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This 28-Minute HIIT Circuit Will Work Your Whole Body

A woman doing squats at home as part of a HIIT workout routine.
Diego Cervo/Shutterstock

Want to get a good sweat session in but only have half an hour to do it? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a 28-minute sweat-blasting HIIT circuit that will work your whole body and leave you feeling awesome.

The workout consists of seven different exercises which you’ll perform one after another, 45 seconds on and 15 seconds off, giving you just enough time to transition but not enough time to think about it. You will then repeat that full circuit three more times after which your torture will be over, and you’ll be ready to hop in the shower.

The exercises are designed to tackle each area of your body so that every muscle gets activated while your heart rate stays up for maximum calorie burn. Let’s get moving!

Exercise #1: Jumping Jacks

Jumping jacks are an excellent exercise that warms up your entire body and prepares you for everything that’s to follow. In the second, third, and fourth circuit, it serves as a great way to keep your heart rate and intensity up so you don’t end up resting for too long.

Starting in a standing position, legs together and hands by your sides, jump out by separating your legs hip-width distance or more and simultaneously bring your arms over your head. Jump back in, legs together, and hands down to your sides. Find a pace you can comfortably breathe in and repeat for full 45 seconds.

Take a 15-second rest.

Exercise #2: Squats

You can perform this exercise just using your body weight or you can add some resistance bands and added weight like dumbbells, kettlebells, or bottles of water to further challenge yourself and your leg muscles.

Separate your feet a bit wider than hip-width and turn your toes slightly outwards, aiming for a 45-degree angle. Bring your arms in front of you and activate your core by lifting your belly button, closing your ribcage, and sending your tailbone towards the floor (tilting the pelvis).

Inhale and slowly start descending into a squat, like you want to sit on a chair behind you. The goal is to get as close to parallel with the floor as possible without your knees caving in. Keep your knees right over your ankles and in line with your toes and maintain a strong core throughout.

You should be at your lowest point at the end of your inhale and then start your ascend at the beginning of your exhale, squeezing your glutes and hamstrings on your way up, digging your heels into the floor and preventing your knees from caving in. Once at the top, squeeze even harder and do a mini pelvic thrust forward so you really get into those glute muscles.

Repeat for 45 seconds.

Take a 15-second rest.

Exercise #3: Triceps Dips

One of the best tricep burners, triceps dips actually works the whole body as it activates the core and engages your shoulders, back, and even your legs.

It can easily be performed on the floor, without any added elevation, but if you are up for a challenge, you can test yourself with a chair, a bench, by fully extending your legs, or even lifting one and making your triceps really burn.

Whatever your elevation, place your palms flat behind you, right under your shoulders. Press firmly into the ground as you elevate your hips keeping your legs bent or extended. Inhale and slowly drop your hips down until your elbows come to 90 degrees. Exhale by pushing yourself back up to starting position using your triceps, your core, and your legs, digging your heels into the ground.

Repeat for 45 seconds.

Take a 15-second rest.

Exercise #4: Mountain Climbers

Another great heart rate booster, mountain climbers are challenging to perform both technically and endurance-wise. Starting in a plank position, place your palms right under your shoulders and engage your upper back by slightly curving your spine and creating some space in between your shoulder blades.

Activate your quadriceps and engage your core, keeping your hips in a neutral position so your body really resembles a plank. Keep your breathe as steady as possible and start lifting one knee towards your chest and then the other, going as fast or as slow as you’re comfortable.

The faster you go, the harder it is, so pace yourself because you have to last for the full 45 seconds.

Take a 15-second rest.

Exercise #5: Lunges

It’s time to hit legs again, so we’re getting into alternating lunges that can be a variety of different moves such as front lunges, back lunges, side lunges, or even curtsy lunges. The fundamental variation are the front lunges, which you perform by starting in a regular standing position, legs hip-width apart. Inhale and step forward, leaning your body weight onto your front leg, but keeping your torso centered so that the weight actually distributes between your front foot and back toes.

Engage your core and make sure your front knee isn’t going over your ankle. Exhale and push yourself from your front heel back up to starting position by using your lower body and not your back. Repeat with the other leg.

You can do this without any equipment, or by using resistance bands and added weights to make it harder. Whichever variation you choose to do, pay attention to your posture, and hold on for the full 45 seconds. You got this!

Take a 15-second rest.

Exercise #6: V Sits

One of the hardest ab exercises, a proper V-sit takes time to master, so start with your legs bent and work your way up to extending them over time.

Find a comfortable spot on your glutes, engage your core, and on your inhale extend your body at your lowest point. Exhale and crunch your abs to bring your knees close to your chest (and fingers to your toes in the extended version) without caving in. Try to keep your spine as extended as possible. Repeat for 45 seconds.

Take a 15-second rest.

Exercise #7: Burpees

Rarely anyone’s favorite exercise, but one of the best whole-body moves of all time, burpees can really drain you out, so always make sure to modify when you’re feeling out of juice.

Start in a standing position, legs hip-width apart. Inhale and jump, going straight into a squat with your hands on the floor, then shoot your legs back into a plank position. From here, you can do a full version and drop into a push-up or you can simply start your exhale and jump back into a squat and back to your standing jump.

You can also further modify it by dropping your knees if you’re doing the push-up, omit the standing jump, or even do a half-burpee and simply go from plank to squat and back. Continue for 45 seconds.

Take a 15-second rest.

Repeat the whole circuit three more times.

Once you’re done, pat yourself on the back and get in a good post-workout meal. You definitely earned it!

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »

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