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High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

No time? No problem! I know that in today’s world we don’t always have time to check everything off of our “To-do” list but in order to stay healthy exercise needs to be a priority. Exercise doesn’t have to be two hours in the gym doing everything you can think of, it can be any structured activity to get you to moving and physically expending energy. If you are like me and want to get the most out of your time than you need to start doing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). This can be done anywhere, anytime, with any kind of equipment or even just your body weight. To put it very simply HIIT is just doing a high intensity exercise for a certain period of time, followed by either a rest or low intensity period. We can apply this principle to any kind of exercise, cardio, strength training, and even core exercises.

When we talk about doing cardio HIIT it doesn’t matter what machine we use it is more about the time spent in our high intensity phase vs time spent in our low intensity phase. We can think about it in ratios and if one interval equals 30 seconds than, 2:1 (60s work: 30s rest), 1:1 (30s work: 30s rest), 1:2 (30 seconds work: 60s rest), or 1:3 (30s work: 90s rest). The toughest part is finding that right resistance on your favorite cardio machine that is tough enough for your desired work to rest ratio. As always, pushing yourself hard is awesome and will help you see the mot benefits, but listen to your body and only do what you can safely.

Weight lifting with HIIT can be done a ton of different ways depending on what muscle groups you want to target. You can do a singular muscle group by itself, combine a few, or think of more of a full body routine that targets a little bit of everything. The work ratios are a little different when we involve weights because most of the time it’s very difficult to lift weights longer than 30 seconds without stopping. The most common and a very effective ratio is a 2:1 with 20 seconds of work with a 10 second rest/transition to the next exercise phase. Depending on your fitness level you can do a 1:1 10 seconds on 10 seconds off, or a 1:2 10 seconds on 20 seconds off. If you are looking for a real challenge you can even do a 3:1 30 seconds on 10 seconds off. Just like weight training we can apply the HIIT principle to our core exercises. Normally I find that doing core exercises for 20-30 seconds is plenty, so we’d be looking at that 2:1 or 3:1 ratio 20-30 seconds on and 10 seconds off, just enough time to catch your breath and get set up for the next exercise.

Here are a few different HIIT workouts that would be great to try!

 

Upper Body

Exercise

Weight

Work

Rest

Rounds

Pushups Body weight 20 seconds 10 seconds 3-5
Cable row Medium to light 20 seconds 10 seconds 3-5
DB shoulder press Medium to light 20 seconds 10 seconds 3-5
Bicep curl Medium to light 20 seconds 10 seconds 3-5
Triceps rope pushdown Medium to light 20 seconds 10 seconds 3-5

Lower Body

Exercise

Weight

Work

Rest

Rounds

Walking Lunges Body weight or desired weight 20-30 seconds 10 seconds 3-5
DB hip hinge Medium weight (keep good form) 30 seconds 10 seconds 3-5
Squats Medium to light 20-30 seconds 10 seconds 3-5
Calf raises Medium to light 30 seconds 10 seconds 3-5
Glute bridge Body weight or light weight rested on hips 20-30 seconds 10 seconds 3-5

Core Exercises

Exercise

Weight

Work

Rest

Rounds

V-sit Bodyweight 20-30 seconds 10 seconds 3-5
Toe Touches Bodyweight 20-30 seconds 10 seconds 3-5
Reverse Crunches Bodyweight 20-30 seconds 10 seconds 3-5
Flutter Kicks Bodyweight 20-30 seconds 10 seconds 3-5
Straight leg hold (feet 6 inches off the ground) Bodyweight 20-30 seconds 10 seconds 3-5

Full Body

Exercise

Weight

Work

Rest

Rounds

Side lunges Bodyweight 30 seconds 10 seconds 3-5
Mt Climbers Bodyweight 20-30 seconds 10 seconds 3-5
Burpees Bodyweight 20-30 seconds 10 seconds 3-5
Inchworms Bodyweight 30 seconds 10 seconds 3-5
Walking lunges Bodyweight 30 seconds 10 seconds 3-5

 

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