One of the most effective workouts for fat loss combines high-intensity training, or HIIT, with a good diet and lots of sleep. The idea behind HIIT is to alternate short bursts of high-intensity anaerobic exercise with more moderate aerobic activity.
When you’re doing these intense bursts of exercise, which are especially effective for people who are short of time, your heart rate and breathing rate increase dramatically. However, when you taper off to lower-intensity exercise (like walking), your body uses oxygen more efficiently at a slower pace.
If you’re looking to push your body harder or explore new training options, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can be a great tool to help you burn more calories even after your workout is done.
Feel-Good HIIT Exercises to Add in Your Workout Routine
Here’s a look at seven best HIIT exercises to add to your workout routine:
Burpees are an intense HIIT exercise. It requires you to perform a push-up, followed by a leap in the air and return to the floor. Burpees engage most of your muscles in the process and target your calves, chest, triceps, shoulders, biceps and glutes as well as your lower back.
Here’s how you do it:
- Burpees are relatively easy to complete, as they don’t use any equipment or weights. Get into a partial squat stance, and budge down to complete a burpee.
- Maintain a straight spine while touching the ground with your chest.
- Do push-up, frog jump with both legs together, and jump up with hands up in the air.
2) High Knees
Another effective HIIT exercise that doesn’t require any special equipment is high knees. All the muscles in your legs are strengthened by high knees. Doing so also quickens your heartbeat, which enhances your body’s coordination and flexibility.
To perform high knees:
- Open your feet to hip-width; bring your left knee towards your chest to begin the High Knees exercise, and quickly repeat with the other leg.
- You should also try keeping your arms extended and allowing your knees to touch your palms while executing the workout.
3) Lunge Jump
Lunge jumps are a more challenging version of the standard walking lunge exercise. This HIIT workout involves leaping into the air, changing to your forward foot and landing. This activity burns a ton of calories and doesn’t require any weight lifting equipment. Additionally, it helps raise your heart rate.
To do this exercise:
- To perform lunge jumps, stand with your legs least shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your back straight as you step forward with one leg. Make sure your leg is parallel to the ground as you bend your knee and lower yourself.
- Jump while extending the opposite leg, and repeat the exercise.
4) Jumping Jacks
Jumping jacks, also known as side-straddle hops, are a full-body HIIT workout that can be performed practically anywhere, as no special equipment is needed.
To perform Jumping Jacks:
- Stand with your feet least hip-width apart; relax your shoulders, and look straight ahead.
- Jump, and move your feet laterally apart as you move your hands up and down over your head.
- Repeat the above steps.
5) Mountain Climbers
Mountain Climbers are a great exercise for building cardio endurance and agility. The exercise involves alternating between lifting and lowering your knees in a crawling motion, as if climbing a mountain on the floor. When you do Mountain Climbers, you’ll feel as if you are actually climbing a mountain.
To perform Mountain Climbers:
- Get into a straight-armed plank position. with your hands placed a little wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Bring one knee towards your chest, and without lifting your hips, move it back to the starting position.
- Repeat this step with the other knee. Continue alternating legs to complete as many repetitions as possible.
6) Russian Twist
The Russian Twist is a straightforward HIIT workout that works your hips and core extremely well. It’s a well-liked exercise among athletes, as it involves fast direction changes and twisting motions.
To perform a Russian Twist:
- Start by lying on the ground, with your legs extended in front of you.
- Bend your knees, and bring them up toward your chest, so that your body is in a ‘V’ shape.
- Make sure your legs are about shoulder-width apart from each other. Twist from side to side. Repeat it several times.
7) TRX Pull-Up
Pull-ups on a TRX trainer require a lot of upper body strength, but if you know the right technique and have practised, they can be easy to do. To perform this exercise, you need a TRX trainer.
To perform a trx pull-up:
- With your palms facing away from you, grab the trx handles.
- Your chest should be level with the handles when you raise your body to that position.
- Hold this position for a few seconds before descending and repeating the steps above.
HIIT training is the most popular form of cardio for a reason: it’s fast, effective, entertaining and doesn’t require much monetary investment. So if you’re looking to lose weight and want to efficiently burn fat in lesser time and with more fun, HIIT is the right choice.
Q. HIIT or Cardio?