Need An Energy Burst? Try HIIT Workouts (VIDEOS)
You don’t need me to tell you that exercise is good for you. It reduces stress, helps you sleep, revs your metabolism, and makes you look good. But what if I told you that there was a way to get all of those benefits in much shorter workouts — in less than 30 minutes a day?
The fitness world is abuzz about HIIT: high-intensity interval training. It’s been called “an elite workout for mere mortals.” It’s been found to improve insulin sensitivity and help people lose weight without losing muscle. And it may be ideal for busy people who have a lot going on — like parents of young kids!
The basic idea of HIIT workouts is simple: You work at top intensity for very short periods and then recover at low intensity. A typical HIIT workout might involve four or five “intervals” lasting between 20 seconds and two minutes, with one to three minutes of recovery time in between each interval. The interval can be uphill sprints on the treadmill, sprinting intervals on a bike, or even jumping rope.
1. Hand-Release Push-Ups
- Start in a standard push-up position, and lower body all the way down to the floor.
- Lift hands off the ground for a second, then exhale while pressing body all the way back up. To modify, just drop to your knees — it will still make for an intense HIIT workout at home.
2. Plyo Push-Ups
- Start in a push-up position, and lower body to the floor.
- Get a big push off the floor and lift hands off the ground before landing back in a push-up position. To modify, drop to knees.
3. Russian Twists
- Sit on the floor, with heels touching the floor or lifted (more advanced) and hands at your chest.
- Twist from side to side.
4. Single-Leg Burpees
- lower body into a squat, and place hands on the floor directly in front of feet.
- Jump feet back with only one foot touching the floor, and lower body to the ground.
- Bring feet back to hands, then jump into the air on that same foot without letting the other touch the ground. Go directly into the next rep without touching down.
- Repeat for 30 seconds on each side.
5. Supermans with Lateral Raises
- Lying on stomach, lift legs and arms off the floor, arms reaching straight in front. Squeeze back and glutes to keep legs up.
- Pull elbows down to waist, return to starting position, and repeat.
6. Lateral Lunges with Hops
- In this part of the HIIT workout at home, step left leg out to side for a lateral lunge, keeping right leg straight.
- Bring left leg up to a 90-degree angle and hop on right leg. Repeat on each side.
- Lie on your back with arms straight overhead. Crunch legs into your chest while lifting back off the floor.
- Grab legs, balancing on your glutes. Return to starting position and repeat.
8. Mountain Climbers
- Start in a high plank position with shoulders over wrists.
- Quickly drive each knee into the chest one at a time as if running. (Psst…you might want to refresh your memory on how to do mountain climbers before kicking off this part of the HIIT workout at home.)
9. Plank Jacks
- Start in low plank position with feet hip-width apart.
- Hop feet out wider than hip-width, and then hop back to the starting position. Keep abs tight and don’t allow butt to pop up above the height of shoulders for an at-home HIIT workout routine that hurts so good.
10. Squat Thrusts
- From a standing position, drop your hands to the floor and kick your feet back to be in a plank position.
- Hop feet back to center and return to standing.
- Start in a high plank position. Place right elbow under your right shoulder, then left elbow under the left shoulder, to be in low plank position. Make sure to keep shoulders stacked over wrists.
- Press back up to high plank position, starting with right arm.
- Repeat, rotating leading arms each time.
12. Flutter Kicks
- In this core-strengthening move of the HIIT workout at home, lie on your back with hands behind your head, holding your head and shoulders up off the floor.
- Keeping legs long and straight, bring one leg into the air while the other hovers parallel to the ground.
- Keep switching legs continuously.
13. Star Jumps
- Standing with feet together, jump off the ground bringing arms and legs out so that body forms a star shape.
- Land with knees slightly bent, arms by knees.