High-intensity interval training, or HIIT, consists of a short period of intense exercise. It includes sprinting, biking, jumping rope, or other bodyweight exercises. In addition, HIIT workouts provide the most health benefits in the least amount of time.

HIIT workout sessions last between 15 to 25 minutes. This workout combines a high-intensity activity with a short recovery period; as a result, the heart rate rises, and many calories get burned in a short period. HIIT may be the ideal type of cardio for busy women or mothers with limited free time or who do not have access to a gym. You can do several HIIT workouts in different ways each week.

The HealthifyMe Note 

HIIT workouts have various health benefits, including increasing the metabolic rate for hours after a workout. As a result, you burn more calories after your workout. In addition, HIIT also increases oxygen consumption and fat loss. Finally, it improves aerobic and anaerobic performance.

Understanding the Basics

HIIT workouts focus on four essential things- duration, intensity, frequency, and the length of the recovery interval. The interval between the workout is between 5 seconds to 8 minutes to increase your heart rate and burn fat. The rest intervals depend on the fitness level and goals of a person. Furthermore, for people with good stamina and health, the rest timings in a HIIT workout are shorter than the workout time. For example, you can do a 1-minute exercise followed by a 30-second rest. For a less intense workout, the working time is 30 seconds, followed by 1-minute rest. One can also keep the rest intervals equal to work intervals.


HIIT workouts have many health benefits; however, there are some drawbacks to this kind of training. Working at a high level of intensity is difficult for beginners. A high-intensity, high-impact workouts can result in injuries because our bodies are not used to them. As a result, it takes time to adapt to the changes these workouts bring. Before beginning these advanced workouts, you must have several weeks of training under supervision. Including the following points will help in maintaining a healthy workout routine.

  • Warm-up Before Your Workout: Warming-up raises the body temperature and increases blood flow to the muscles; this reduces muscle soreness and protects against injury. It also mentally prepares our body to get ready for the workout.
  • Monitor Your Intensity: The exercise should be moderate in intensity so your body can handle it. The goal is to work as hard as possible for the required intervals to achieve your objectives.
  • Take Extra Recovery Time: Allow for additional recovery time as your body needs.
  • End Workout with a Cool Down and a Stretch: stretching increases muscle blood flow; thus, muscles are relaxed and work more efficiently.

RPE (Rated Perceived Exertion)

It is a scale used to measure your exercise’s intensity. This scale runs from 0-10, depending on how your body feels while doing an activity. For example, suppose you’re sitting and feeling nothing. In that case, your RPE level is 0, and the feeling after exercising is level 10, which is exceptionally high.

  • Level 0: Nothing at all
  • Level 0.5: Just noticeable intensity
  • Level 1: Very light intensity
  • Level 2: Light intensity
  • Level 3: Moderate intensity
  • Level 4: Quite intense
  • Level (5–6): Heavy intensity
  • Level (7–8): Very heavy intensity
  • Level 9: Extremely heavy intensity
  • Level 10: Maximum intensity

Low Impact Workout

Low-impact workouts put less force on your joints and are more gentle on your body. Low-impact activities suit all levels of fitness. For example, some low-impact exercises are swimming, cycling, yoga, elliptical cardio, and rowing.

Low-impact workouts are safer and pose a lower risk of injury than high-impact workouts. Therefore, they are the best option for women or people who have just started working. In addition, a study suggests that low-impact exercises have multiple health benefits. For example, it reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, improves strength and flexibility, controls weight, and reduces the chance of injury.

Total Workout Time: 23 Minutes

Equipment Needed: A medicine ball (4-10 lbs)

