Updated: Apr 14
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is exercising in hard energetic short bursts, with low intensity recovery periods. For a minimum of 10 minutes, it involves a number of exercises or one of the same, you can either use a tabata format of 20 seconds on and 10 seconds off, or intervals of 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off.
It's a quick workout that is an efficient way at burning fat and calories, without making you bored!
All you need to do is choose the exercises that suit you, grab some comfy shoes and away you go.
Here are some examples I love…….
Skipping is a great form of cardio. You can do it interval style, or go for longer periods to create that endurance effect. It's inexpensive, easy to transport, and works pretty much every muscle in your body. Not only does it work your cardiovascular system, it increases strength by building the muscles in your legs, and increasing strength in your bones, reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Motor skills develop further as you are using skills in agility, co-ordination and balance, and you can burn around 220 calories in 20 minutes!
What's the down side? Not many to be fair, just that you have to be careful not to trip up…. But practice makes perfect eh?
These can be high impact or low impact, whatever you prefer any is better than nothing right? Again these need no equipment, you can even do them whilst steaming some vegetables.
It's a total body exercise mainly working your glutes, quadriceps, hip flexors, abdominals and shoulders, and you could burn a whopping 100 calories if you are brave enough to go for 10 minutes! Those with joint problems should be on the careful side when using high impact, as your body is moving out of its normal plane, but if you are confident, give it a go!
The world's most hated exercise! Im strange as I actually enjoy them, I even went as far to try a 100 burpee challenge. But we ask ourselves why we hate them? They are EFFECTIVE!! With the advantages of a full body workout, increased strength and cardiovascular benefits, they are great HIIT choice and most personal trainers use them.
They are high impact and can burn over 100 calories in 10 minutes, they also increase both your cardiovascular and fitness levels. Still not convinced? A study in the JAMA medicine journal shows it can decrease the risk in early death and help regulate your blood sugars.
These diamonds work our lower abdominals and leg muscles, whilst helping us increase our heart rate, burn calories, fat and tone muscle. Motor skills such as balance and agility are improved due to the increase of brain to muscle communication, whilst improving body fluid circulation allowing more nutrients and blood being delivered to the muscles. If you have knee or joint issues, no problem! Take the jump out and do a bodyweight squat, these are just as effective as they are low impact.
These come shortly behind the burpee hate scale…. Everyone wants to achieve an on the toes push up but can never quite get there, you can and you will if you're patient and eager to practice.
These are the foundation in strength and conditioning training, they are a compound movement, meaning they use almost all of the major large muscle groups in the body. This results in a full body movement, an increased metabolic and heart rate, causing a calorie after burn and reduction in fat loss. They strengthen the core, improving posture and flexibility, preventing any possible injuries such as lower back pain.
All you need is a decent pair of shoes and ideally the space, but if space is a problem fast high knees is an alternative.
These have an added age benefit… no they wont stop the wrinkles, but they can help you maintain muscle mass that you lose throughout aging. As its weight bearing activity, the risk of osteoporosis decreases with every step you take.
Extensibility (muscle lengthening and returning to starting position) increases to the muscle involved, helping prevent injury and promoting flexibility. I cant run long distances due to previous knee injuries, but with sprints I can achieve just as good of a result! Normal running means you are putting more impact on your joints for longer because of the distance, sprinting reduces that and you get to put in more effort!
Cant run? No problem, a brisk walk is just as effective… 20 seconds full pace with a 10 second rest should do the trick!
Carrying these types of exercises for 20-30 minutes 3 times or more a week, can help with reducing the risk of health conditions such as; heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Your metabolism is increased for hours after, having a long term benefit of reduced weight and waist circumference, a lowered resting heart rate and blood pressure.
So grab your shoes, find some space and see what you think… you never know you might enjoy it!