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Are you not the biggest fan of spending an hour on the treadmill or elliptical? Still want to utilize cardio to burn fat? You’re in luck!

HIIT workouts are amazing for burning calories in a shorter period of time. This allows you to be in and out of your cardio session quickly while still enjoying the benefits.

As a personal trainer, I design HIIT workouts for women. I do it so they can finally enjoy their cardio sessions while still getting the results they want. 

Plus, they often end the session feeling more energized and in a better mood than when they started. 

Keep reading if you want one of my HIIT workout programs just for women. We’ll also dive into what makes a workout HIIT and some of the best exercises for you to include in your existing weekly routine!

What is a HIIT workout?

Related: 13 Best Fat Burners For Women

HIIT workouts for women

HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. A HIIT workout for women involves doing an exercise for a specific time period followed by a rest period. 

Typically, you would cycle through numerous exercises until the overall time is complete.

Is HIIT good for women?

Related: Does Cardio Burn Muscle

HIIT exercises for women

HIIT can be great for women because it helps improve the cardiovascular system and aids with weight loss. 

Also, many people find it more enjoyable and engaging than running on the treadmill or hopping on an elliptical.

Things to Consider When Deciding on HIIT Training

Related: Should You Do Cardio on Leg Day

HIIT workout considerations

1. Level of Impact

Many HIIT cardio workouts for women involve high-impact exercises that require you to do a lot of jumping. These exercises usually allow someone to burn more calories in a shorter time compared to low- or no-impact exercises.

However, high-impact exercises aren’t suitable for everyone. If you have weaker joints, are pregnant, or are obese, it may be best for you to hold off on high-impact HIIT exercises for the time being.

HIIT workouts for women over 50 tend to be low-impact. These are a great place to start if you are unsure about jumping into high-impact and explosive movements right away.

2. Overall Time Length

One of the joys of HIIT workouts is that you can finish your cardio session in a much shorter time than low-intensity steady state (LISS) cardio. A few examples of LISS are walking, biking, and running.

On average, a HIIT workout can last anywhere from five to 30 minutes.

If you are a beginner, you may want to stick with five to ten minutes. At the intermediate level, you could do ten to 20 minutes, and those who are advanced may want to try 20 to 30 minutes.

3. Equipment

Before choosing or creating your own HIIT workout for women, assess what equipment you have access to. If you have no equipment to use, that is perfectly fine!

HIIT workouts can easily be done with your body weight alone. Helpful additions include a jump rope, sliders, dumbbells, and bands.

What are the benefits of HIIT workouts for women?

benefits of HIIT workouts for women

1. Aids Weight Loss

HIIT workouts are excellent for helping you burn a more significant number of calories in a shorter period of time. 

They can be great for putting you in more of a caloric deficit than you would be otherwise. Just be sure to be eating right as well to maximize this benefit!

2. Improves Cardiovascular Health

HIIT exercises for women are also great for improving cardiovascular health. The exercises themselves are high-intensity, your heart rate is up, and your lungs are working extra hard for the duration of the workout.

If you are consistent with the workouts, you should be able to increase the length and intensity over time. It can improve your stamina and reduce your risk for certain ailments.

3. Speeds Up Metabolism

Because of how intense this type of workout is, your metabolism can speed up for hours after your workout is done. 

As you go about your day, this results in even more calories being burned.

12 Best HIIT Workouts for Women 

1. Jumping Rope

Jumping rope is a classic exercise, and it can be used as a warm-up, cooldown, or integral part of a circuit. 

This cardio movement allows you to get your heart rate up quickly and burn more calories in a shorter time period!

Equipment Requirements

Jump rope

How-To Perform Jumping Rope

  1. Find a jump rope that is the appropriate length for your height. 
  2. Start with the jump rope behind you, and swing it over your head to the front of your body. 
  3. Briefly jump up to allow the rope to pass beneath your feet.

Benefits

  • Gets your heart rate up
  • Improves cardiovascular health

Pro Tips

  • If you are a beginner with jumping rope, you can try performing two hops in between each rope swing to make it easier. 
  • Play around with doing timed intervals versus a number of jumps to see what provides more of a challenge for you.