Time Exercise RPE
5 Min Warm-up for about 5 minutes Intensity up to Level 5
1 min Do knee lifts with the med ball: Hold the med ball overhead and lift one knee, and bring the med ball down to touch the knee. Repeat this step on alternating sides for about 60 seconds. Intensity Level -8
30 sec Do step, touch, or march in one place. Intensity up to Level 5
1 min Med ball lunge with toe touches: Put the right foot back into a straight-leg lunge, put the med ball overhead, and kick the right foot up as you bring the med ball towards your toe. Repeat for 30 seconds and switch to the other side.  Intensity Up to Level 6-7 
30 sec Do step, touch, or march in one place. Intensity  up to Level 5
1 min Med ball circle squat: Step out both legs while circling the med ball or with the weight over the head. Then, circle back the med ball as you step back in. Remember, the weight should go over you as you step out and circle back as you step back. Repeat it for about 30 seconds on each side. Intensity up to Level 7
30 sec Move your feet, walk or march in one place. Intensity up to Level 5
1 min Med ball squat and swing: Hold the med ball, step out into a squat, and bring the ball between the knees. Step back, swinging the ball over your head. And repeat alternating sides for 60 seconds. Intensity up to Level 7-8
30 sec Move your feet, walk or march in one place. Intensity up to Level 5
1 min Squat kicks: Squat as low as you can or depending upon your ability to do and, as you stand, kick with the right leg. Repeat the same for the left and alternate sides for about 60 seconds. Intensity up to Level 8
30 sec Move your feet, walk or march in one place. Intensity up to Level 5
1 min Low impact jumping jacks with circle arms: Step out to the right side while circling arms over your head. Circle the arms the other way as you turn and step to the left side. Keep changing sides as quickly as you can while circling both arms. Repeat the same method for 60 seconds. Intensity up to Level 8
30 sec Move your feet, walk or march in one place. Intensity up to Level 5
1 min Side leg lifts with jumping jack: Squat and lifts the right leg straight out to the side while circling the arms over your head like a jumping jack. Lower into a squat, circle the arms down, and repeat, alternating legs for about 60 seconds. Intensity up to Level 8
30 sec Move your feet, walk or march in one place. Intensity up to Level 5
1 min Knee smash: Bring the arms overhead, weight on the right leg, and bring the left knee up while pulling the arms down. Repeat, and move as fast as you can for about 30 seconds on each side. Intensity up to Level 8
30 sec Move your feet, walk or march in one place. Intensity up to Level 5
1 min Puddle jumpers: Take a big step towards the right side. Then, bring both arms out wide, and keep going, as fast, low, and wide as possible. Repeat it for 60 seconds. Intensity up to Level 8
5 min Cool down and let your body relax.  Intensity up to Level 4

Tabata Workout

Tabata training is an excellent option for women looking for a quick, intense workout. It is a minute, high-intensity workout that targets all your energy systems and burns more calories in less time. In addition, by giving your all for a short period, you can build an oxygen debt that requires your body to burn more calories.

Choose a high-intensity exercise and perform it for about 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds before repeating the same or a different move. Do as many sets as possible to raise your heart rate and thus burn calories quickly. Increase the number of sets or exercises gradually as your body becomes accustomed to them. In addition, studies suggest that doing a Tabata workout four times a week improves your aerobic capacity.

Total Workout Time: 25 Minutes

Time Exercise – Tabata 1 RPE
20 sec Front kick with lunge Right Side/Rest 10 seconds: Bend forward with the right leg and then bring it down, step back into a low lunge with the left leg and touch the floor if you can. 6
20 sec Prisoner squat jumps/Rest 10 seconds: Put your hands behind the head and squat as low as you can. Jump as high as possible and land into a squat without putting pressure on your knees. 7
  Repeat the same six more times, alternating exercises.  

Note: Rest for about 1 Minute or more as required.

Time Exercise – Tabata 2 RPE
20-sec Sprawl/Rest 10 seconds: Squat and put the hands on the floor wider than the feet. Jump or step the feet back into a plank position and repeat. You can jump if required.  8
20 sec Band Jumping Jacks/Rest 10 seconds: Hold a resistance band about 2 feet apart over your head in your hands. Do a jumping jack, jumping the feet wide and pulling the band down towards the lats. 8
  Repeat the same for six more times, alternating exercises  

Note: Rest for  1 Minute or as required

Time Exercise – Tabata 3 RPE
20-sec Lunge jumps Right Side/Rest 10 seconds: Be in a lunge position and jump as high as you can, and land in a lunge with the same leg forward. Then, do the next movement from the other feet. 7
20 sec High knee jogs/Rest 10 seconds: Jog in one place, bring the knees to hip level, and touch your hands on the knees when they come up.. 7
  Repeat the same for six more times, alternating exercises.  
5 min Cool down and stretch, to relax your muscles. 4

40/20 Workout

The 40/20 workout is a high-intensity workout. This workout involves switching intervals of 40 seconds of exercise and 20 seconds of rest. Therefore, you can alternate activities for each block in this workout. In addition, studies suggest that this type of workout with varying time intervals lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.

