HIIT—which stands for high intensity interval training—has become increasingly popular over the past few years, and not without good reason. First, because it is so high intensity, most sessions can be completed in 10 minutes or less. This means that you don’t have to force yourself to spend a lot of time in the gym to get your body in better physical shape.
Second, HIIT offers advantages to other bodily systems than just your muscles. In fact, this form of exercise has many benefits beyond greater fitness, according to the American College of Sports Medicine. These include helping you achieve a healthier blood pressure, thereby reducing your risk of cardiovascular issues, and cholesterol levels that are closer to where they should be for optimal health.
Plus, when you add HIIT to your exercise regimen, you get the flexibility of choosing between a number of different workout options, all of which can help you get your body in top physical shape. Here are four to consider.
1. Weight-Based HIIT Workout
Do you have access to a variety of free weights or a piece of equipment that enables you to perform multiple strength-based exercises with different weight settings? If so, you may want to try a weight-based HIIT workout. Again, after warming up your muscles, your goal is to alternate short periods of all-out intensity (around 20 seconds) with even shorter periods of rest (10 seconds should do the trick) for around five minutes total. Some weight-based exercises to add to your routine are: bicep curls, triceps dips, chest presses, and weighted squats and lunges. You can even split these up by body part, if you wish, doing upper body exercises on one HIIT day, moving to lower body the next.
2. Walk/Run HIIT Workout
If you like walking and running, or you’re traveling and have no exercise equipment other than your athletic shoes, this is a good HIIT workout for you. Simply warm up by walking slowly to moderately paced for five minutes, then alternate 30 seconds of fast walking with 30 seconds of all out running. Do this 8-10 times (for a total of 8-10 minutes) and then enter your cool down phase and your HIIT workout is now complete. There are other interval running workouts, that can be performed at the comfort of your gym as well.
3. Bicycling HIIT Workout
If you’re into bicycling and are looking for an exercise program that incorporates cycling into your routine in a way that maximizes your results, then a bicycling HIIT workout may be just what you need. Simply cycle at a low-intensity pace for a couple of minutes to warm your muscles, then alternate between moderate and high intensities of pedaling every 30 seconds by increasing your speed, for a total of 8-10 minutes. End with a 5-minute cool down and you’re done with exercise for the day.
4. Bodyweight HIIT Workout
This HIIT workout not only builds your cardiovascular strength without the need to buy any more bulky or expensive exercise equipment, but it also helps make all of your muscles stronger, proving itself beneficial to your overall body tone. To do it, just complete your warm-up and then begin alternating 20 second bursts of bodyweight exercises with 10 seconds of rest for a total of five minutes. Some bodyweight exercises that can provide stellar results during the burst phase include push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks, box jumps, and everyone’s favorite – burpees.
Engaging in high intensity interval training is a great way to get your body in top shape, whether you elect to use one of these four routines or you find other results-producing HIIT workouts online. The key to success is to be consistent with your training, adding this type of regimen to your current routine a couple of days a week. Do this and you’ll be in top physical shape in no time.