10 quick workouts for beginners

Paying expensive gym fees and finding the time to workout are two of the most common reasons people skip exercise. Yet, these two factors shouldn’t have any influence over the decision to start getting healthy. There are loads of exercises you can do at home, without the need for weights and fancy equipment. Just 20 to 30 minutes of exercise per day is all you need to turn your life around.

If you have very little time to spare, these following 10 workouts can be slotted into your busy schedule and you can do them from the comfort of your own home. They are all based on the idea of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – a combination of short but intense periods of exercise followed by periods of rest.

Studies have shown that HIIT training will increase fat loss and lead to lean muscle gains. You won’t build big muscles without additional weights, but HIIT is perfect for beginners looking to improve cardiovascular health, burn fat and tone their bodies. HIIT uses repetition of bodyweight movements, meaning that you don’t need any fancy gym equipment. 

Warm-up before your workout

Before starting any HIIT workout, it is important to warm up before so that you don’t strain your muscles or pull any tendons. It also gets your heart rate up and your oxygen levels stable before starting the real work. A good warm-up should take about five minutes only. Here is an example warm-up:

  • 25 jumping jacks
  • 10 lunges (walk forward, dipping your rear knee toward the floor)
  • 10 squats
  • 10 forward circular arm swings
  • 10 backward circular arm swings
  • 10 toe touches (reach up in between each toe touch)
  • 10 leg kicks (stand on one leg and swing the other leg backward and forward as far as possible)
  • 25 jumping jacks

10 simple HIIT workouts for beginners

1. Simple bodyweight exercises

In 20 minutes, do as many of the following sets as possible, one after the other:

  • 5 push-ups
  • 10 sit-ups
  • 15 squats

Take a 30 second rest after completing the three sets before starting again. If you struggle with the push-ups, put your knees on the floor to decrease the weight on your arms and chest.

2. Lower body workout

In 30 minutes, complete as many of the following sets as possible:

  • 10 squats
  • 10 lunges
  • 10 jump-and-squats
  • 10 jumping lunges

Rest for 90 seconds after completing the four sets before starting again.

3. Skipping rope exercises

In 30 minutes, do as many of the following sets as possible:

  • 10 lunges
  • 10 burpees (Jumping Jack into a press-up)
  • 50 skips (if you don’t have a rope, do a 100m sprint instead)

Rest for 90 seconds after completing the four sets before starting again.

4. EMOM workout

EMOM stands for ‘every minute on the minute’. Do these exercises for 15 minutes.

  • 3 push-ups
  • 3 burpees

The aim is to do these six movements quickly (within a minute) so that you have some time to rest before starting them again the next minute.

5. Long interval exercises

This workout routine comprises two parts of five minutes each. If the first five minutes, complete as many of the following sets as possible without a rest in between:

  • 15 mountain climbers (do a plank, then bring one knee up to your chest at a time)
  • 5 push-ups

At the end of five minutes, rest for two minutes. Then complete as many of the following sets as possible, without a rest in between:

  • 10 sit-ups
  • 5 push-ups

6. Long chipper workout

There is no time limit here, just complete as many of the following sets as possible:

  • 80 squats
  • 60 sit-ups
  • 40 push-ups
  • 20 burpees

You can rest for a minute in between each exercise.

7. Running

Run for one minute, stop and do 10 lunges, run for one minute, stops and do 10 push-ups. Repeat this workout for 10 minutes

8. Tabata

Tabata is a process of eight rounds of 20 seconds of work, followed by 10 seconds of rest, for a total of four minutes. Do the following exercises until completion:

  • Tabata squats (20 seconds of squats, 10 seconds rest. Repeat eight times)
  • Tabata push-ups (20 seconds of push-ups, 10 seconds rest. Repeat eight times)
  • Tabata sit-ups (20 seconds of sit-ups, 10 seconds rest. Repeat eight times)
  • Tabata mountain climbers (20 seconds of mountain climbers, 10 seconds rest. Repeat eight times)

Rest for 90 seconds in between each Tabata exercise.

9. Six rounds for time

The purpose of this workout is to try and beat your previous time, every time. Complete the following exercise as fast as possible:

  • 15 lunges
  • 10 V-ups (like a sit-up but your arms and legs stretch upward so that your body makes a V shape)
  • 5 push-ups

10. Bodyweight HIIT workout

This workout consists of five rounds. Do 45 seconds work and have 15 seconds rest in between the sets. Complete the following exercises five times:

  • Jumping Jacks
  • Sit-ups
  • Lunges
  • Burpees

Tailor the exercises to challenge yourself

Once you gain experience and become more fit, you may want to start adjusting these workouts to challenge yourself. Start adding weights or using some stairs to make the exercises more difficult. Use objects around your house to tailor the workouts. As long as you are getting your heart rate up at least once a day, you start to reap the benefits of a healthier life.


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Written by Joshua Oates


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