Total Workout Time: 30 Minutes

Time Exercise – Block 1 RPE
5 min Warm-up at an easy-moderate speed.  4-5
40 sec Long jumps/Rest 20 seconds: Take  both feet together, bend the knees, jump forward as far as you can, and land in a squat. Walk back to the same place and repeat. 7-9
40 sec Bear Crawls/Rest 20 seconds: Squat and bring the hands out into a plank. Do a pushup if you want, then walk the hands back and stand up. You can add a jump if you want more intensity. 7-9
  Repeat alternating exercises  

Note: Rest for 1 minute

Time Exercise – Block 2 RPE
40-sec Plyo lunges/Rest 20 seconds: Start with a lunge position and jump, switch the feet in the air, and land in a lunge with the other leg forward. 7-9
40 sec Side to side lunge/Rest 20 seconds: Pivot the body to the right side when taking the left leg back into a lunge and punch the left arm straight in the upward direction. Come back to start and repeat the same on the other side. Add a jump if you want more intensity. 7-9
  Repeat alternating exercises  

Note: Rest for 1 minute

Time Exercise – Block 3 RPE
40 sec Roll Ups/Rest 20 seconds: Squat and then sit on the mat and roll back. Adding momentum in your move, roll back up, stand and add a jump if required. 7-9
40 sec High knee jogs/Rest 20 seconds: Jog in one place, bringing the knees to hip level and touching hands on knees when coming up. 7-9
  Repeat the alternating exercises.  

Note: Rest for 1 minute

Time Exercise – Block 4 RPE
40-sec Plyo jacks/Rest 20 seconds – It is similar to a very slow jumping jack. Jump with wide feet into a low squat and then jump back, taking both feet together while circling the arms. 7-9
40 sec Mountain climbers/Rest 20 seconds – Set in a plank position, put your hands under your shoulders, and run the knees in and out as fast as possible. 7-9
  Repeat the alternating exercises.  
5 min Cool down at an easy pace and stretch to relax your muscles. 3-4

High-Intensity Circuit Training

High-intensity circuit training is a total body workout. It involves 6 to 10 strengthening exercises that target different muscle groups. These exercises are completed one after another with no or less rest time. Keeping the heart rate high throughout the circuit helps burn fat and improve cardiovascular health.

Research shows that high-intensity circuit training improves a person’s muscle endurance, strength, and aerobic fitness. In addition, this workout improves stamina, flexibility, coordination, and muscle tone.

Total Workout Time: 20 Minutes

Equipment Needed: Various dumbbells, a kettlebell. 

Time Activity RPE
5 min Warm-up: Do Cardio 4
1 min Squat press: While holding weights at the shoulder level, squat as low as you can. And as you stand up, put the weights overhead. 7-9
1 min Lunge rows: Step the right foot back and pull the weights up while holding weights. Step back and repeat the same on the other side. 7-9
1 min Wide squat with med ball squeeze: Hold the med ball or weight and keep feet wide, toes at an angle. Squat and keep the med ball between and squeeze it while keeping the same amount of pressure on it when you do four squat jumps. Do four regular squats and continue alternating between jumping squats and regular squats. 7-9
1 min Wide squat curl: Keep the feet wide, toes out at an angle and hold the weights with your palms facing. Squat as low while curling the weights up. 7-9
1 min Goblet squat with rotation: Hold a heavy weight or kettlebell and squat, taking your elbows to the inside of the knees. As you press up, rotate to your right side while pressing the weight overhead. Repeat the same on the left side. 7-9
1 min Iron cross squat: Hold weights in front of the thighs, lift them straight up, and then swing them out to the sides. Squat while bringing the weights down. Stand and repeat the same. 7-9
1 min Deadlift to overhead press with lunge: Hold weights and, with a flat back, do  a deadlift. As you stand, take the weights overhead while  keeping them there, and do a reverse lunge with each leg. 7-9
1 min Front kick with triceps extension: Hold a weight with both hands, elbows bent, and keep the weight behind the head. Straighten the arms similarly when you do a front kick with the right leg. Repeat the same for the left leg. 7-9
1 min Squat curl press: Hold weights while keeping one foot a few inches behind the other foot. Squat all the way down, curl the weights and then press the weights up when you stand. Repeat for 30 seconds on both sides. 7-9
1 min Overhead squat: Hold light weights and take one arm straight up while  keeping the other arm down. Look up at the weight, keep the elbow locked, and do a squat. Stand and repeat for 30 seconds, then switch to other sides. 7-9
5 min Cool down and stretch to relax muscles. 3-4

