HIIT is one of the most effective ways to get the absolute most out of your workouts. The acronym stands for “High-Intensity Interval Training” and has been shown to burn more calories than most other exercise strategies. It’s easy to incorporate into your home workouts: just try doing a 10-minute HIIT workout three times per week and see the difference!
The Cardio in HIIT
If you are using HIIT to increase your cardiovascular health, there are a few different ways you can do it. The easiest way is to simply alternate between a short burst of high-intensity exercise and lower intensity exercise for the same amount of time, or making the lower intensity time slightly longer or even double the high intensity time. For example, if you want to work out for 15 minutes, alternate running as fast as possible for 1 minute, and do a light jog for a minute, for the entire length of your workout. You can also perform HIIT on aerobic machines. One to try is an elliptical machine or cross-trainer, or to try some of the top spin bike options which have adjustable speeds so you can push yourself as hard as you want. You can try to work up to 20 minutes of HIIT, and include a 2-minute warmup and 3-minute cooldown.
Just remember to always build it up gradually!
The Strength in HIIT
Adding short bursts of high-intensity exercise to your lifting routine is one of the best ways to build muscle, decrease body fat, and increase cardiovascular health. The best way to add HIIT to your strength training is to perform a HIIT workout immediately after a strength training session. Just try doing one set of your strength-training exercises, then immediately following it up with a HIIT cardio exercise. For example, if you were going to do squats for your leg day, try adding in some sprints on the treadmill or stationary bike right afterward.
You can even replace the sprints with something like burpees or jump squats if you prefer.
When it comes to strength or weight training and even calisthenics or bodyweight training, there are many ways to incorporate HIIT style principles into it. A simple way would be to do as many reps of an exercise as you can for a specified time, then take a rest for a small period of time and repeat for sets.
Another way could be to do a heavy (or advanced) exercise for reps and then drop down to a very light weight and perform more reps and then take a short rest in between. These principles can also be known as drop sets or super sets for example. A little exploration and research can go a long way and help you get creative with how you structure your workouts.
Can’t Get Enough? Give Tabata A Try!
One of the most popular forms of HIIT is called Tabata that has been shown to burn nine times as many calories as other forms of exercise. It is a very intense form of training and should only be performed 1-2x per week. The best thing to do is follow an hour-long workout with a Tabata routine. To perform it, you need to use a stationary bike or rowing machine (rowing machines are preferable), then perform an all-out effort for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of rest. This will be one set, and you should do eight total sets to complete your workout.
Increase Your HIIT With Plyometrics
Plyometric exercises are extremely high impact but also help improve speed and agility while increasing cardiovascular health. When performing plyometric exercises, you need to try and jump as high as possible, then absorb the weight of your body by landing in a controlled position. You’ll be using all the muscles in your legs, which is great for increasing speed and strength so you can work out harder with Tabata or HIIT.
Set Up Your Workout Station and Schedule
You don’t need a lot of equipment to get a good HIIT workout, but there are some essentials that you should have. If you’re doing bodyweight exercises, it’s best if you do them outside on the grass perhaps for safety reasons. Just make sure that whatever area you use is clear of any potential hazards like rocks or sticks that could cause an injury. It’s also important to wear comfortable clothing and footwear for your workout.
Most people find it best if they exercise in the morning before they eat breakfast because this gives them more energy throughout their day, but experiment with different times to see what works best for you. Working out at night may seem better since it will help tire you out so you can fall asleep faster, but you might find that you’re too tired to do the workout at night.
There are many different ways to HIIT it effectively at home with minimal equipment needed. The most important part of any workout routine is lifting heavy weights or doing bodyweight plyometric exercises. When trying to incorporate a HIIT session immediately afterward, use an elliptical machine or cross-trainer combined with some light jogging or sprinting on a treadmill/stationary bike. And if you want to try one of the most intense HIIT workouts, try Tabata and plyometric exercises to keep your body fit and healthy!