personality comes through and she talks to you like you’re a friend. This workout is great for beginners because she explains each move in thorough detail and doesn’t rush through the moves too quickly.

MadFit's 20-Minute Killer HIIT Workout

I like this workout because it doesn’t require any equipment (except for maybe a mat, but you can lie down on carpet or a towel for the portions where you’re doing abs on the ground.) The instructor doesn’t go too fast through the routine, so it is a good workout for someone who is just starting out.

10-minute HIIT walking routine

Turn your walk into a HIIT workout by adding intervals! You can easily incorporate this style of exercise into your walk by mixing up your pace. Complete this workout a few times a week and when you feel it becoming easier, increase the amount of time you spend in each interval or begin with a quicker pace. This workout also includes an optional strength-training routine.

Jordan Metzl's 6-Minute HIIT Workout

Having no time to workout is no longer an excuse with this routine from sports medicine physician Jordan Metzl. You can do this high-intensity workout with little to no equipment in just six minutes.

10-minute interval treadmill walking workout from Barry's

This quick, 10-minute walking treadmill workout will get your heart pumping. The routine is a great add-on to a strength workout or as an efficient way to pack in some more steps. You can also take it off the treadmill: Whenever the workout calls for a change in incline, simply play with your speed to dial up or down the intensity.

F45 Training's 10-minute HIIT workout

This workout is only 10 minutes long, but starts to dial up the intensity a bit. F45 Training instructor Cory George put together this quick, but effective, 10-minute routine that you can do anywhere. The bodyweight exercises will spike your heart rate and build strength for a serious workout that even the most time-strapped can find some room for in their schedule.

Grow With Anna's 20-Minute Quick HIIT Workout

If you want to work out with music, this routine is for you! I do recommend this for more intermediate and advanced levels since there’s no talking or instruction. You can listen to the music choice in the video, or turn the volume down and use your own playlist. I like the countdown in the corner telling you which exercise is coming next, too!

Tone It Up's Sandy Sweat HIIT Workout

I love how the Tone It Up instructors walk you through the exercises. They are extremely knowledgeable trainers and very motivating. Plus, watching them work out on the beach is inspiring me to work out in other places besides my apartment!

Jeanette Jenkins' 30-Minute Fat Burning Cardio

I love the guidance that Jeanette Jenkins provides in her workouts. She focuses on the proper form and alignment of the each exercise while also encouraging you to breathe. She incorporates some stretching into this workout, too, so if you’re stiff, sore or looking to loosen up your body while also strengthening it, this workout is for you!

Eleni Fit's 45-Minute No Jumping All Standing HIIT Workout

This is another no-talking workout video. It’s a bit more complex than the other workouts as you’re doing multiple moves per exercise. This is great if you’re someone who gets bored easily — no exercise is repeated! You’ll do an exercise for almost a minute (50 seconds) and then have a 10 second break, before moving on to a completely new exercise.