Body Weight Circuit Workout

A bodyweight workout does not require much space or equipment. You must exert more effort to raise your heart rate.

Also, you can achieve this by increasing the range of motion in the exercise; the greater the range of motion, the more intense the workout. You can also incorporate larger arm movements. Arm movements like giant circles or lifting your arms above your head can add a bit of intensity to any exercise. Studies indicate that the body weight workout positively impacts women’s physical fitness by increasing strength and muscle mass.

Total Workout Time: 20 Minutes

Time Activity RPE
5 min Warm-up: Cardio 4
1 min To do the Squat Burpee, start standing with your feet about hip-width to shoulder-width apart. Sink into a low squat. Pause here. Make sure to sit your butt back and keep your heels down. Then place your hands down on the ground in between your feet and jump your feet back so you are in a high plank position.  7-8
1 min Pushup to a side plank: Be in a pushup position, keeping knees bent while touching toes down, lower into a pushup. As you push back up, rotate the body to the right side, and take the right arm straight up in a side plank. Rotate back and repeat on the left side. 7-8
1 min Dips with a leg extension: On a step or bench, in a dip position, as you push up, straighten the right leg and touch the left hand towards the toe. Repeat, alternating on both sides. 7-8
1 min Mountain climbers: In a pushup position, widen the feet and run the feet in and out as fast as you can. 7-8
1 min Line Taps: Place a weight on the floor and start on one side of the weight. Squat, touch the floor and then shuffle to the other side of the weight. Again squat and touch the floor. 7-8
1 min Knee smashes: With the arms overhead, keep the weight on the right leg, bring the left knee up and pull the arms down. Repeat, and make sure to use the upper body and core. 7-8
1 min Lunge reach: Step forward into a lunge and try to touch the fingers to the floor. Quickly step back and then repeat on the other side. Move as quickly as possible. 7-8
1 min Standing crossover crunches: Keep hands behind the head, and shift weight to the right leg. Bring the left knee to the body, and touch the knee with the right elbow. Repeat for 30 seconds on both sides. 7-8
1 min Rock climbers: Like mountain climbers, you have to take the knees outside, bringing them towards the elbows. And move as quickly as you can. 7-8
1 min Hip lift with leg lift: Lie on your backside, resting on the forearm and hip, with hips stacked. Lift the hips while keeping the knees on the ground. Now lift the leg to the top while taking the arm straight up. Repeat for 30 seconds and then switch on both sides. 7-8
5 min Cool down and stretch to relax muscles. 7-8

The HealthifyMe Note:

HIIT workouts are known for good results in less time. Therefore, we recommend five high-intensity interval training workouts for women. For example, they include low-impact workouts, Tabata workouts, 40/20 workouts, high-intensity circuit training, and body weight circuit workouts. 


There are multiple benefits of HIIT workouts, such as improving muscle strength and muscle endurance, reducing weight, lowering blood pressure, increasing flexibility, and many more. In addition, these HIIT workouts increase heart rate and metabolism, resulting in fat loss.

Women must perform aerobic exercises. Beginning slowly and engaging in other stretching activities as a beginner allows our muscles to be flexible and reduces the chances of injury. Low-impact activities cause less stress to your body by avoiding the muscle and joint pounding that more “high-impact” exercises like jogging and jumping rope cause. Also, exercises like walking, jogging, and tennis help keep your bones strong. In addition, current recommendations for physical activity are at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week. The goal of physical activity is to enhance one’s health.

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