Quick HIIT: A 20-Minute HIIT Elliptical Routine

If you’re anything like me, you want something other than a treadmill workout every time you hit the gym.

What about the elliptical? If you’ve been reluctant in the past, I’m here to tell you to go for it! You can definitely work up a sweat on the elliptical, whether you’re looking for a beginner, intermediate, or advanced workout. And trust me, this is the HIIT elliptical routine for you!

The key is to turn that average elliptical session into a calorie-torching HIIT workout. Use the incline or resistance buttons to up the intensity — or both if you really want a challenge! You’ll have to pay attention as the minutes go by, but the result is a super sweaty, productive workout in a short time.

HIIT Elliptical Routine

Warm Up: 3-5 minutes, easy incline and resistance

  • Min 0-2: Resistance 5, Incline 5
  • Min 2-3: Resistance 10, Incline 5
  • Min 3-5: Resistance 5, Incline 7
  • Min 5-6: Resistance 10, Incline 7
  • Min 6-8: Resistance 7, Incline 9
  • Min 8-9: Resistance 12, Incline 9
  • Min 9-11: Resistance 7, Incline 9
  • Min 11-12: Resistance 12, Incline 9
  • Min 12-14: Resistance 9, Incline 11
  • Min 14-15: Resistance 14, Incline 11
  • Min 15-17: Resistance 9, Incline 9
  • Min 17-18: Resistance 12, Incline 9
  • Min 18-20: Resistance 7, Incline 9

Cool Down: 3-5 minutes, easy incline and resistance


Give an all-out effort during the one-minute intervals (that’s the “high-intensity ” part) and then ease up to recover during the two-minute intervals. If you find a resistance level is too difficult, just repeat the level from the previous interval. Never be afraid to modify a workout to make it work for you!


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Lindsay is Registered Dietitian and writes about food and fitness at The Lean Green Bean. She shares healthy recipes, fun workouts, and snapshots of her life. She lives with her husband in Ohio and enjoys traveling and spending time outside with her dogs.