Now that you’ve decided to try and start losing the “quarantine 19” it’s time to… (don’t say, don’t say it) hit the gym! Everyone’s favorite excuse to use when it comes to working out is, “I don’t have time.” Well lucky for you – I’m going to introduce you to a short and sweet exercise style: HIIT workouts. HIIT stands for “high-intensity interval training.” Many people might not feel comfortable going to the gym, due to COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean you can’t workout from the comfort of your own home! In this blog post, I am going to share with you one of my favorite at-home, no equipment needed, HIIT workout routines. This workout will leave you with that “glazed donut” look and feeling great. You can no longer use the excuse of “I don’t have time” because these workouts only take about 20-30 minutes to complete. Well, come on! What are you waiting for?! Let’s “HIIT” it!
What is a HIIT Workout?
Before completing any type of workout, it is essential to know what the workout does to and for your body. The purpose of a HIIT workout is to burn the greatest number of calories in the shortest amount of time possible. You may be thinking, “This is too good to be true,” but I promise it isn’t.
- HIIT routine summary: perform an exercise at an all-out effort for a short amount of time and then follow up this effort with a short recovery
The important concept of this workout is to make sure you’re completing them at 100% effort. HIIT workouts are so effective because they change the rate of oxygen that reaches your body. When you are performing an exercise at a high effort, it causes you to lose a lot of oxygen in a short amount of time. This results in your body going into what is known as “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC),” better known as the “after-burn effect.” Your body must replenish the oxygen it lost, and due to the high rate of exertion, the body replenishes that oxygen throughout the day! This leads to your body burning calories all day, which in turn — helps you lose weight. Now that the science is out of the way, let’s work!
HIIT Workout Routine #1
CIRCUIT #1: For this circuit, you will do each exercise for 40 seconds and then rest for 20 seconds before moving onto the next exercise. Repeat 3 times.
- Burpees: I know, I know, everyone hates burpees — but they are one of the most effective exercise movements you can do. Burpees work your glutes, hamstrings, quads, chest, and shoulders! That is a lot of bang for your buck.
- You will want to start standing with your feet shoulders width apart in a squatting position with your back flat.
- Next, place your hands on the ground so that they are just in front of your feet and kick your feet back.
- From this position do a push-up.
- Next, jump your legs back towards your hands.
- Finally, from the squatted position jump up in the air bringing your hands up toward the ceiling. These will leave you out of breath and feeling fatigued, but remember you have 20 seconds of rest before your next exercise!
- Mountain Climbers: This is a move that you are going to learn to love! It will light up your abdominal region and get your abs to pop. I mean, let’s be honest… we all want that six pack, right?!
- You will start in a high plank position. Make sure that your hands are shoulder-width apart, that your back is flat and not arched, and you are squeezing your abdominal muscles.
- You then pull your right knee up to your right elbow. When you do this motion make sure that your hips don’t swing back and forth.
- Then, shoot your right leg back to starting position as you pull your left knee towards your left elbow. Repeat this motion, making sure to keep your core engaged.
- High Knees: This is a pretty basic, yet effective move to get your heart rate going.
- First, place your hands in front of your hips – palms facing the floor.
- Then, jog in place — making sure to bring your thighs high enough so that they hit your hands. It’s important to keep good posture when doing this exercise. That means don’t slouch over and try to focus on engaging your core. Remember, you need to do this as fast as you can to get the most effective and efficient workout possible.
CIRCUIT #2: For this circuit, you will do each exercise for 40 seconds and then rest for 20 seconds before moving onto the next exercise. Repeat 3 times.
- Jump Squats: These are another fan favorite. This exercise will get your glutes and quads firing on all cylinders!
- You will start by having your feet shoulder’s width apart, with your toes pointing slightly outwards. If your feet were the hands of a clock you would have them pointing at 11 and one.
- You will then squat down like you are about to take a seat. It is important to make sure you carry the weight of the squat in your heels and not your toes. This creates a more intense engagement of the quad and glutes. Keep your chest upright and not slouched over. If you are slouched over, don’t go as deep into the squat.
- When you reach the bottom of the squat, jump upwards about 2 inches off the ground. When you land, go back into the squat position in one continuous motion. Make sure that you evenly distribute the weight of your body on each leg.
- Plank Jacks: For this move, you are going to start in a high plank position on your hands.
- Start with your feet together, then jump your feet outwards to about shoulder’s width, and finally bring them back in. Make sure when you are doing this that your hips stay locked in place – so squeeze that core!
- Time Under Tension Push-Ups: These are push-ups that are going to build muscle faster due to the way you perform the exercise. When you are lifting weights, your muscles endure micro-tears and must repair themselves. Each time your muscles repair themselves, they become stronger and bigger. The “time under tension push-up” is a great way to increase the pressure put on your pectoral muscles when doing a push-up.
- Start in a high plank position with your hands shoulder’s width apart.
- Lower your chest down slowly to the ground for 3 seconds until you reach a position where your chest is just above the ground.
- Hold this position for 3 seconds and then shoot back up to a high plank position. Repeat this exercise for 40 seconds. Remember to engage your core while doing these push-ups so that your back stays flat.
CIRCUIT #3: For this circuit, you will do each exercise for 40 seconds and then rest for 20 seconds before moving onto the next exercise. Repeat 3 times.
- Skater Squat: I promise this is the last squat exercise of this workout! After completing this exercise for 3 rounds, your legs are going to feel like Jell-O… but that’s a good thing!
- You are going to start standing upright with your legs shoulder-width apart.
- Leap to the right and bring your left foot behind you. As you bring your left foot behind you, bring your left arm in front of you like you are running. You are now in a single leg squat position!
- You will then leap to the left, bringing your right leg behind you and your right arm in front of you. Repeat this motion for 40 seconds.
- Plank Saw: This special type of plank will work both your lower and upper abdominal muscles, so it’s a 2-for-1!
- Start in a plank position on your elbows with your palms facing the ground. Make sure to keep your glutes and abs tight!
- Once settled into this plank position, rock forward on your toes while continuing to squeeze your abs. You will start to feel more tension in your upper abdominal region when you perform this portion of the plank.
- Once you have rocked as far forward as possible, come back into your starting position (this is when the lower abs will start to work). Repeat this motion for 40 seconds.
- Quick Feet: This is a great move to improve your cardiovascular health and get your heart rate pumping!
- You are going to start with your feet a little wider than shoulders width apart.
- Get into an athletic position by slightly bending your knees and remember to keep your chest upright facing in front of you and your back flat.
- Take quick, choppy steps in place. I want you to think of your feet like mini springs when doing this move! Each time your feet hit the ground they will spring right back up. While doing this exercise, always make sure to stay on your toes and keep your feet moving.
That brings us to a close folks! If you were keeping count, this workout only takes 27 minutes to complete! HIIT workouts will leave you sweating and feeling proud of what you accomplished, as you should be! Working out is never easy and that’s why it’s important to reward yourself when you do! Maybe renting a movie you’ve been dying to see or a little retail therapy!? Always celebrate the small victories because they eventually add up. Take a look at your schedule and see where you could cut out 30 minutes of your day to do something that will lead you to live a healthier life. I promise that you won’t regret it!