Forget your boring gym routine and get more fit, lose weight, and build endurance by incorporating a High Intensity Interval Training workout.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) improves endurance, stimulates muscle growth, and lowers body fat more quickly and effectively compared to traditional aerobic workouts.
This HIIT routine I’ve compiled incorporates a combination of exercises handed down to me from various instructors and mentors. This routine requires certain equipment (eg. medicine ball, free weights) that is available at most local gyms.
If you don’t have access to the equipment seen here, leave a comment below and I will try to provide a substitution exercise that works a similar set of muscle groups.
HIIT For Beginners
Beginners to HIIT should start at a moderate intensity (75-80% of maximum intensity) at an exercise to rest ratio of 1:3 or 1:2. For example, you can alternate 15 seconds of high intensity exercise with 45 seconds of rest at a ratio of 1:3.
For this routine, we’ll focus on using the standard Work to Rest method, which sticks to set interval times for work and rest periods.
For myself, I repeat this set of 5 exercises 3 times each at a ratio of 1:1 (30 seconds of exercise, 30 seconds of rest). Combined with 3-5 minutes of dynamic stretching for warm up and 5 minutes of cool down exercises, this routine can be completed in just over 20 minutes.
Limit your HIIT workout days to once or twice a week since your body will require a longer recovery time between workouts.
1. Standing Leg Jumps
To improve the explosive muscle in your calves and increase agility, perform jumps from a standing position with your knees straight but not fully locked. Use your ankles to propel you to your maximum height. Remember to maintain an upright posture at all times. The moment your feet hit the ground, explode upwards again without delay. For added difficulty, this exercise can be performed with weights in both hands (as seen in the images above).
2. Long distance skipping
To increase your hip power and leg muscle, skip as high and as far as possible, being sure to swing the opposite arm and leg to gain extra height and distance. As you perform each stride, bring your knee as high as it can go to gain maximum extension in your hips. The moment your feet hit the ground, explode upwards again without delay.
3. Jump (Plyometric) Push Ups
Start in a push up position with your core engaged. As you bend your elbows and touch your chest to the ground, push off the ground to achieve as much height as possible. Land with your arms extended but not fully locked. This exercise increases power in your upper body and core. For added difficulty, change the position of your upper body from side to side each time you explode upwards and land back in push up position.
4. Medicine Ball Toss
To improve upper body power and speed, toss a medicine ball from a chest pass position against the wall. Receive the ball with extended arms. This exercise can also be performed with a partner.
5. Leg Switches
To increase lower body strength and hip power, start in a lunge position and jump as high as you can into the air. While in the air, switch the position of your legs before hitting the ground. The moment your feet hit the ground, explode upwards again without delay. For added difficulty, use weights in both hands.
Be sure to check out my my article on providing tips to avoid injury and maximize your performance before committing yourself to these HIIT workouts.
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