Consider HIIT workouts the “lather, rinse, repeat” of your fitness regimen. With these high-intensity workouts, you exert yourself at 80 to 95 percent of your maximum effort for a short period of time, recover for a specified amount of time and then repeat. No more arduous long-distance runs or endless hours spent on the StairMaster.
Why Choose a HIIT Workout?
Other than being a time-saver, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) can help you lose weight and belly fat, lower your blood pressure and improve your aerobic and anaerobic fitness.
It’s more efficient than a traditional workout, as you’ll continue to burn calories after you finish working out, a process known as EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption).
How Do You HIIT?
Since this workout is more intense than steady-state workouts, give yourself plenty of time to recover, and only do this workout a few times a week. If you’re a beginner, you can split each minute into 45 to 50 seconds of work and 10 to 15 seconds of rest.
Whatever your fitness level, you can follow the workout below for a 20-minute, at-home HIIT workout that will burn major calories!
First Set: The Warm-Up
Head outside for your warm-up! Get your muscles primed for the rest of your workout by starting out jogging. After your first minute build up to a higher speed. Focus on driving your knees and arms forward at a fast pace.
Minute 1: Jog
Minute 2: Run
Minute 3: Jog
Minute 4: Run
Second Set: Full-Body Cardio
Next you’re ready to amp up your cardio with some full-body drills. Do two rounds, alternating between one minute of tuck jump burpees and one minute of jump rope. Remember to modify if needed.
Tuck Jump Burpees: Start by standing with your feet underneath your hips. Bend with your knees and place your hands on the floor. Shoot your legs back to a plank position and lower your body so your chest touches the floor. Push off the floor into a cobra position, and then powerfully pop your hips up, bringing your feet up to your hands. Jump up into the air as you bring your knees to your chest. Your hands should be driving up and out in front of you so that you can bring your knees to your hands (not your hands to your knees). Lower back down and repeat.
Jump Rope: For your rest minute, slowly jump rope to catch your breath, but keep your body moving. Grab a handle of a jump rope in each hand and whip the jump rope over your body. Don’t go too fast; this is your recovery minute.
Minute 5: Tuck Jump Burpees
Minute 6: Jump Rope
Minute 7: Tuck Jump Burpees
Minute 8: Jump Rope
Third Set: Upper Body and Core
Now it’s time to focus on your upper body and core. Do two rounds, alternating between one minute of triceps dips and one minute of planking.
Triceps Dips: Grab a bench or a sturdy chair. Move your body to the end of the bench and place your hands on the bench’s sides. Scoot your glutes off the bench and straighten your legs out in front of you. With control, lower your body down as close to the floor as your mobility will allow. Push away from the bench to drive your body back up to the starting position.
Plank: Lower your body down to the floor with your forearms on the ground, legs extended back behind you. Squeeze your glutes and engage your core to keep a flat back and straight line down your body. Hold your body there. If you need more of a challenge, raise one leg at a time, alternating back and forth. Keep your leg straight and your hips level.
Minute 9: Triceps Dips
Minutes 10: Plank
Minute 11: Triceps Dips
Minute 12: Plank
Fourth Set: Lower Body
On to your lower body! Perform two rounds, alternating between one minute of high knees and one minute of holding a squat.
High Knees: Stand tall with knees slightly bent and your core engaged. One at a time, lift each knee up to your chest. As soon as you lower one, pick up the other one and continue alternating quickly (as if running in place) for the full minute.
Squat Hold: Start with feet shoulder-width apart and slightly turned out to the side. Bend at the knees and hips to send your glutes back and your knees out as you slowly lower your body into the bottom of a squat. Raise your arms out in front of you and keep your core engaged as you hold the bottom of the squat.
Minute 13: High Knees
Minute 14: Squat Hold
Minute 15: High Knees
Minute 16: Squat Hold
Fifth Set: Core and Cardio
Last set! You’re almost done. Do two rounds, alternating between one minute of speed skaters and one minute of V-ups.
Speed Skaters: Standing on one leg with the knee slightly bent. Push off by extending the leg out to the side and jump onto the opposite leg, lowering down with a flat back so that your hand touches your foot. Continue jumping side to side, touching your hand on the landing foot. The faster you go and the farther you jump, the more you’ll increase the intensity.
V-Ups: Lie on the ground with your legs out in front of you and your arms above your head. Engage your core and raise your arms and legs up at the same time so that your body is in a V-position. Try to keep your legs as straight as possible and lower down with control.
Minute 17: Speed Skaters
Minute 18: V-Ups
Minute 19: Speed Skaters
Minute 20: V-Ups
What Do YOU Think?
Have you tried this workout yet? Will you? What did you think? Can you commit to three 20-minute workouts a week? What are your favorite HIIT exercises? How else do you pump up the intensity on your workouts? Share your thoughts, suggestions and questions in the comments section below!