My favorite exercise when I have little time is HiiT – High Intensity Interval Training.
Actually, it is my favorite way of exercise of all time. I have even done a session at waiting for boarding at an airport once!
WHY I LOVE HIIT WORKOUTS
- No gear: You can do it without any equipment, all you need is an interval timer which you can download onto your smart phone. Oh and water. If done right, you will be a puddle afterwards 🙂
- No time: The training is over and done with in 15-20 minutes, at that includes stretching afterwards!
- No BS: If you give it your all, as you always should, interval training is 3x more efficient than plain old jogging.
- No Skills: No problem. The exercises are simple and doable for everyone. You might only be able to do one or two within the given time frame but you will progress quickly.
HOW TO DO A HIIT TRAINING SESSION
Set your interval timer for 18 sets of
phase 1 – 10 seconds
phase 2 – 30 seconds,
making it a total of 12 minutes.
The 10 second phases are breaks, the 30 seconds are laser focus super power energy jumping, skipping, pushing, lifting, pulling etc. You can do anything for 30 seconds so really, really go for it!
What motivates me even more is to journal my repetitions. Simply draw a chart on a page, with the exercises horizontally across the top.
Every time you do a HiiT session, you can fill in one line with the numbers you were able to do.
You will be surprised how much further you might be pushing yourself if you see the previous number you could beat – and how great the victory feels when you do!
SOME GREAT HIIT EXERCISES
There are countless routines you could do, but try out this one to get started.
Do as many repetitions as you can within 30 seconds, rest for 10, move to the next one:
Jumping Jacks – keep your core tight!
Push Ups with hands wider apart than shoulders. Keep your core tight. (Beginners: on knees)
Squats – feet apart, knees should not go further than your feet when you squat down. Keep your back as straight as possible.
Mountain Climbers – Start in plank, and “run” while keeping your hands on the ground.
Burpees – Stand with legs together, bend forward, touch the ground with your hands. Jump into plank, lower yourself to the ground, come back up, jump forward, stretch your arms above the head. Add a little hop for an extra boost. Repeat.
Butt kicks – Sprint in one spot and .. flick your heels high enough to kick your own butt!
MORE HIIT EXERCISES
Mix the exercises up as you like, to keep upper and lower body strength balanced. You can either focus on arms, or legs or do an overall body workout.
Important: keep your core tight in all of them:
Diamond Push Ups – with hands close together. Keep your core tight. (Beginners: on knees)
Triceps Dips – sit on a chair or bench, press your hands into the seat, lift your bum off and lower until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees, come back up, repeat.
Plank Up & Downs – start in regular plank, then lower yourself onto your forearms, then come back up. Repeat.
Lunges – Knee bends to 90 degrees and does not go further than the foot underneath.
Jumping Lunges – as above, but when you come back up you push off the ground and switch legs.
Squat Jumps – like regular squats but when coming back up, you jump and turn 180 degrees.
Rope skipping (if you do not have one, do Jumping Jacks again)
High knees – Stand with your feet together, hop from one leg to another, and alternate lifting one knee in front of you as high as your waist.
Tuck jumps – Stand with your feet together, and jump – try to get your legs high enough to clap your hands underneath. Repeat, ideally without that micro break in between jumps that makes this so much easier.
Pike jumps – they pretty much work your whole body. Get into downward dog, step both your feet to one side, hop from left to right, shifting your weight into your arms on every jump and lifting both feet high, try to kick your own butt!
Remember to stretch gently afterwards, and to drink plenty of water.
Do this 3-5 times a week for a month and you will already see the difference, in waistline, stamina, strength, and overall energy!