HIIT or “High Intensity Interval Training” workouts have been around for over a century, but have gained popularity over the last few years. These workouts pair periods of extreme exertion with periods of rest. This spikes the heart rate and causes more calories to be burned in a shorter amount of time.
HIIT workouts actually have many benefits. Beyond the fat burn, they can increase your body’s VO2 max. Your VO2 max is the amount of oxygen your body can use and is also used as a factor when determining someone’s cardio fitness level. HIIT workouts also increase enzyme activity which reduces fatigue.
Here are three HIIT workouts to help you lose weight. These workouts do not need any equipment and can either be done in the comfort of your home or outside. Remember to pair these with a healthy diet full of whole foods and lots of fresh fruits, veggies and protein.
#1: Sprint HIIT
This is a basic HIIT workout, with only two moves: sprinting and walking. With this workout you can also modify it to your current fitness level. Make sure you do a nice warmup of at least five minutes of walking to prevent any injury. This workout is good to do on a track if you have one available to you, otherwise any open stretch of road or field will do.
After your warmup begin the sprint intervals. Sprint for 60 seconds (30 seconds if you are unable to do 60 seconds). Walk for 30 seconds. Repeat six to eight times. At the end, make sure you cool down by walking and stretching thoroughly to avoid any potential injuries.
If this is too easy for you, try replacing the walking intervals with jogging, elongating the sprinting intervals or increasing repetitions.
#2: Leg HIIT
This HIIT workout is a little longer, with the goal being four circuits, each seven minutes long. This workout really focuses on the leg muscles, but will definitely spike the heart rate. For each seven minute circuit, repeat the sets of moves as many times as you are able to. Try not to rest in between as you have a rest period between every circuit.
The moves: 15 squats, 15 jump squats, 20 walking lunges (10 each side), 10 burpees
Set your timer on your phone or stopwatch and go through the series of moves. Don’t be surprised if you only get through the sequence once or twice your first few times. Once your timer goes off, rest for between 30 and 90 seconds. Repeat entire circuit (exercise/rest) three to four times.
#3: Abs HIIT
This HIIT workout is the same length as the Leg HIIT, but it focuses on abs.
The moves: 40 mountain climbers (20 each side), 20 ab bikes (10 each side), 15 leg raises, 30 second plank
Again, set your timer and go through the series of moves. Rest for between 30 and 90 seconds in between each circuit. Repeat three to four times.