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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)

Exercise Duration Weight Recommendation
Arm Circles 20 seconds 2-3 pounds
Shoulder Raise 30 seconds 5-7 pounds
Bicep Curl w/Overhead Press 45 seconds 8 pounds
Bicep Curls 60 seconds 8-10 pounds
Combo: Bicep Curl w/Alternating Lunges 90 seconds 5-7 pounds


Round 2–Legs/Glutes (4 minutes)

Exercise Duration Weight Recommendation
Wall Sit 20 seconds 0-3 pounds (rest on thighs)
Squat Jumps 30 seconds 0-3 pounds (rest on shoulders)
Plie Squats 45 seconds 3-5 pounds (rest on shoulders or thighs)
Alternating Back Lunges 60 seconds 5 pounds (rest on shoulders)
Combo: Squat Press 90 seconds 5-7 pounds


Round 3–Triceps (4 minutes)

Exercise Duration Weight Recommendation
Chair Dips 20 seconds No weight
Tricep Pulse 30 seconds 0-3 pounds 
Tricep Kickbacks 45 seconds 3-5 pounds 
Skull Crushers 60 seconds 5-7 pounds 
Combo: Lunge and Twist (alternating legs) 90 seconds 5-7 pound (hold in front as you twist)


Round 4–Plank/Core (4 minutes)

Exercise Duration Weight Recommendation
Plank Up/Down 20 seconds No weight
Plank Twist 30 seconds No weight
Forearm Plank 45 seconds No weight
Plank Walk-Out 60 seconds No weight
Combo: Alternating Rows w/Plank (on toes or knees) 90 seconds 5-7 pounds


Round 5–Abs (4 minutes)

Exercise Duration Weight Recommendation
V-Sit 20 seconds 0-5 pounds (hold weight)
Russian Twist 30 seconds 0-5 pounds
Bicycle Twist 45 seconds No weight
Sit-Ups/Crunches 60 seconds 0-5 pounds
Combo: Crunch and Leg Lift 90 seconds No 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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