HIIT — high-intensity interval training — is an exercise technique in which a person alternates between short bursts of intense exercise performed near maximum heart rate and short recovery breaks. HIIT can help people increase their fitness and endurance, and burn calories and fat in less time than steady-state cardio, which involves exercising at the same level of intensity for a long duration. For HIIT workouts you can perform at home, try running stairs, jumping rope, walking or jogging and bicycling. Remember to include a five-minute warmup and cooldown to begin and end each HIIT session.
If you have a set of stairs in your home or even a stairwell in your apartment building, you can use stair running to perform your HIIT workout, toning your legs and glutes. Perform a five-minute warmup of walking, jogging or calisthenics before beginning your session. Alternate between running up the stairs at a fast rate and slowly jogging back down for recovery. The HIIT intervals should be performed at a pace that is uncomfortable but not a complete sprint. Repeat 10 to 20 times.
Jumping rope is an ideal aerobic workout for people who prefer to exercise at home and can be performed indoors in very little space. Jumping rope works the leg muscles as well as the upper body and doubles as a plyometrics workout, building leg muscle due to repeated jumping. To turn your jump-rope workout into a HIIT session, warm up with five minutes of easy jumping. Then alternate one to two minutes of fast jumping with one to two minutes of easy jumping. Repeat for 15 to 20 minutes.
Walking and Jogging
Regardless of age, size or fitness level, almost anyone can begin a walking or jogging program either on a treadmill or around their neighborhood. If you are new to fitness, you may choose to alternate between normal-paced walking and power walking for your intervals. If you have been walking for exercise for a month or longer, try performing your high-intensity intervals at a jog to increase your heart rate and use your leg muscles in a different way. Experienced exercisers can perform their HIIT workout at a jog or run, increasing the pace to a near-sprint for intervals. After a five-minute walking warmup, alternate between two minutes of walking or jogging and two minutes of increased intensity for 20 minutes.
Bicycling is a great way to gain fitness and burn calories, and it allows you to take your workout outside to alleviate boredom by adding hills and wind resistance. To turn a normal bike ride up a notch, warm up with five minutes of easy biking and then switch between two minutes of normal-paced bicycling and two minutes of intense bicycling just below your maximum speed. Perform 10 intervals before cooling down with five minutes of easy bicycling. The same workout can be performed on an indoor stationary bicycle set to a medium level of resistance.
Body Weight HIIT
Perform a circuit of body weight exercises at a 2:1 interval ratio. This means you exercise at a moderate pace for two minutes followed by a one-minute exercise at an intense pace. Start the circuit at a moderate pace with one minute of forward walking lunges and one minute of mini squats followed by an intense minute of squat jumps. Continue at a moderate pace with one minute of side lunges and one minute of V situps followed by an intense minute of burpees. End the circuit at a moderate pace with one minute of backward walking lunges and one minute of tabletop hip dips followed by an intense minute of jumping knee tucks. Perform the circuit two to three times.