The Home HIIT Workout That Builds Muscle

Zero kit, big gains.

This fast-but-tough bodyweight workout hits every major muscle group and spikes your heart rate, so you can burn fat while building strength. It takes around 20 minutes and features six paired moves back-to-back, switching between upper- and lower-body.

The secret to HIIT – high-intensity interval training – is that first ‘I’: intensity. HIIT crams more work into less time because you work at your absolute limit in short bursts. If you slack off, then you’re just doing a normal workout for less time. Which means you get less out of it.

The beauty of this workout is it only uses your bodyweight, which means you can do it anywhere (within reason; maybe save it for the gym, rather than your commute). Perform the exercises in pairs – 45 seconds at max effort, 15 seconds rest, then the paired move for 45 seconds, rest 15 seconds, and repeat. Complete all your sets before moving on to the next pair.

1A: Press-ups

Reps: 45 secs

Sets: 3

Rest: 15 secs

Get in a press-up position – weight on your hands and toes, palms flat on the floor below your shoulders, body straight. Lower yourself until your chest almost touches the floor, then drive back up explosively and repeat.

1B: Squat jumps

Reps: 45 secs

Sets: 3

Rest: 15 secs

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Sink down as low as you can, then drive up and lift yourself into the air as high as you can. Land on the balls of your feet, sink down and jump back up.

2A: Pull-ups or inverted rows

Reps: 45 secs

Sets: 3

Rest: 15 secs

Grab a bar, doorframe or tree branch with an overhand grip. From a dead hang, squeeze your lats to lift yourself until your chin is above the bar. If you can’t quite do full pull-ups – or, at least, not for a full 45 seconds – try inverted rows: lie underneath a bar at around hip height (a table will do too) and grab it with an overhand grip. Your weight should be on your heels and your body should be straight. Lower yourself, then squeeze your back muscles to lift your chest to the bar. Lower and repeat.

2B: Jumping lunges

Reps: 45 secs

Sets: 3

Rest: 15 secs

From a standing position, step forward with one foot and sink into a lunge. Drive through your heel front heel and jump into the air. Before you land, swap your legs over so you land in the opposite lunge. Repeat. Breathe. Then go back to the pull-ups.

3A: Mountain climbers

Reps: 45 secs

Sets: 3

Rest: 15 secs

Get in a press-up position. Keeping your abs braced and your back as flat as possible, bring your right knee up to your chest, then return. Repeat with the left knee. Continue as fast as possible, without lifting your hips.

3B: Burpees

Reps: 45 secs

Sets: 3

Rest: 15 secs

Last one. From standing, squat down and put your palms on the floor. Kick your legs back into a press-up position (throw in a press-up here if you’re feeling strong). Bring your feet back between your palms, then jump as high as you can into the air. Land on the balls of your feet, sink down and repeat. You’re almost done now.

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