Between work, family, activities and schedule changes, having a quick and effective workout ready to knock out can be very useful. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are meant to challenge the entire body and push intensity limits. While the intensity is meant to be high, adjusting for the energy level you have and/or injuries you may be experiencing is perfectly appropriate and recommended. HIIT training can be either high- or low-impact or a combination of both.
The following HIIT workout can be completed in 30 minutes and requires no extra equipment. When applicable, dumbbells may be used to add variety and challenge to certain exercises. The exercises are based on time instead of repetitions, as individual speeds will vary based on your fitness level.
Warm-up: Perform five minutes of moderate-intensity movement, such as walking briskly, jogging or riding a stationary bike. A quick and easy way to determine if you are working at a moderate intensity is to use the talk test. If you can talk comfortably while exercising or can talk but not sing you are most likely at a moderate intensity.
Perform each exercise for one minute followed by a two-minute recovery. The work portion should be challenging yet sustainable. For the recovery segment, perform low-intensity movements, such as walking at a slow or leisurely pace or slow jogging. The idea is to recover while continuing to move.
Butt Kickers (1 minute): High- or low-intensity, bring your heels up to your glutes; rest for 2 minutes.
Mountain Climbers (1 minute): From a plank position, walk or run your feet toward your chest; rest for 2 minutes.
Alternating Lunge (1 minute): Walk into a forward lunge or jump to transition (or do a combination of speeds); rest for 2 minutes. For increased challenge, add dumbbell biceps curls.
Walk Out to Push-up (1 minute): From a standing position, place hands on the floor and walk out into a plank position. Perform a push on your toes or knees and then walk back up to a standing position; rest for 2 minutes.
Hip Bridge to Crunch (1 minute): From a seated position with feet flat on the floor, place hands behind you on the floor. Push up into a hip bridge, keeping your head in alignment with the spine. Drop the hips back down and through your hands for spinal flexion (crunch); rest for 2 minutes.
Alternating Curtsey Lunges (1 minute): Bring one leg back into a lunge at a diagonal behind you. Keep the toes and knee of your front leg tracking in the same direction. Repeat on the other side and then rest for 2 minutes. For increased challenge, add dumbbell lateral raises.
Cool-down: Perform five minutes of low-intensity movement and stretching.
Remember, HIIT training means high-intensity effort for a short period of time. During your one minute of work, give it all you’ve got to maximize the results and to earn your rest.