Workout Articles & Tips

Fast Fitness: Express HIIT Cardio Workout

By Danny Wallis Personal Trainer & Online Fitness Coach

August 2, 2015

This weeks workout is designed for those who are short on time who want results reasonably fast and are prepared to work hard for them. Don’t have a spare hour in the evenings after work? Do you find the idea of getting up 30 minutes early to work out unfeasible? How about just 10 minutes? Does that sound more achievable?


The circuit I’m about to show you is designed to achieve two main goals; 1) To introduce a radical boost in your aerobic fitness  2) To burn the maximum amount of calories possible whilst you are exercising. A shorter workout means it has to be higher intensity to gain sufficient benefit… So, this is a short, action packed 10 minute blast designed to give you maximum return in a short space of time.

The exercises are predominantly leg based as the legs are the biggest muscles in the body and, therefore, use the most energy while working out – Great to help you lose unwanted body fat and for drawing on oxygen to boost your aerobic capacity. Be warned though, this is a tough workout and not for the faint of heart.


This a high impact workout which, in addition to burning crazy calories, will strengthen your muscles and increase your bone density for improved bone strength (ideal if you are high risk of developing Osteoporosis).

With this in mind, if you have a heart problem, breathing concerns, a bone weakness, a back or muscular injury which could be aggravated by impact exercise – Please consult your GP before you start this kind of workout. Please be aware – Any workout with impact and jumping requires a reasonably strong core and stable joints to avoid injury.

What You Will Need

  • Adequate room to move around
  • A sweat towel & water
  • Decent training shoes to protect your joints
  • A stopwatch or clock (with a second hand) to time the circuits

Warm Up

Before you start any form of exercise, it is incredibly important to warm-up first – This should include 10 mins of light-medium intensity cardio vascular exercise. This could be a power walk, a jog outside or a machine of your choice (if you are in the gym or have access to equipment at home).

You should also mobilise the joints with a dynamic stretch routine (If you feel unsure of what this means – Please Subscribe via email on my blog homepage to view existing and future posts for additional support, expertise and advice in all areas of Health & Fitness).

The Circuit

During this workout, you have 5 exercises to complete, each lasting for 30 seconds. In that time, complete the exercises with a full range of movement (as possible) and work as hard as you can for the duration of the time. This workout is designed to really challenge both your breathing and your muscles; It will be challenging… Keep focused and strong-minded – You can do it.

Once you have completed the circuit once, allow time to recover. Ideally, your rest period should be no more than 30 seconds… Less, if you are able, in order to maximise the benefits. Repeat the circuit between 1-5 times, depending on how fit you are and how much time you have. If necessary, you can adjust the length of the circuit from 30 seconds to a shorter time period if your fitness isn’t quite there yet or longer if it isn’t enough (which it should be if you are working hard enough).


If weight loss is your goal, perform this workout 3-5 times a week and you should find yourself losing around 1lb of body fat a week (combined with a healthy diet, of course – If you need support with nutrition management, please check out my post ‘So, What Should I Eat?’).


Before you get started, I have put together a few tips about the exercises and the correct technique required to keep you safe and ensure you get the most out of the workout.

Power Squats

Power Squats– Squat deeply with feet wide and heels pressed into the floor – Maintain a straight back
– Jump upward to land on both feet together with a light bounce on the toes
– Jump back into a deep squat and repeat

Jumping Jacks

Jumping Jacks– Stand tall and straight – Keep your belly button pulled in (towards the spine)
– Bounce outward with both feet taking your straight arms up above your head
– Bounce back to your start position and repeat as fast as you can maintaining your technique

Squat Thrusts

Squat Thrusts.– Start in a full press-up position (hands and toes)
– Bring one knee up between the elbows and the other out stretched behind you
– Change legs as quickly as possible

Bunny Hops

Bunny Hops.– Start in a full press up position (hands and toes)
– Make sure most of your body weight is on your arms and hands
– With feet together, bounce legs side to side as quick and as far as you can without dipping your lower back

Ski Shift Jumps

Ski Shifts– Imagine a line on the floor and stand on one side of it
– Then imagine you are underneath a low ceiling and you can’t therefore bob your head
– Jump with both feet either side of the line as quickly as you can

Ok, so now you have a better idea of the techniques, you are ready for the workout. Don’t forget to warm up and if you need help to stretch afterward you can follow my online guide to offer some great post exercise stretches.

Fast Fitness HIIT Cardio Workout

Click to download workout as a PDF: fast-fitness-hiit-workout

I hope you enjoy the workout and feel better for doing it. It would be great to hear how you got on and, also, share your own tips or favourite exercises… So, please leave a comment below or join me on Facebook or Twitter – Look forward to hearing from you.

About the author

Danny Wallis is a Personal Trainer, Sports Therapist, NLP Life Coach and Nutrition Advisor, with over 20 years experience in helping people achieve their goals.

Danny Wallis

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