When you think of HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts, you probably think of body-weight exercises or dumbbells, depending on whether you're going more for cardio or strength. But here's a pro tip: Resistance band HIIT does both.
"Some traditional HIIT workouts use a lot of jumping or plyometric work, which can be hard on your joints," says Peter Marino, CPT, certified personal trainer and owner of Posh Fitness, an online personal training platform. "Resistance band exercises provide more time under tension while protecting your joints from choosing high-impact HIIT exercises."
If you're doing the challenge, follow the weekly time scheme below. If you're doing this workout on your own, increase or decrease the time and sets based on your fitness level. You should be able to finish all the moves with good form, but the last two should feel challenging.
Ideally, there will be tension on the band before you start any exercise. The exercise should then get progressively harder as you move through the range of motion until the middle of the exercise when the band — or you — feels close to the limit (but not at the limit).
Try This Resistance Band HIIT Workout
For this workout, you'll need a mini loop band. If you don't have one, all of these moves are still effective using just your body weight.
Do each of the exercises for the given amount of time in the chart below (20 or 30 seconds). In between exercises, rest for 20 seconds. Rest for 40 seconds in between sets. You won't feel fully rested (like you were before your workout), but you should feel ready to tackle the next set.
Sets and Time Per Exercise
1. Leopard Crawl With Band Around Ankles
- Loop a mini band around your ankles.
- Start on all fours with your shoulders over your wrists and your hips over your knees. Press your hands into the ground and lift your knees a few inches off the ground.
- Moving laterally, walk one hand and the opposite foot to the side at the same time. Your hands will be spread apart as your feet come together and vice versa.
- Follow with your other hand and opposite foot.
- Take 3 steps to one side, then 3 back to the start. Repeat for the total time.
2. Squat Thrust to Side Step
- Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and a mini loop around your thighs, just above your knees.
- Place your hands on the floor in front of your feet.
- Jump your feet back into a high plank, as you bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the floor (it doesn't need to touch).
- Bend your knees slightly and jump them up toward your hands.
- Lift your chest and bring your hands in front of you so you're in a squat position.
- Take 3 steps to your right, stepping to the side with your right foot, then your left foot, careful not to lose tension in the band.
- Repeat the squat thrust, then take 3 steps back to the left.
- Continue this pattern right to left for the total time.
To make this move a little easier, remove the push-up portion and hold a plank position instead. You can also step your feet back instead of jumping.
3. Hip Hinge to Bent-Over Row
- Stand with your left foot on the middle of a mini loop resistance band (you can also step on the middle of a folded long-loop band).
- Hold one end of the band in your left hand.
- Bend your knees slightly and hinge your hips back as if you were closing a door behind you with your butt.
- Bend your elbow and pull your arm up and back, keeping your elbow close to your side. Think about squeezing your shoulder blades together as you pull.
- Stand up straight again, resisting the tension on the band and keeping your left arm straight.
- Repeat on this side for 20 seconds, then repeat with your other arm for another 20 seconds.
4. Mountain Climber
- Loop a mini band around the arches of both feet.
- Press into a high plank like you're about to do a push-up, with your hands beneath your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to hips to heels.
- Engage your abs and bring your right knee in toward your chest.
- Return your right knee to starting position.
- Bring your left knee in toward your chest, then shoot it back, switching legs at your desired pace.
- Continue alternating legs for the total time.
Follow Along With the Challenge
Use the calendar below to help you stay on track with the 4-Week Resistance Band Challenge. Do the workout (or rest day) listed, then check off each day as you complete it. (Get a printer-friendly version here.)
Back to the 4-Week Resistance Band Challenge