The Case for HIIT Workouts
As busy as life can be, getting in a workout might seem impossible at times. The good news is you don’t need fancy equipment or a lot of time to squeeze in an amazing sweat session. Actually, one of the best machines we can use for working out is the body itself, especially when training in high intensity intervals. The effect high-intensity interval training, or HIIT training, can have on body conditioning and fat loss is quite impressive, and the best part is that it can be done anywhere–from the park to your living room.
One study in the Journal of Obesity showed that 12 weeks of HIIT training reduced body fat and increased muscle mass. There were also substantial reductions in total abdominal trunk and visceral fat, and increases in lean body mass and aerobic power. The most surprising aspect of the results was that the subjects’ diets remained the same.
So what exactly is HIIT? In a nutshell, this effective training describes any workout that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less-intense activity or even complete rest. For example, a good starter workout is running as fast as you can for 1 minute and then walking for 2 minutes while repeating that 3-minute interval five times for 15-minutes.
So if you’re ready to break a sweat, try these moves to build strength and boost metabolism!
Feel free take this workout to the park, the playground, or the living room floor–there’s no excuse to miss a workout again!
HIIT WORKOUT INSTRUCTIONS:
- Start with a 5-minute warm-up of jogging or jumping rope.
- Perform each exercise for 20 seconds with 10 seconds of rest in between (for advanced) and 20 seconds of rest (for beginners). (You can always up the intensity but shortening rest time or lengthening active time.)
- Another option for the HIIT moves is to perform each exercise for 15 reps back-to-back and resting 2 minutes at the end of the circuit, the repeating three times.
- Give 100 percent effort during the exercises.
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend knees, lower butt back and down until thighs are parallel to the ground. Jump-off the ground as high as possible, driving your knees to your chest. Repeat the movement as fast and as you safely can.
Get into plank position, hands on the ground at chest level at shoulder width, keep your back flat continuously, and keep your legs straight about hip width apart. Keeping your elbows tucked against your sides and your body in a straight line, bend your elbows and lower your entire body until it almost touches the ground (or as far down as you can while breathing in). Return to start position while you slowly exhale. Repeat.
Jog or walk in place, kicking your right heel up to touch your bottom. Repeat with the left leg and continue alternating back and forth.
Face away from a chair or table that’s sturdy and won’t move when you lean up against it. Place your hands on the chair or a low table, keeping your back to the chair. Put your legs straight out while balancing on your palms. Bending from your elbows, lower as far as you can, then press up to the original position; engage that core! (You can also use a park bench for this.)
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Bend knees, lower butt back and down until thighs are parallel to the ground. Start to take small hops off the ground. Keep chest up and hips back. Land softly.
Lie on your back, knees bent, with your feet on the floor. Tighten your core and using your abs, pull your head and back off the ground until you are sitting upright, with your back completely perpendicular to the floor. Pulling your abs in again, slowly lie back down into the ground.
Stand with your right foot forward and left foot back in a lunge position. Deeply bend both knees and lower down. Explosively drive off the ground and jump up as high as possible. Switch legs in the air and land softly. Repeat the movement at a fast pace.
Cool down with an overhead stretch, a quad stretch, and a forward fold while breathing slow, deep breaths.
– By S.J. McShane, Certified Personal Trainer