Burn, Calories, Burn: A 30-Minute Functional HIIT Workout (Zero Equipment Required)
You’ve heard of high-intensity interval training and you’ve burpeed your way through a 7 a.m. HIIT class, but have you ever stopped to think about how all that punching, jumping, planking and lunging can actually help you get stronger in everyday life? Contrary to popular belief, no two HIIT workouts are alike. And if you’re looking to move a little easier while getting the most out of your routine, functional HIIT training is the way to go.
According to Scott Thompson, the Global Athletics Director of high-intensity workout studio F45 Training, HIIT training “allows participants to maintain high-intensity exercise for longer periods of time than during continuous exercise.” When compared to steady-state workouts, it’s also shown to lead to “greater improvements in aerobic fitness and body composition,” per Thompson. Now, that’s all well and good. But if you’re not a professional athlete looking to PR at your next competition, the functionality component is key.
The goal of functional HIIT training is to target multiple muscle groups—the big ones and the small, stabilizing ones—while mimicking everyday movements like squatting, jumping, pushing and pulling. And by mixing bodyweight strength with cardio exercises, you’ll burn more calories, reduce blood pressure, increase post-exercise fat oxidation and increase muscle growth and neural adaption (so you’ll actually be able to feel your glutes engage every time you squat down to pick something up).
To help you get started, we tapped the experts at F45 for a 30-minute functional HIIT workout featuring some of our favorite moves including hip thrusters, bicycle crunches and inchworms. And with zero equipment required, you can tackle this workout outside, at the gym or in the comfort of your own home.
How to Do This 30-Minute Functional HIIT Workout
- There are 10 exercises total
- Flow through each exercise for 40 seconds, followed by 20 seconds of rest
- Repeat the entire series 3 times
Demoed by Cristina Chan, F45 Training Recovery Athlete
1. 1x Inchworm + 2x Prisoner Squat
A great move to warm up the body and encourage joint mobility.
Step 1: Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart. Hinge at the hips and place your hands on the ground in front of you. Walk them forward as far as you can, maintaining control throughout your core as if you were in a plank.
Step 2. At your farthest point, stop and walk your hands back to the starting position, bending your knees to avoid stress on your hamstrings. Stand up, bringing the hands behind your head with your elbows out to the side. Send your hips back to squat down twice, keeping your chest up and open. Repeat for 40 seconds total.
2. Rotational Push-Ups
This move is easy to modify for all fitness levels. Lower down to your knees if a full push-up isn’t in the cards.
Step 1: Begin in a high plank position with your feet hip-width apart and wrists directly below your shoulders. Slowly lower down as far as possible into a push-up, sending your elbows back behind you rather than out wide. Maintain a strong core to prevent any dipping into your lower back.
Step 2: Push back up to return to the starting position, then lift one arm and extend it toward the sky, rotating your torso sideways to open your chest while keeping your eyesight steady on the moving hand. Return to the starting position, lowering your hand back down, and repeat on the opposite side for 40 seconds total.
3. Dynamic Lateral Lunges
A great exercise to get the body moving laterally while firing up your stabilizer muscles.
Step 1: Begin standing with your feet hip-width apart. Take a large step out to the side, keeping your static leg straight, and lower down into a single leg squat, sending your butt back and knee forward, aligning it with your pinky toe (be sure not to extend too far forward past your toes).
Step 2: Keeping your chest lifted, squeeze your glutes to rise back up, pushing off your bent leg to return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side for 40 seconds total.
4. RPG Plank
This bodyweight plank variation will challenge the muscles throughout your entire core. To modify, come down on your knees.
Step 1: Begin in a forearm plank position with your elbows directly below your shoulders. Engage your core to maintain one long line from your shoulders to your feet.
Step 2: Gently rock your body forward and back, moving just a few inches in each direction, as if you’re sawing through a piece of wood. Continue this movement for 40 seconds total.
5. Fast Feet Close to Wide
An easy and effective way to increase your heart rate between strength exercises.
Step 1: Begin jogging in place, staying loose and light on your toes. Keeping your gaze forward, start to speed up your legs to “fast feet” until you find a comfortable pace.
Step 2: Once you’ve found the rhythm, take a few steps closer together and then a few with a wider stance, alternating as you continue this movement for 40 seconds total.
6. Burpee Front Reverse
Doing a burpee in opposing directions helps challenge your balance and proprioception, or the body's ability to perceive its own position in space. (It's also what allows you to simultaneously perform multiple tasks without stopping to think about each individual movement—like holding the groceries while unlocking the car.)
Step 1: Begin standing at the top of your exercise mat. Squat down until your hands hit the ground, then jump your legs out and back behind you, while simultaneously lowering your body down to the ground in a controlled manner. Push back up into a high plank and jump your feet back in toward your hands as you stand back up and complete a mini jump (this is a burpee).
Step 2: From here with your feet hip-width apart, sit the hips back and down toward the floor. Once your butt hits the mat, roll your body backward, lifting your feet off the ground while bringing your knees into your chest. Roll back to a seated position, using your momentum to stand back up, ending with another mini jump. Continue this movement, beginning with another burpee, and repeat for 40 seconds total.
7. Hip Thrusters
An important muscle activation move that can also be done before a workout to fire up the glutes and hamstrings.
Step 1: Begin on your back with your knees bent, feet hip-width apart and hands pressed into the floor. Actively squeeze your glutes to raise your hips up, engaging your core to avoid overextending or dumping your weight into your lower back.
Step 2: Hold at the top for a beat, digging your heels into the ground, then lower back down to the starting position. Continue this movement for 40 seconds total.
8. Bicycle Crunches
Core is king here, but by round three you’ll really feel these in your side abs or obliques.
Step 1: Begin on your back with your legs in a tabletop position, knees stacked directly above your hips. Place your hands behind your head with your elbows facing out. Bring your left knee in towards your chest while sending your right leg forward. Crunch up and twist, lifting your shoulder blade off the ground as you reach your right elbow toward your left knee.
Step 2: Switch to the opposite side and alternate for 40 seconds total, pressing your lower back into the ground while maintaining a tight core.
9. Four Point Extension on Knees
This move is great for all fitness levels. You’ll practice focusing on your core control while simultaneously working on balance and coordination.
Step 1: Begin on all fours with your wrists directly below your shoulders, knees directly below your hips. Extend the opposite arm and opposite leg out into a straight line, then bring them both in toward your midline, curling into a tight ball.
Step 2: Extend back out into a straight line, engaging your core to keep your balance, and return to the starting position. Repeat on the opposite side for 40 seconds total.
10. Squat Mid-Point with Alternating Lunges
Staying in a low squat position between lunges will help fire up your quads, glutes and stabilizers.
Step 1: Begin standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower down into a half squat position and hold, this is your starting position.
Step 2: Step one leg back into a reverse lunge, then bring it back in returning to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side for 40 seconds total. Stay low in your half-squat throughout this exercise, keeping your gaze up and your chest open. Swing your arms as if you were running to help propel you through this movement.