With the new vaccines quickly rolling out and restaurants and shops opening up again, it seems that the world might resume a little bit of normalcy this summer.
Since you can start planning your next trip and beach visit with your friends, you should also begin to seriously invest time and energy into your workout routines to become your most confident self. Take full advantage of this summer by dedicating yourself to making healthier choices and exercising regularly.
The best (and easiest) way to do this is by engaging in HIIT exercises!
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a type of cardio where you work out in varying activities and rest. You perform a particular exercise at a high intensity for a few seconds, take a minute to recover, then switch to a different high-intensity activity–this cycle repeats for the duration of the session, typically 30 to 45 minutes. The ratio of exercising to resting is usually 1:2, where you would work out for thirty seconds and rest for sixty.
HIIT workouts have been steadily gaining popularity since it was first introduced nearly a decade ago. You can exercise anywhere, with or without equipment, and have a beneficial workout that only takes up 30 minutes of your day. It is a mix of resistance and aerobic training, allowing you to target multiple body areas with only a few exercises.
HIIT exercises are incredibly beneficial for your overall health, not just weight loss! Cardio and interval training directly links to your endurance and air intake, which increases the fat you burn and improves your heart health.
Even doing a HIIT session for only 20 minutes can dramatically affect the volume of oxygen you can breathe in and the number of calories you burn.
It’s important to note, though, that cutting calories is the best method to losing weight. Overall, HIIT routines lead to “afterburn,” where your metabolism continues running even after finishing your workout, helping burn through more calories than a regular, continuous routine.
Here are the five best High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) exercises you can do from the comfort of your own home! You can be at any fitness level, from beginner to expert, and don’t need any equipment to get started and enjoy these workouts:
Russian Twists are a fantastic exercise that targets your core, spine, and obliques, helping you burn belly fat and improve your balance and stability at the same time. This exercise is popular for building definition in your abs and can be easily modified to increase the difficulty by adding weight.
To do Russian Twists, sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. Lift your legs and lean back about 45 degrees to form a slight V-shape. Remember to cross your legs and engage your core to hold yourself in place! Then, you’ll start twisting your torso and reaching your arms from left to right without losing your balance or moving your legs. Try and do three sets of 12 to 15 twists for your HIIT routine.
Starting in a high plank position, lift your left knee to your chest and bring it back out. Switch, and bring your right knee up to your chest, and then back off. Alternate your legs, picking up speed as if you were running up a mountain instead of against the floor. You must keep your back straight and core engaged to avoid injuring yourself.
Mountain Climbers might sound easy, but they’re one of the best exercises for working your entire body and getting your heart rate pumping. They’re a great form of cardio that improves your endurance and overall strength, targeting your arms, core, chest, shoulders, and quads.
Squats are another prevalent type of exercise that focuses on the lower body, yet many people do them incorrectly, putting themselves at risk of injury. Squats help to strengthen your glutes and legs, increase your flexibility, and improve your overall stamina. If you have improper form, though, you might force the wrong muscles and stress your joints.
To successfully do squats, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and either parallel to each other or pointed 15 degrees outwardly. Stand tall, tense your core, and bend at the knee until you reach a low squat position. As you increase your flexibility, you’ll find it easier to bend down lower every time. Keep your back straight, and remember not to buckle your knees inward or lift your heels off the ground!
Many people often overlook upper body exercises in favor of leg workouts, but it’s just as essential to building up your arm and shoulder strength. Tricep Dips are fantastic for improving your balance by engaging your upper arms, core, hips, and legs. They can be done anywhere and make a great addition to a full-body HIIT training session.
The easiest method to do tricep dips is with a chair or bench, but you can just as easily use only the floor by getting in a crab walk position. Sit on the edge with your fingers gripping the seat and pointed towards your feet. Place your feet hip-width apart with your heels firmly planted on the ground. Next, push with your palms and feet to slide your body forward until your bottom is no longer over the chair. Lower yourself until your elbows are perpendicular to the chair at a 90-degree angle. Slowly raise yourself back up to the seated position and repeat the movement with a slow and controlled motion. Don’t go down too low, or you’ll strain your shoulder and neck!
Lunges are resistance exercises that get your heart rate up and specifically target your glutes, calves, hamstrings, and quads. You can either do stationary, sideways or walking lunges to strengthen different muscles and improve your functional mobility. You can also try holding weights to increase the difficulty.
To do a lunge, start in an upright position. Step out with your right foot and bend down until you make a 90-degree angle with your knee, making sure not to lean too far over your right foot. Remember to keep your left knee parallel to the ground and back straight. Lift your leg to return to the starting position and begin alternating legs, doing about 12 repetitions for each side.
Although HIIT is beneficial to your health and a fantastic workout option, you shouldn’t do it every day. Your body and muscles need appropriate time to recover and prevent injuries, so try and do HIIT only three times per week. It is best that you alternate between different exercises to avoid burnout, boredom, and overtraining.
As long as you’re focusing on your form and adequately stretching, HIIT is perfectly safe to do multiple times a week.