2. Jump Squats

Squats on their own are difficult, so what about jump squats? This exercise is a must if you really want to challenge your lower body while getting your heart rate up. 

Be sure to include it during a HIIT workout or on a leg day! 

Equipment Requirements

None 

How-To Perform Jump Squats

  1. Place your feet hip-width apart and have your hands down by your sides.
  2. Bend your knees and start to squat down as you bring your hands up to your chest.
  3. Throw your hands back to help with momentum as you jump up out of the squat and your feet come off the ground. 
  4. Land back softly into a squat position and repeat.

Benefits

  • Challenges the lower body
  • Gets the heart rate up

Pro Tips

  • If this movement is too high impact for you, you can do normal squats at a faster pace.
  • You can also place your hands behind your head during the exercise to make it more difficult.

3. Alternating Jumping Lunges

Similar to jump squats, jumping lunges take an already-challenging exercise and amp things up! 

If you want to kill each leg on its own time, jumping lunges are great for burning calories and working the lower body.

Equipment Requirements

None 

How-To Perform Alternating Jumping Lunges

  1. Place one foot ahead of the other so that when you lunge, your knee will be in line with your ankle. 
  2. Come down into a lunge position, and then push up through the balls of your feet to jump up and switch the leading leg.
  3. Land softly before alternating legs again.

Benefits

  • Works the quads, hamstrings, and glutes
  • Improves cardiovascular health

Pro Tips

  • Try to jump as high as possible when switching legs to make it harder.
  • You also have the option of not alternating legs until one side has completed a certain number of reps.

4. Jumping Jacks 

Jumping jacks are a classic, and they are great for warm-ups or circuit training. 

They may seem like an easier movement, but when done for a more extended period of time, they can really help you burn some calories!

Equipment Requirements

None 

How-To Perform Jumping Jacks

  1. Start in a standing position with your hands by your sides and feet together.
  2. Simultaneously jump your feet out laterally as you bring your hands up near your head.
  3. Jump back into the starting position before repeating.

Benefits

  • Gets your heart rate up quickly
  • Works the entire body

Pro Tips

  • Make sure to keep good posture with your chest up and shoulders back for the duration of the movement.
  • To make this exercise more difficult, you can try wearing ankle and wrist weights.

5. High Knees

High knees are a movement commonly used during practices for sprinters to help with speed and agility. Spice up your current HIIT routine with this exercise to work your whole body!

Equipment Requirements

None 

How-To Perform High Knees

  1. Bring one knee up to be in line with your hip as you bring the opposing arm up as well.
  2. Quickly switch sides and keep alternating.

Benefits

  • Works the entire body
  • Promotes agility and speed 

Pro Tips

  • When you bring your arms up, try to form a 90-degree angle at the elbow to enhance the challenge.
  • You can do this exercise in place or while moving forward.

6. Butt Kicks

Follow up high knees with butt kicks! This exercise gets your heart rate up as well, but the main focus is to lengthen and stretch your quads. 

You can do this during a workout or beforehand during your warm-up.

Equipment Requirements

None 

How-To Perform Butt Kicks

  1. Start in a standing position.
  2. Kick one leg back, so your heel hits your glute as you raise the opposing arm up with your elbow forming a 90-degree angle.
  3. Bring that arm and leg down as you repeat on the alternating sides. 

Benefits

  • Stretches the quads
  • Great movement for warming up

Pro Tips

  • You can do this exercise in place or while moving across a certain distance.
  • If your heel cannot reach your glute, that is perfectly fine. Your quads should still get the necessary stretch.

7. Box Jumps

If you want to work on improving your explosiveness while building the muscles of your lower body, box jumps are where it’s at! Take on the challenge and burn plenty of calories in no time.

Equipment Requirements

A box, bench, or stair step

How-To Perform Box Jumps

  1. Start with your feet hip-width apart and standing in front of a box. 
  2. Bring your hands back and then swing them forward as you jump up and land softly on the box.
  3. Either jump back down or step down from the box before repeating the exercise.

Benefits

  • Challenges the lower body 
  • Improves explosiveness

Pro Tips

  • Start with a shorter box and work your way up to prevent injury from missing the box.
  • If you have any knee or hip issues, it is recommended to step down from the box rather than jump.

8. Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings are great for a full-body workout that gets your heart rate up. This exercise has the potential to be included in any workout!

Equipment Requirements

One kettlebell

How-To Perform Kettlebell Swings

  1. Place your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in front of you with both hands.
  2. Squat down and bring the kettlebell back and in between your legs. 
  3. Push your hips forward as you come back to standing and swing the kettlebell up to chest height.
  4. Squat back down and allow the kettlebell to fall between your legs again before repeating.

Benefits

  • Challenges the lower body
  • Works the muscles of the upper body

Pro Tips

  • Focus on tightening your core for the duration of the movement to help prevent any minor back injuries from occurring. 
  • Be sure to start with a lighter kettlebell and work your way up.

9. Mountain Climbers

If you want to work your whole body with a special emphasis on your core, try mountain climbers! This exercise is great for any workout and can also be used as a warm-up.

Equipment Requirements

None 

How-To Perform Mountain Climbers

  1. Start in a plank position on your hands with your arms extended.
  2. Bring one knee into your chest.
  3. Shoot that foot back to where it started as you bring the other knee into your chest.
  4. Repeat this for a predetermined number of reps.

Benefits

  • Works the core
  • Improves cardiovascular health

Pro Tips

  • Keep your hips low and don’t let your glutes come up during the exercise.
  • You can do this exercise slowly or quickly, depending on whether you want to focus on feeling it in your muscles or burning calories more.

10. Burpees

Many people have a love-hate relationship with burpees because they aren’t necessarily fun, but they certainly come with many benefits.

If you want to work the muscles of your entire body, improve explosiveness, and burn a ton of calories, burpees are a great choice!

Equipment Requirements

None 

How-To Perform Burpees

  1. Start in a standing position.
  2. Squat down, place your hands on the floor, and jump your feet back so you come into a high plank.
  3. Jump your feet back under you, and jump up as you reach for the ceiling with your hands.
  4. Land softly into a squat and repeat.

Benefits

  • Challenges the entire body
  • Great for burning a lot of calories efficiently

Pro Tips

  • You can step through the exercise sequence rather than jump if you are looking for something low-impact.
  • To make this more difficult, add a push-up after coming into the high plank.

11. Plank Jacks

If you want to perform jumping jacks but have more of an emphasis on your core, you can do plank jacks! This exercise is a great cardio movement that will strengthen your abdominals.

Equipment Requirements

None 

How-To Perform Plank Jacks

  1. Start in a high plank position.
  2. Simultaneously jump your feet out to each side, pause, and then jump them back together again to complete a rep. 

Benefits

  • Strengthens your core
  • Works your arms and lower body 

Pro Tips

  • If you want to switch things up, you can alternate a plank jack with two mountain climbers. 
  • Focus on keeping your body as straight as possible for the duration of this exercise.

12. Reverse Lunge and Kick

Add a little twist to reverse lunges with this combo that will get your heart rate up and blood pumping in no time! 

Equipment Requirements

None 

How-To Perform Reverse Lunge and Kick

  1. Start in a standing position with your hands clasped together at your chest.
  2. Step one foot back into a reverse lunge. On your front leg, your knee should be in line with your ankle.
  3. Push up through the balls of your back foot and bring that leg forward into a front kick. 
  4. Return the leg back to its position in the reverse lunge before repeating.

Benefits

  • Works the lower body
  • Helps with developing explosiveness

Pro Tips

  • If you want to make this exercise more difficult, you can combine it with alternating jumping lunges.
  • Feel free to hold onto something if you need help with balance.

The Best HIIT Workout Program 

Ready to get moving? Below are two HIIT programs you can choose from depending on your experience level.

Beginner 

Do the following routine one to two times a week.

EXERCISEWORKING TIMEREST TIME
Jumping rope30 seconds30 seconds
Jumping jacks30 seconds30 seconds
Reverse lunge and kick30 seconds30 seconds
Mountain climbers30 seconds30 seconds
Total rounds: 3

Advanced 

Perform the following routine two to three times per week.

