High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is not a new concept, but it’s more popular than ever. The idea is encompassed in the name: short bursts of super-intense training, with some short segments of rest in between.
The main rule here is to exert max effort during each “on” period, and send your body into fat-burning overdrive. It’s hard work, but it’s efficient and effective, which is why so many people are getting on board.
Convinced, but not sure where to start? Here are a few of the best, most popular HIIT workouts out there right now.
Sprinting is the oldest, most established form of interval training, and many argue it’s still the king. It can be done almost anywhere, doesn’t need any explanation, and delivers results.
Whether you sprint in your backyard, find an open field or empty parking lot, you can get your heart rate up in no time by running as fast as you can from one designated point to the next.
Some folks like to make sprinting a solo effort, but it helps to train with a partner who can time your sprints with a stopwatch and switch off intervals. Support from teammates always makes things easier when you take on a new fitness challenge.
You may find the name funny, but there won’t be much laughing when you take on this high-intensity challenge. A burpee is performed by doing a quick push up, then returning to your feet in a fluid motion, followed by a vertical jump with your hands overhead.
Unless you’re already in great shape, a single burpee may be tricky to perform, but once you get the hang of things you’ll be crushing sets of 10 and noticing improvements to your physique.
Warm up by breaking the burpee down into individual movements, like slow pushups and normal jumping jacks. Eventually, you’ll have no problem blending them together in a single motion and performing clean burpees all day long.
3. Ab Exercise Circuit
Everyone has abdominal muscles, they may just not be fully developed, or hiding under some belly fat. HIIT is a great way to fast track your summer six-pack, burning calories and sculpting muscles at the same time.
Rather than just doing 100 crunches in a row, a circuit keeps things interesting by switching up the movement every minute or so. Plenty of great ab routines can be found online, or you can make one up from scratch.
Bicycles, reverse crunches, and flutter kicks are a few of the exercises you should look into as you create a circuit of your own. Just keep that stopwatch close by so you know when to change up the exercises.
4. Jump Rope
Another old-school classic that existed long before the HIIT craze swept the scene, jump rope never fails to burn fat and achieve that endorphin rush.
There’s a reason why fighters jump rope in hoodies before a weigh-in. You sweat like crazy and drop pounds from your body like nothing else.
Speed up, slow down, and push yourself to the limit with a simple, affordable piece of equipment. With so many techniques and variations, jump rope keeps you engaged and challenged for a full workout.
5. Group Classes
The 21st century has seen a massive surge in popularity for group exercise classes, many of which incorporate HIIT techniques. Attend any group dance class, crossfit event, or martial arts workout session, and you’ll see trainers using the “off and on” approach to intensity.
In a group setting, you get a few key advantages over solo HIIT training. There is a motivating instructor at the front of the class showing you the way and plenty of other participants pushing themselves alongside you.
Finally, group classes that use dancing and martial arts are tons of fun, meaning you actually look forward to a workout instead of dreading it.
6. Battle Ropes
You’ve seen intense footage of athletes training with big, heavy ropes in the gym, whipping them up and down while screaming at the top of their lungs. That could be you!
Most gyms have at least a few sets of battle ropes available these days, and they are a fun challenge to add to your HIIT workout routine. You will feel the burn everywhere, from the core and lower back to your shoulders and arms.
This exercise is most effective when switching off with a partner, so you can cheer each other on as you test your strength and endurance.
7. Sled Pushes and Pulls
You may not have sleds available at your gym, but these pieces of equipment are becoming more popular lately, and are worth a try if you’re up for the challenge.
The goal here is to achieve an explosive HIIT workout by pushing or pulling a weighted sled across an astroturf surface, loaded up with different levels of weight. You need to engage every part of your body and mind to move the sled quickly, so lock in!
Since it only takes a few seconds to move a sled across the room, you may not think this exercise is a big deal, but after a few intervals, you’ll see the reason why it’s such an effective HIIT technique.
If you’re tired of steady-state cardio or a stale weight room routine, HIIT may be just the thing you need to get engaged and inspired once again. HIIT workouts help you set clear new goals and achieve them with amazing results.
Don’t overcomplicate things, and get to work! Pick a few of the workouts from this list and see for yourself how fun and effective high-intensity interval training can be.