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At-home HIIT Workout: The Ladder Method

The Ladder Method HIIT workout can be especially challenging because it works the same group of muscles for four minutes straight.

It begins with the most challenging exercise for the shortest duration, and works its way up the “ladder” to end with a less challenging exercise that can be sustained for a longer duration.

Weight recommendations are suggested; feel free to drop the weights altogether if you’re a beginner or feel yourself becoming fatigued. Don’t sacrifice form for weight! 


HIIT Workout Warmup (2 minutes)

30 seconds jumping jacks

30 seconds stationary squats

30 seconds run in place

30 seconds skaters


Round 1–Biceps/Shoulders (4 minutes)

ExerciseDurationWeight Recommendation
Arm Circles20 seconds2-3 pounds
Shoulder Raise30 seconds5-7 pounds
Bicep Curl w/Overhead Press45 seconds8 pounds
Bicep Curls60 seconds8-10 pounds
Combo: Bicep Curl w/Alternating Lunges90 seconds5-7 pounds


Round 2–Legs/Glutes (4 minutes)

ExerciseDurationWeight Recommendation
Wall Sit20 seconds0-3 pounds (rest on thighs)
Squat Jumps30 seconds0-3 pounds (rest on shoulders)
Plie Squats45 seconds3-5 pounds (rest on shoulders or thighs)
Alternating Back Lunges60 seconds5 pounds (rest on shoulders)
Combo: Squat Press90 seconds5-7 pounds


Round 3–Triceps (4 minutes)

ExerciseDurationWeight Recommendation
Chair Dips20 secondsNo weight
Tricep Pulse30 seconds0-3 pounds 
Tricep Kickbacks45 seconds3-5 pounds 
Skull Crushers60 seconds5-7 pounds 
Combo: Lunge and Twist (alternating legs)90 seconds5-7 pound (hold in front as you twist)


Round 4–Plank/Core (4 minutes)

ExerciseDurationWeight Recommendation
Plank Up/Down20 secondsNo weight
Plank Twist30 secondsNo weight
Forearm Plank45 secondsNo weight
Plank Walk-Out60 secondsNo weight
Combo: Alternating Rows w/Plank (on toes or knees)90 seconds5-7 pounds


Round 5–Abs (4 minutes)

ExerciseDurationWeight Recommendation
V-Sit20 seconds0-5 pounds (hold weight)
Russian Twist30 seconds0-5 pounds
Bicycle Twist45 secondsNo weight
Sit-Ups/Crunches60 seconds0-5 pounds
Combo: Crunch and Leg Lift90 secondsNo weight


Always end your workout with a stretch and cool down exercise! For more exercise tips and at-home workouts, follow @InTheZoneIO on Instagram and Twitter. 

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Elizabeth DiPietro

Liz DiPietro has been a staff writer for In The Zone since 2011. She is a New York City public school teacher working at a middle school in Brooklyn, NY. Liz has a Master's of Creative Writing from Queens College and a Master's of Special Education from the College of Staten Island. She is a diehard Yankees, Knicks, and Jets fan and exercise enthusiast. Liz lives in Staten Island, NY with her husband Dave and 2-year-old son Christopher.

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