EXERCISEWORKING TIMEREST TIME
Burpees45 seconds15 seconds
Alternating jumping lunges45 seconds15 seconds
Jump squats45 seconds15 seconds
Box jumps45 seconds15 seconds
Kettlebell swings45 seconds15 seconds
Plank jacks45 seconds15 seconds
Total rounds: 5

HIIT Workouts for Women at Home

HIIT workouts for women at home

If you don’t have access to any equipment and want to do a HIIT workout with just your body weight at home, this is more than possible. 

Bodyweight HIIT workouts can still help you burn a lot of calories and get your heart rate up!

Take a look at the following example of HIIT workouts at home for women to get an idea of how you accomplish this.

1. Beginner HIIT Workout (8 minutes)

Do each of the following exercises for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second rest. Do two rounds total.

  1. Jumping jacks
  2. High knees
  3. Butt kicks
  4. Mountain climbers

2. Intermediate HIIT Workout (15 minutes)

Do each of the following exercises for 45 seconds, followed by a 15-second rest. Do three rounds total. 

  1. Jumping jacks
  2. Reverse lunge and kick
  3. Jump squats
  4. Plank jacks
  5. Burpees 

3. Advanced HIIT Workout (24 minutes)

Do each of the following exercises for one minute with no rest in between. After completing one round of the exercises, rest for one minute. Do this for four rounds total.

  1. Alternating jumping lunges
  2. Jump squats
  3. Mountain climbers
  4. Burpees
  5. Plank jacks

Tips For an Effective HIIT Training for Women

HIIT workout for women

1. Be Consistent

As with any fitness goal, being consistent is essential for results to show. Decide how many days a week it is realistic for you to do a HIIT workout, and stick with it. 

It may take a few weeks for you to feel or see any results, but they will come eventually.

2. Progressive Overload

If a HIIT workout starts to get too easy, it is important that you take things up a notch. Constantly doing this will ensure that you don’t hit a plateau and keep seeing results.

A few ways you can utilize progressive overload are by decreasing rest time, increasing the length of time at work, and increasing the number of exercises you do in one workout.

3. Stay Hydrated

With cardio especially, you need to stay hydrated to be able to perform at your best and provide the body with the water it needs. Aim to drink a gallon of water a day if you can. 

If you aren’t an avid water drinker, then start small. Add an extra glass every week to work your way up.

4. Get Enough Sleep

The body needs adequate time to rest and recover. Allowing it to do so will help your results and have you feeling energized and ready to go for each workout as it comes. Aim for at least seven hours of sleep every night.

Conclusion

We hope that you enjoyed our article covering the 12 best HIIT workouts for women. By now, you have a better understanding of the exercise concept and how it could benefit you.

You may not be the biggest fan of cardio. When you use machines, it can get boring. If you’re a beginner, it can simply feel too hard.  

But there’s no shame in starting small and working your way up. As we’ve seen, it can even be done in the comfort and privacy of your home, with no equipment.

In the end, weekly HIIT workouts can be instrumental in burning fat, including stubborn belly fat. They’re also great for cardiovascular health. 

Comment below with your favorite HIIT exercise, and don’t forget to share this article with anyone else who may be interested!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do HIIT workouts burn fat?

HIIT workouts do burn fat because your body uses it as fuel and energy during the cardio workouts.

Which HIIT workout is best for women?

Which HIIT workout for women is best is dependent on the individual woman’s goals, exercise experience, current physique, and the equipment she has access to.

If you find that a certain HIIT workout gets your heart rate up, makes you sweat, and leaves you feeling great and energized afterward, then that is a great place to start!

Are HIIT workouts good for weight loss?

HIIT workouts can be great for weight loss if they are challenging enough. If you don’t feel your heart rate starting to elevate or find it difficult, take things up a notch to start to see weight loss as a result.

Is a 30-minute HIIT workout a day enough?

If you are doing a 30-minute HIIT workout each day, you should certainly see results considering the intensity of the regimen. 

Those who are advanced with exercise can handle this commitment, but it is recommended for beginners to start with ten minutes per day and work their way up from there.

How many times a week should a woman do HIIT?

For the average woman, it is recommended that she engages in HIIT exercises for women two to three times a week. However, this is very dependent on the person.