High intensity interval training (or HIIT) is an increasingly popular way to do a killer workout in next to no time. Designed to fit all the benefits of a full workout (and more) into a shorter routine, HIIT is guaranteed to get your heart rate up and leave you feeling exhausted — in a good way.
When life gets crazy, give this five-minute HIIT circuit a go. You’ll need a stopwatch or a timer for this routine. For each exercise, you should do as many reps as you can for 55 seconds. Remember that proper technique is more important than speed, so make sure you’re doing each rep correctly. After each exercise, take a five-second break, and then immediately launch into the next exercise. If you have a little more time, you can repeat the whole routine for a 10 minute circuit. As always, stretch before and after you workout.
Burpees are an excellent, full-body exercise that should be included in any full-body circuit. Chances are you’re already familiar with them, but if not, here’s a rundown on how to do burpees:
- Begin in squat position, then lower your hands down the the floor and kick your feet back, landing in push up position.
- Do one full push up, then frog jump forward so your feet are near your hands, and jump up into the air forcefully.
- Land in the squat position and repeat.
This exercise specifically targets your thighs and butt, but it is also great for your core and balance. Here’s how to do a lunge properly:
- Start by standing with your feet about shoulder width apart, then take a big step forward until both of your knees are at 90 degree angles.
- Make sure to keep your head up and your back straight.
- Follow through into a standing position by pressing through your forward heel.
- Continue moving forward, alternating legs.
- To ramp up the intensity, add dumbbells and curl your biceps on every other step.
A staple to any circuit, push-ups are fantastic for developing your core and upper body strength. There are many different push-up variations to choose from, but the same standard rules always apply.
- Keep your body in a straight line – don’t sag or stick your butt up into the air.
- You should focus on keeping your core tight, and keeping your movements even.
- You don’t want one arm to be doing more work than the other.
You’ll need a bench, stair, or a platform for this one. You’ll be working your triceps, as well as a variety of other muscles.
- Start by sitting on the edge of the bench, with your hands on the edge on either side of you.
- Lift your butt up, so it is just in front of the bench. Lower yourself down until your elbows form 90 degree angles, then come back up.
- Repeat for 55 seconds.
Jumping Jacks are an excellent way to finish your circuit out with some cardio, and they are a great way to keep the pace up if you’re going to do a second round. When you’re done, take a short break, then cool down with some stretches.