HIIT Training Workouts

How To Do 10 of the Most Fundamental HIIT Exercises With Perfect Form

Rachel Lapidos

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A few months have passed since Zoom workouts stepped in to (temporarily) replace fitness studios. This means that you likely haven’t been working out with anyone in person, and that you likely haven’t had your form checked by a trainer since March. And when it comes to HIIT training, that guidance is particularly important, considering all of those high-impact moves—which is why it’s a good time to check in on the basics on how to do HIIT exercise moves correctly.

Think about it: If you’re working your way through burpees or kettlebell swings and your form isn’t perfect, you could be doing all of that hard work without activating the proper muscles. Or, you know, you could even hurt yourself. To make sure that your HIIT moves are on point, and that you’re strengthening all of the right muscles when you sweat through them, keep scrolling for some proper form pointers on some of the most fundamental HIIT training moves.

How to do HIIT exercise moves correctly

1. Crunches


Crunches are one of the most classic ab moves, but they’re done incorrectly all of the time. The most common mistakes? Your neck is crunched in, your lower back is off of the mat, or your elbows aren’t out wide.

2. Push-ups


To strengthen your arms and shoulders, push-ups are a go-to move. But doing them properly involves having your hands and shoulders in line with each other, your back straight—without your butt up in the air—and your arms straight.

3. Mountain climbers


Nine times out of ten, your HIIT workout will involve mountain climbers, aka a challenging plank and cardio hybrid. If you do it in improper form, you won’t reap all of the core and arm-strengthening benefits.

4. Squats


To properly hit your glutes in a squat, it’s all about having a strong, wide stance. The key? Avoid hunching over so that you get the most out of the move.

5. Tricep push-ups


For a burns-so-good tricep-busting move, the tricep push-up does the trick. Doing it correctly involves keeping your elbows tucked into your sides, gazing down, and maintaining a straight line from your hips to your head.

6. Curtsy squats


Most people do curtsy squats with their butt sticking too far out, or their hips angled at the wrong angle. Here’s how to do it properly for that glute work.

7. Side lunge


Side lunges are great for hitting your inner and outer thighs, but there’s one form mistake that people make all of the time that sabotages the entire move.

8. Kettlebell swings


This one’s an explosive exercise that gets your heart rate up as it strengthens your entire body. But your core must be engaged and your back can’t be hunched over. Hint: It’s all about the hips.

9. Dumbbell woodchop

Nailing a dumbbell woodchop will bring you a really effective core exercise that targets your obliques and your arms, all in one move. To do it right, you actually have to emulate someone chopping wood—watch to see what that entails.

10. Burpee

You may loathe dropping down and doing burpees, but it’s a staple HIIT exercise that spikes your heart rate. This is how to do it right for the full, sweaty effect.

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