A New Take on a High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Workout
Pushups photo via Shutterstock
The HIIT method of training is used by athletes all over the world. It burns more calories and produces lean muscle, all in much less time than a typical workout. The key ingredient is replacing “rest time” with exercise of a different intensity.
In the workout video below, you’ll see how to begin your workout with an exercise that works your legs, elevates the heart rate, and burns calories. When the first set is complete, take an active-recovery approach by reducing the intensity for the next exercise, allowing you to catch your breath, but not stopping or coming to a full recovery state.
High Intensity: Seated Jump Squats
Standing in front of a bench or seat, lower yourself into a seated position in a slow controlled motion. Keep your weight on your heels. Return to a standing position either by coming up to the tallest position you can (on your toes, arms extended skyward), or by jumping as high as you can. Choose the level that challenges you physically. Continue this high-intensity exercise for 20 to 30 seconds, and then go immediately into your medium-intensity exercise.
Medium Intensity: Bench Crunches
Sit on the edge of your bench, leaning your upper body back, with your legs fully extended and off the ground. Bring your chest and knees all the way in towards each other, and then return to a fully-extended position. Keep your balance by holding your hands on the edge of the bench if necessary, or make things a little more challenging by removing your hands from the bench. Continue this exercise for 10 to 15 seconds, then return immediately to your high-intensity exercise above.
Keep this exercise block going for three minutes, take a short water-break, and return as soon as possible. Repeat the entire set five times, or for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Try to accomplish a HIIT set like this two to three times a week, and feel free to substitute different exercises to change things up. Just remember that the high-intensity exercise should challenge your cardio as well as your muscles, and your medium-intensity exercise should allow you to recover, while still keeping you physically engaged. As always, allow for a five to eight minute warm up and stretch before beginning and a cool-down and stretch at the end.