The 20-minute workout: Full-body 'ladder' HIIT workout

woman working out

Motivating yourself to get through the same old full-body workout can be tough.

Ploughing through the reps of the moves you’ve done a million times is not exactly inspiring. So, mixing up the structure to make it more engaging could be the answer.

Anthony Mayatt, personal trainer and owner of Breathe Fitness, has designed a bespoke ‘ladder’ workout, which sees you changing the number of reps you do each round – as you go up and down the theoretical ladder.

‘This is a simple workout where you get to decide if you want to go up the ladder to make it harder or come down it for an easier workout,’ says Anthony.

‘The way it works is by adding or reducing a rep each round.

‘So you’ll have 6 exercises that you’ll perform 1 repetition of, then you’ll go back and do 2 reps of each then 3, then 4 etc. – up to 10.

‘For the easier workout, start at 10 reps and work your way down.’

The workout:

  • Squats
  • Push ups
  • Burpees
  • Plank walkout
  • Leg raises
  • Plank (1 rep = 10 seconds)

For the plank, you do it in seconds – so 1 rep is 10 seconds, 2 is 20 and so on.

Full-body ‘ladder’ HIIT workout


Stand with your feet roughly hip width and drop your hips back and down as if sitting in a chair.

Squeeze your glutes and push back to the starting position using your heels.

Push ups

Hands on the floor directly below your shoulders and feet stretched out behind you.

Lower your chest and hips towards the floor, pause then press back to the start position.

You can also do the same dropping the knees to the floor to make the movement easier.


Stand upright. Crouch down touching your hands to the floor in front of your feet, then jump your legs all the way out as if getting to a push up position.

Lower your body to the floor, then push back up, jump the legs back in and jump in the air.

Plank walkout

Stand upright with feet shoulder-width.

Bring your hands to the floor just in front of your feet, then walk your hands forwards till they are directly below your shoulders in a hand plank. Pause then walk the hands back towards your feet and stand.

Aim to keep the legs as straight as possible throughout.

Leg raises

Lay on your back, arms by your side and legs stretched out in front.

Keeping the legs straight, raise the feet up vertically then drive the hips off the ground upwards.

Pause then control the movement back towards the ground.


Lie flat on the ground.

To start, lift your body off the ground holding a straight line from head to ankles. Forearms on the floor for an easier plank or hands directly below shoulders for harder.

Keep your glutes squeezed tight and heels pushed away from you throughout.

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