Descending Intervals Bodyweight HIIT Circuits

36 Min • Total Body
  • View on YouTube
    • Training Type HIIT, Plyometric
    • Equipment No Equipment


    In this cardio-focused high intensity interval training (HIIT) routine you will challenge yourself to increase your efforts as your intervals of work decrease with each subsequent round. There are two circuits, five exercises apiece, repeated three times. Your longest interval of work is 35 seconds. Your shortest interval of work is 15 seconds. Your recovery time between exercises remains the same each round – 15 seconds. Your goal is to maintain high levels of intensity despite the accumulating fatigue each round! 

    As you progress through the rounds of each circuit, focus on your personal perceived exertion levels. Play around with tempo of execution, range of motion, and alternate between the progressive alternatives and modifications for each exercise to determine which combination of variables elicits a challenging difficulty level based on your perception of intensity. 

    We kick things off with a warm-up intended to prepare you for the work that follows. Please don’t skip the warm-up! If anything, feel free to add on to the warm-up or repeat another round of the included exercises to ensure that your body is properly prepared for jumping (if you choose to jump), quick movement patterns, and a high heart rate for an extended period of time. The benefits of HIIT training are numerous, including increased caloric expenditure in limited amounts of time and improved oxygen utilization; however, to truly reap these benefits and challenge your body to exercise (safely) in zones of discomfort, you should start your routine with a warm-up that: 

    • Gets your blood pumping
    • Takes your musculoskeletal system through movement patterns that mimic the range of motion of exercises included in the main workout
    • Mentally prepares you for the main portion of the workout (gets your “head in the game”) 

    Pay attention to your work area during this workout! The frequent shifts from a prone (plank) position to standing typically increases sweat production. I had to reposition myself several times during the video to avoid slipping in my own sweat. A towel would have been a smart idea for me. If transitioning from a prone position to standing is difficult for you in any way, feel free to use a stable, sturdy inclined surface for prone exercises to alleviate some of the strain on the upper body and/or cardiovascular system from switching positions.  

    Although challenging, you can tailor this workout for your specific needs and training goals. Throughout the video, I mention movement alternatives but as always, you can switch out moves and include exercises that work best for you! No equipment is needed other than your body. And maybe a little determination. Just a smidge.  


    Warm-Up: 30 sec on, no rest between exercises or rounds, 2 rounds (7:00)
    - Jump Rope
    - Squat + Lateral Leg Raise (alternating) 
    - Lateral Shuffle (low intensity) 
    - Reverse Lunge + Torso Rotation and Knee Drive (alternating) 
    - Squat-to-Plank Step Back + Down-Dog 
    - Rotating Side Planks 
    - Jumping Jacks 

    Format: Complete three rounds of HIIT Circuit #1 and Circuit #2 (30-sec recoveries between Circuit #1 and #2, minimal rest between rounds).
    - Round 1: 35 sec on / 15 sec off
    - Round 2: 25 sec on / 15 sec off 
    ***Water Break***
    - Round 3: 15 sec on / 15 sec off  

    HIIT Circuit #1:
    - Jumping Jack + Squat Jump 
    - Lateral Shuffles (with a Squat at each end) 
    - Scorpion Mountain Climbers 
    - Squat Thrusts 
    - Plank Jack + Plank Thruster 

    - 30-sec Recovery 

    HIIT Circuit #2:
    - Squat Jack Touchdowns 
    - Quick Foot Shuffle (imaginary line) 
    - Full Plank: Lateral Hops 
    - Twisting Mountain Climbers 
    - High Knees 

    ***Water Break*** (after completing Round 2) 

    Cool-Down: approx. 30 sec per stretch (approx. 4:00) 
    - Split Stance Quads/Hip Flexors Stretch – R 
    - Lateral Lunge Hold – R (arms outstretched)
    - Lateral Lunge Hold – L (arms outstretched) 
    - Split Stance Quads/Hip Flexors Stretch – L 
    - Crossbody Shoulder Stretch – R
    - Crossbody Shoulder Stretch – L 
    - Chest Opener (fists in small of back) 
    - Tree Hug