Going to the gym and doing the same old routine every single time can get monotonous and can strip you of motivation. You have nothing to look forward to. If you feel this way, you can mix it up by incorporating HIIT workouts. High-Intensity Interval Training is one of the best forms of exercises. It gets your heart rate going and makes your energy use much more efficient. It alternates intense exercise with periods of rest.
Remember to always warm up and cool down before and after any kind of workout. You can do this with some stretches and light jogging on the spot
- High-intensity workouts more than thrice a week can be harmful to the body since it does not get a chance to recuperate from the vigorous activity.
- Regular high-intensity activity can cause strain to joints and wear them down.
- Make sure to use proper form with all the exercises, especially if it involves weight lifting. Without proper form, one can set themselves up for injury.
How To Create Your Own HIIT Workout
Here is how you can plan your own HIIT workout to incorporate into your regime.
1. Choose The Overall Length
High-Intensity Interval Training can range from 3 minutes all the way up to an hour. The longer the workout, the more variety of exercises you’ll need. If the exercises last up to an hour then it would be wise to incorporate moves of varying intensities.
2. Choose The Length Of Interval
You can start with 20 seconds and move up all the way up to 60 seconds. However, don’t overestimate your abilities because 60 seconds of a really intense activity can feel quite long. You can choose to have longer back to back intervals and incorporate a longer rest period if that’s what makes you comfortable.
3. Incorporate Exercises From Each Category
There are 4 main categories of exercise based on the part of the body that is targeted. They are lower body exercises, upper body exercises, core exercises and full body exercises. One may incorporate a combination of these categories or choose one based on which part of the body they wish to target.
Exercise Categories For HIIT Workouts
1.Lower Body Moves
Benefits Of Lower Body Moves
These moves exercise your hamstrings and quads. They strengthen and tone your legs and thighs. If done regularly with longer intervals they can build strength and endurance in your leg muscles. Squat jumps and reverse lunges are two examples.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and your arms to the side.
- Move into a squat, pulling your arms up in front as if in a fighting position.
- While squatting make sure your knees don’t bow inwards or outwards but stay aligned with the rest of your leg.
- Your chest should remain above your hips so that your lower back is not strained.
- Jump up into the air using your arms to propel yourself upwards.
- Land in a soft and controlled way, rolling the weight down from your toes, all the way to your heels.
- Repeat this motion as many times as your workout requires.
- Start in a relaxed standing position with your hands on your hips.
- Put all your weight on one leg.
- Step back with your other leg slowly, bending the knee, and bringing the body down.
- Bring the knee down to touch the floor but don’t rest it there.
- Bring it up back up and stand with your legs together, as before.
- Repeat this motion about 15–25 times before switching to the other leg.
- You can add weight in your hands to make the exercise more challenging
Upper Body Moves
Benefits Of Upper Body Moves
These moves are designed to work on your upper body strength including your arms, shoulders, and chest. The two examples we have for you are classic push-ups and the up-down plank. Both of these can be done without any equipment, anywhere and at any time.
- Get into position by kneeling on the floor and put your hands out in front of you on the floor.
- Make sure not to rotate your hand or your wrist.
- Keep your palms apart about shoulder length.
- Once you have adequate support, lift your knees up and support your body on your toes
- Keep your legs apart if you want more stability.
- Make sure to not bend your knees or your neck and keep your spine aligned.
- Keep your body weight focused on the upper body.
- Now bend your elbows and bring your body down to touch the ground.
- Draw your abdomen in and make sure your hips are not touching the floor before your face.
- Straighten the elbows to come back up.
Up And Down Plank
- Start in push-up position.
- Bend your right elbow and bring it to rest on the ground.
- Do the same with the left arm
- Your weight should be supported by your forearms which are now flat on the ground
- Lift up your left elbow and straighten the arm
- Do the same with the right.
- Bring the arms down again but bring down the left arm first this time.
- Continue this motion for 10–12 repetitions
Benefits Of Core Moves
These exercises work your abdominal muscles and your core strength, keeping your muscles drawn in tight. Both exercises listed here can also be done without any special equipment.
- Start by lying on your back and bring your knees up off the floor.
- Your calves should be parallel to the floor as if you were sitting on a chair.
- Stretch one leg out, straightening the knee and extending the leg.
- At the same time, bring the other leg inwards, with your thigh coming in close to your abdomen.
- Once you master this motion, lift your shoulders off the mat.
- Keep your fingers interlaced behind your head and your elbows out to the side.
- Make sure your elbows are far out enough so that you are not tempted to pull on the neck muscles.
- When one of the legs come in towards the body, lift the opposite elbow to touch the knee.
- While doing this, twist your core and upper body in the same direction to work out the abdominal muscles.
- Alternate this with the other leg and elbow
- Continue this motion for 15 reps
- Start by lying flat on your back.
- Put your hands underneath your lower back if you need support.
- Bring your legs up into the air, at a 90-degree angle.
- Keep your knees slightly bent.
- Bring your legs down slowly towards the floor as far as you can but don’t touch the ground.
- Raise your legs up quickly and repeat the motion about 15–20 times.
Benefits of Total-Body Moves
These moves are designed to work out your entire body. They get your heart rate pumping and your metabolism kicks in. They are great for overall weight loss.
- Start by standing in front of a park bench or a box of some kind
- The lower the height of the object, the harder the exercise so choose a height you’re comfortable with
- Squat down to reach the object with your hands.
- Jump the legs back on to the toes.
- Do a modified push with your hands on the raised height.
- Jump your legs back into your start position.
- Take your hands off the bench and raise them up above your head. You could also add a jump as you raise them.
- Start out in plank position, making sure your shoulders are directly above your wrists and your hips are not raised in the air.
- Draw one knee in as far as you can without your hips lifting up. This is determined by your flexibility
- Do the same with the other leg
- Continue alternating legs and build up speed to make it a cardiovascular activity
- Do this exercise for as long as your intervals require.
Find A Workout That Fits You
Do 10 repetitions of each of the moves. Keep the intensity high since it’s a short duration. Keep the rest and recovery period long.
Use 4 minutes of intense activity. You can try burpees, jogging, or planks. Use whatever gets your body moving as much as possible, as fast as possible. Follow this with a minute or two of rest. For the second set, choose a particular part of the body you want to tone and use a move specifically designed for that. For example, if you want a flat stomach, do bicycle crunches. If you want a stronger upper body, do the up and down plank. Alternate the exercises every time you do this workout to give your entire body a chance to move.
Pair the 8 exercises into 4 sets of 2 moves. Do 20 seconds of intense activity followed by 10 seconds of active rest where you can jog on the spot or simply keep your feet moving slightly. Do three sets of each exercise. Once you have completed a pair of exercises, rest for one minute.
High-intensity workouts may be just what you need to add some excitement into your routine. Quite literally, it gets your blood pumping and your heart racing. See if you could benefit from incorporating it into your fitness routine.