HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, alternates between periods of maximum effort and short recovery, and is known for being an extremely effective way to improve respiratory endurance, cardiovascular health and metabolic function. Because HIIT workouts are performed at such high intensity, they don’t take as long to complete as other workouts—making them ideal for people with busy schedules. If you don’t always have time to make it to the gym, here are five HIIT workouts you can do anywhere.
Star jumps can be thought of as a glorified jumping jack. It’s a good workout to target your legs, glutes and core.
First, start in a squatting position as close to the ground as you can get. Keep your feet together with your arms at your side, then jump up as high as you can and extend your arms and legs outward into a star position. Once you land, immediately begin the next rep.
Shoulder Tap Plank
Much like a push-up, this exercise can target the shoulders, chest, arms and abdominals.
Begin in a plank position, making sure to keep your head, back and feet in the straightest line that you can. Lower your chest to the floor, keeping your elbows close to your body, then press back up to your starting position. Take your left hand and touch your right shoulder, repeat the push up, then alternate and reach your right hand up to your left shoulder. Repeat for the next rep.
A jack squat will target the glutes, thighs, calves and abdominals.
Begin with your arms extended overhead, and stand up straight with your feet together. Next, jump in the air, returning to the ground with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your hands to touch the floor, then jump again and return to the start position.
Burpees are like a squat, push-up, frog jump and jump squat combined. It’s made to work your glutes, thighs, abdominals and shoulders.
To begin, squat down and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Quickly extend your feet back so that you’re in a plank position, then drop into a push-up and return to the plank position. Jump your feet forward to your hands, and using a quick movement, jump straight up into the air with your arms extended above your head.
A squat sprint is much like running in place in a squat position. It targets the glutes, thighs, calves and abdominals.
Start by standing with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart. Keep your elbows bent at your sides with your palms facing forward. Lower your body into a squat, then raise yourself up onto the balls of your feet, sprinting in place as quickly as possible.
Each of these moves should be performed for thirty seconds, doing as many reps as you can, as fast as you can—all while keeping good form. Rest for ten seconds between moves, then repeat the entire circuit three times.
HIIT workouts should be kept to around 20 minutes, and leave you feeling exhausted. Keep in mind that a good warmup and cool down is essential to any exercise, along with proper stretching. HIIT workouts should be using around 90% of your energy levels during the high intensity phase, so be sure you ease into it and be cautious of any injuries you may have that could be exacerbated by the exercise.
What are some of your favorite HIIT workouts? Let us know in the comments!