HIIT that belly: High intensity workouts reduce belly fat faster than continuous exercise
07/29/2019 // Stephanie Diaz // Views

High-intensity interval training or HIIT is one of the most popular ways to burn fat. It involves intense bursts of activity and short recovery periods. A recent study found that this form of exercise is an effective way to reduce belly fat, much more so than moderate-intensity exercise.

The researchers of the study are the first to investigate the effect of HIIT on the body fat of people suffering from cardiovascular disease. They presented the results of their study at the American College of Cardiology’s 68th Annual Scientific Session.

HIIT trims body fat

The researchers reviewed the results of two exercise protocols assigned to 120 cardiac rehabilitation patients at the Mayo Clinic. The exercise program included three sessions per week for 12 weeks. During the first week, all the participants performed a continuous moderate-intensity training, which involved walking or biking. Then, the participants were divided into two groups. Ninety people were asked to switch to HIIT, while the remaining 30 continued moderate-intensity training. People from the HIIT programs had to perform four to eight intervals of one-minute high-intensity exercise and three to five minutes of low-intensity exercise.

At the end of 12 weeks, the participants from the HIIT group lost four more pounds of body fat than the moderate-intensity exercise group. The HIIT group also gained more muscle mass and lost about an inch more off their waists. (Related: Burn fat, build muscle, and better your health in less time with HIIT.)

“These findings support the use of HIIT as an essential treatment tool to improve body composition in heart attack patients enrolled in early outpatient cardiac rehabilitation,” said Yaoshan Dun, lead author of the study. “Our data suggest that, compared to moderate-intensity continuous training, supervised HIIT results in greater improvement in these patients. HIIT may contribute to better outcomes for patients with abdominal obesity who have cardiovascular risk factors or established heart disease.”


While the study specifically analyzed the effects of HIIT on heart attack survivors, healthy individuals can also benefit from this form of exercise. Other studies show that HIIT not only aids in weight loss, but also improves heart health in healthy individuals.

HIIT exercises that you can do at home

HIIT is not only meant for the gym. This form of exercise can also be performed at home. If you have a few minutes to spare, here are some routines that you can do right in your living room:

Butt kicks

  • Stand with your feet a shoulder width apart.
  • Kick your left foot up until it touches your glute.
  • Put your foot back down and repeat with the right foot.
  • Repeat for 45 seconds.

Jump squats

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Bend your knees, extend your butt, and keep your back straight.
  • Jump and launch your body upwards.
  • Land softy and go right into position.
  • Do as many jump squats as possible in 45 seconds.


  • Stand with your feet a shoulder width apart.
  • Bend down and bring your palms to the floor.
  • Kick both feet back and land on the balls of your feet in a plank position.
  • Bend your elbows and do a push up.
  • Jump your feet back to the outside of your hands.
  • Raise your arms over your head and jump as high as you can.
  • Repeat as many times as possible in 45 seconds.

Mountain climbers

  • Start in a high plank position.
  • Pull your left knee into your chest.
  • Return left knee back into position and repeat with the right knee.
  • Repeat steps and do as many as possible in 45 seconds.

Making time for your fitness will benefit your health in the long run. To know more about HIIT and other forms of exercise you can do without going to the gym, visit Slender.news.

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