You don’t need fancy equipment to get a great workout. All you need is a little elbow room, your own body weight, and the right moves to make things happen.
Cardio workouts don’t cost a thing and can be done anywhere — even when you’re on that important business trip and don’t have access to your regular gym machines. The key is to do these workouts at an intense pace and consecutively, with little rest in-between sets.
The following 20-minute high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout will raise your heart rate and tone your body fast.
Fitness Challenge: Can You Handle This 20-Minute, Total Body HIIT Workout?
Each of these seven workouts will last a minute, followed by a 20-second rest interval. Do low-intensity knee raises during these rest intervals to keep your body warm up for the next round of high-intensity exercises. Do two sets of this workout before ending with a cool down and stretching.
1. Jumping Jacks
This classic cardio fat blaster is perfect to get the blood flowing, and to warm you up in preparation for the rest of the workout session.
Ah, dreaded burpees. They may not be everyone’s favourite exercise, but their effectiveness is undeniable. Let’s get these out of the way for our second exercise, shall we?
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and drop down to the classic pushup position.
- Jump back up and explode upwards with a jump while raising both arms to complete a rep.
- Continue the exercise for a minute.
3. Lateral Jumps
Lateral jumps, when done at a high intensity, can significantly strengthen your knees, ankles, hips, thighs, quads and calves.
- Start in a standing position. Jump to your right side with your leading leg (right leg), and crossing the other leg (left) behind you, tapping that toe to the ground.
- Jump back in other direction as hard as you can, leading with the opposite leg and tapping with the other toe behind you. Keep low the whole time and be sure to jump sideways, and not up.
- Keep up the intensity for a full minute.
4. Pendulum Swings
Pendulum swings might seem easy, but they can be harder than they look, especially when the body is already getting fatigued.
- To start the workout, keep your feet on the ground and hands on the floor, as if going into a downward down yoga position.
- Then kick your right leg out to the side, then your left leg out to the side, very quickly and consecutively with momentum, in a pendulum-like motion.
- Do these little kicks without any pause for a full minute.
5. Jumping Oblique Twists
This workout is one for those seeking to whittle their waistlines. Apart from your core, you’ll also engage your quads, lower back, and calves.
- Standing with your feet together, bring your arms upright until they are at shoulder height and your hands are in front of your chest. Your fingers should be almost touching.
- Keeping your chest facing forward, quickly hop your feet and hips to the right, letting your feet touch momentarily before hopping your feet back to the left.
- Continue this side-to-side movement for one minute.
6. Mountain Climbers
New to mountain climbers? Prepare for a kick-ass workout that will whip you into shape.
- Get into a pushup position. Then, bring one knee forward, in as close to your chest as possible; alternately jump this leg back and exchange the raised knee with the other, while keeping your core engaged.
- Go at a fast pace and keep the core engaged for the full minute for a brutal cardio workout.
7. High Knees
Winding things down for the final set, this exercise is highly effective and will work out your hips, abs and thighs.
- Starting in a standing position, raise one knee as high as possible toward the chest. Then do the same with the other knee, quickly, as if running in the spot. Don’t forget to pump your arms and keep those knees up nice and high.
- Keep up the pace for a full minute.