There’s a reason why HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, has become so popular in the fitness world. It’s because this training technique has proven to be very effective in burning fat while maintaining muscle mass and increasing cardiovascular health. The best part is, you can get results with a simple 20-minute HIIT workout.
According to a survey conducted by The American College of Sports Medicine, HIIT workouts are one of the top fitness trends of 2017. The training includes short but intense bouts of exercise followed by a quick rest or less intense activity. HIIT gets your heart rate up, metabolism going, and continues to burn calories after the workout for a longer period of time compared to a regular workout.
Start incorporating a HIIT workout into your fitness regimen 2-3 times a week. It’s fast, efficient and can be really fun! Here’s a 20-minute strength and cardio HIIT routine. (Do each exercise with maximum effort for 40 seconds followed by a 20-second rest. Do this entire set four times to complete the workout.)
1. Oblique Twist Squats: Get your heart rate going and your muscles warmed up. Stand with your feet in parallel a little wider than your hips. Clasp your hands behind your head and keep your elbows open. Use your abs to lift your right knee up as you twist your torso to tap your left elbow to your knee. Repeat on the other side and finish with a squat down the middle, keeping your back straight and the back of your head pressing into your hands. If you want to increase the cardio, add a little hop to your oblique twist to each side as you lift the leg.
2. Spider Man Pushup into Plank Jacks– Get into a pushup position with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. As you lower your body down for the pushup, bring your left knee in towards your left elbow. Press your body back up as you straighten your left leg back down. Repeat pushup with the right leg. Stay in a high plank position and perform 5 plank jacks. Quickly jump your feet out to the sides as far apart as you can and then jump them back to center. Go back to your Spider Man pushups to repeat the sequence. Keep your abs pulled into your back during this entire sequence.
3. V Sit into Russian Twists– Lie down on your back with your hands clasped in front of your chest. Use your abs to sit up into a V with the legs bent. Make sure to lift your upper and lower body up simultaneously. Once you’re balancing on your tailbone, twist your torso off your hips to the right and then to the left. Squeeze your inner thighs together to help keep your hips from shifting side to side too much. Return to center and lower your upper body and legs back down with control.
4. Mountain Climbers with Moving Plank– Get into a high plank position with your shoulders over your wrists. Alternate pulling each knee into your chest at a fast pace for five reps each side. Focus on keeping the core tight and your sternum pulled up in between your shoulder blades so there is no sagging in your back. Once you finish your five reps, continue to move the legs as you lower down into a forearm plank. Complete five reps of mountain climbers on each leg and then come back up into your high plank. The key is to never stop moving the legs even if you lose count. Just continue moving up and down in your plank positions, alternating which side you go down and up from each time.
5. Burpee Lunges– Stand with your feet in parallel. Bend forward and place your hands on the ground. Jump your legs back into a pushup position. Do one pushup and jump your legs back in behind your hands. Stand up and place your hands on your hips. Step forward with one leg into a deep lunge. Your back leg bends straight down to the ground and your front knee never passes your toes. Push off your front heel to bring your feet back together. Repeat a lunge on the other leg. Drop back down onto your hands and into a pushup position to repeat the sequence.
HIIT workouts can range from purely cardio, i.e. alternating running at full speed with walking at a slower pace, to strength training with cardio, such as the routine above. Find out what works best for your body and use this HIIT technique for a more challenging and effective workout.
Have you ever done a HIIT workout?
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Video: Crystal Chin