10 minute HIIT workout for beginners

Are you short on time and looking for a workout that will get your heart pumping? A 10-minute HIIT workout can be a good way to get it in and be on your way.

You can add different exercises during each high intensity interval training workout so that it’s different every time.

woman doing bench dips in 10 minute  hiit workout

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What is a high-intensity interval training workout?

A high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout involves pushing yourself to your maximum effort for short intervals followed by short rest periods in between.

For example, 20 seconds of maximum effort doing exercises like squat jumps, followed by 10 seconds of rest, and repeat this interval 20 times. That’s a HIIT workout.

HIIT workouts can use different work-to-rest intervals, but the work intervals rarely go over 30-40 seconds per set. It is hard to go all out for more than that and maintain that safe effort over the full legs of the workout.

HIIT workouts are a great way to elevate your heart rate and get a full-body workout in a short space of time. You can also keep your HIIT workouts fun and fresh by changing up what exercises you do, which can range from 4-30 minutes.

Benefits of HIIT workouts

  • Burns a lot of calories in a short amount of time
  • Lose fat without losing muscle (can even gain muscle using HIIT while cutting weight if you eat a high protein diet)
  • Improves oxygen consumption and blood flow to muscles.
  • Reduces resting heart rate.
  • Boosts metabolism
  • Customizable with different exercises and interval times

How a HIIT workout can fit into your program

This can be a stand-alone workout when you’re short on time (after a quick, dynamic warm-up). You can also use it as a conditioning finisher after a strength training workout.

I like to run and work out. But there are some days when it is hard to figure out how I am going to get my daily dose in, believe it or not. However, thanks to a high-Intensity interval training (HIIT) workout it is possible.

woman doing bench dips in 10 minute hiit workout

I absolutely love adding in high-intensity workouts because they allow me to get in a good workout when I have a short amount of time. I definitely love them for my cardio because it makes the time seem to fly by. But they are good for bodyweight workouts too.

Also when a HIIT routine is done right, it is great for burning fat. And that is good regardless of how much time you have.

The 10-minute HIIT workout for beginners

A 10-minute workout is a good way to get your heart rate up and get in a workout when you don’t have a lot of time.

This bodyweight circuit is perfect for beginners. It only requires a jump rope, which means you can do it at home, outdoors or at the gym.

This workout includes push-ups, jumping jacks, squats and jump rope. The workout is 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds or rest. Complete the workout five times for a total of 10 minutes.

Workout #2 does not require any equipment.

10 minute hiit workout for beginners pin

This workout includes jumping jacks, mountain climbers, squats, high knees and jump squats (half turn). The workout is 40 seconds of work followed by 20 seconds or rest. Complete the workout twice for a total of 10 minutes.

HIIT exercises

Push-ups: There are many variations depending on your strength from the wall all the way to the ground. When outdoors, I typically do push-ups off of a table or bench. Regardless of where you are make sure you keep your body tight: from the top of your head to your knees should form a straight line. The goal is to continue to progress. As you gain strength then you can move up to the classic push-up.

Jumping jacks: The classic move we learned in elementary school. If you have bad or achy knees, you can turn it into a stepping instead of a jumping exercise. This is a great way to make it a low-impact move.

Squats: There are many variations to this exercise. Regardless of if you keep your legs more narrow or widen them for a sumo squat, sit back on your heels with your feet planted to the ground and stick your glutes out. When you get to the top of the exercises, squeeze your glutes then repeat.

You can do this as a bodyweight exercise or add some dumbbells for extra resistance.

Jump rope: If you have a jump rope, this is a great exercise you can use. If you don’t have a jump rope, you can mimic the exercise by just jumping and still holding your hands out to the side as if you had the rope handles in your hands. Or you can use a cordless jump rope.

Mountain climbers: Focus on keeping your hips parallel to the ground. Make sure not to rock side-to-side as you pedal your legs back and forth. To decrease intensity, slow the movement down by stepping forward with each foot.

Sprints: Sprinting on or off the track. Pick a good distance that allows you to get your heart rate up.

High knees: The movement involves running in the same spot with your arms moving up and down beside you – imitating running. Your arms play an important part in this exercise and you should be using them to help maintain your balance and rhythm as you would in a sprint or fast run. 

An alternative to this exercise is marching in place.

Box jumps: You can use a hard plyo box or soft plyo box that can be turned to different heights. You also can use an adjustable aerobics step. It is a great lower body exercise.

Should I only do HIIT workouts?

An ideal workout plan will incorporate strength training, HIIT and cardio.

How long should a HIIT workout be?

HIIT workouts range from 4-30 minutes. However, HIIT is most effective between 10 and 20 minutes. If you are a beginner, aim for 10-15 minutes.

How often should I do HIIT workouts?

You want to do 2-3 HIIT workouts a week. At a minimum, at least once per week.

Wrap up

A 10 minute HIIT workout is enough time to get in a full workout. HIIT workouts allow you to control the difficulty by going at your own pace, so regardless of your current fitness level, you can get a great workout anywhere. If you’re traveling, out at the park or simply limited on space, a HIIT cardio workout can help you achieve your fitness goals.

Although HIIT workouts are a fraction of the time of a regular cardio workout, they can burn calories before and after the workout. HIIT training can also help to improve heart function, speed, endurance, power, strength, and energy levels.

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6 years ago

I think jumping rope is a great way to get some cardio in. I also like just going for a simple bike ride. I’m hoping to tone a little of the tummy this spring/summer.

6 years ago

Oh wow. I think even I can handle this and don’t typically work out. I have been thinking about adding a short retinue to my daily scedule, so I don’t get too over whelmed. I think that is more than half my problem.

6 years ago

This is perfect for travel, which I will be doing quite a lot in April. I always find it hard to workout because I’m limited as to what I can do, but not anymore.

6 years ago

I love having quick workout options for those days when I don’t have a lot of time or don’t feel super motivated. Anyone can do 10 minutes and still feel good about getting their exercise in for the day.

6 years ago

I just bought a jump rope, I need to find fun ways to workout and stay active. I love your list because I can do it with my kids or while they play next to me!