HIIT workouts are just what they say: High Intensity Interval Training, combining periods of high intensity exercise with less intense shorter recovery periods. The work period should be an all-out effort, challenging your heart rate and muscles. The rest or recovery period is just as essential as the work, so skimping on the rest period defeats the purpose of this type of training. There’s no doubt that HIIT workouts are gaining in popularity for many reasons:
- High calorie burn in a short amount of time
- Shorter workout time providing same benefit of a longer session
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Raises your metabolic state for hours after workout
- Can help burn fat while gaining lean muscle
who are not accustomed to a HIIT workout protocol please keep in mind these few suggestions for safety:
- You may be working at a higher heart rate than you are used to. ‘All out’ can be modified in the beginning of your progression then gradually add intensity to build a more intense workout. Start just beyond your comfort zone and build from there.
- Balance out your work and recovery periods: Start with 20 seconds of work followed by 40 seconds of recovery, then progress to 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of recovery. Eventually you can build to 45 seconds of work with 15 second of recovery or 60 seconds of work with 60 seconds of recovery.
- Start with body weight exercises: There is no need to add in free weights, medicine balls or kettle bells when starting HIIT workouts. Below you’ll find body weight exercises to get started.
- Keep your workout time short in the beginning! 10-15 minutes of HIIT can be sufficient when you’re starting out.
- ‘Rest’ can mean actually stopping completely or walking in place to keep your body moving.
Try this sample HIIT workout for beginners TODAY
and…it’s only 10 minutes! Modify time listed below by using recommendations from above.
- Burpees: Jump up, then return to ground, fold forward bending your knees sufficiently to place hands on the floor, hop back, perform a push-up then jump your feet back to your hands and return to the jump to start next repetition. Repeat as many as you can in 45 seconds. Rest 15 seconds.
- Mountain Climbers: In straight arm plank position, alternate bringing right knee to inside of right elbow, then left knee to inside of left elbow. 45 seconds. Rest 15 seconds.
- Side Lunges: Start standing with both feet together. Lunge to the right side, bending right knee and keeping left leg straight. Push off with right leg to return to start position, then repeat on left side. Keep alternating. 45 seconds on. Rest 15 seconds.
- Jumping Jacks: Old school gym class! They’re super efficient. 45 seconds on. 15 seconds rest.
- Push Ups: Begin on your knees or on your toes. 45 seconds on. 15 seconds rest.
- Bicycle Crunches: Lay on your back on the floor. Bend knees to 90 degrees and place hands behind your head. While pushing low back into the floor, contract abdominals to bring elbow to opposite knee. Switch and repeat.
- Alternating Back Lunges: Stand with feet together and hands on hips. Step back with right leg and touch toe to floor behind you, while bending front leg at 90 degree angle. Push off with back leg to return to starting position and repeat on other side. 45 seconds on. Rest 15 seconds.
- Jog in Place: 45 seconds on. 15 rest.
- Butt Kickers: Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Lean forward slightly at the hips and kick heel to same side butt. Alternate. 45 seconds on. 15 rest.
- Body Weight Squats Hand on Head: Begin by standing with feet shoulder width apart and hands on your head. Sit back on your heels and bend the knees, keeping knees in line with ankles and pushing through heels to return to start position.
**This can be repeated for as many rounds as you can do, but take at least 1 full minute off between 10 exercise circuit.