Try These 12-Minute High-Intensity Workouts (No Equipment Required!)

Certified Personal Trainer By Krista Stryker, NSCA-CPT
Certified Personal Trainer
Krista Stryker, NSCA-CPT is the author of The 12-Minute Athlete: Get Fitter, Faster, and Stronger Using HIIT and Your Bodyweight and a leading expert on HIIT and bodyweight fitness. She lives in Venice, California, and is a certified personal trainer through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

If you think you need equipment in order to stay in shape, you’re kidding yourself.

Because whether you’re traveling, don’t have access to a gym, or just want to take advantage of the beautiful springtime weather and take your workout outside, you can get an awesome workout, even with no equipment at all.

Each of the workouts below will take you only 12 minutes to complete, but will blast fat and get you feeling sweaty and strong in a hurry. Just remember, in order for the workouts to be effective, you’ll have to work as hard as you possibly during each one.

Don’t hold back! Here are three incredibly short, high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts you can do anywhere:

Before we begin, you can find a description of all exercises used in these workouts below, towards the end of this piece.

No Excuses Equipment-Free Home Workout

Set an interval timer for 18 rounds of :10 second and :30 intervals. You’ll be resting on the :10 intervals, then working as hard as you possibly can on the :30 ones for a total of a 12 minute workout.

Just follow the order of the exercises below (one exercise per :30 interval) until the timer beeps:

1. Jump lunges

2. Reptile push ups

3. High knees

4. Pistols

5. Snowboarder jumps

6. Plank pike jumps

12 Minute Do Anywhere As Many Reps As Possible (AMRAP) Workout

Set a timer to count down for 12 minutes. Then do as many rounds as possible of the following exercises:

1. 100 high knees

2. 30 air squats

3. 10 burpees

4. 10 diamond push ups

5. 10 v ups

The Do Anywhere Backyard HIIT Workout

Set an interval timer for 18 rounds of :10 second and :30 intervals. You’ll be resting on the :10 intervals, then working as hard as you possibly can on the :30 ones for a total of a 12 minute workout.

Follow the order of the exercises below (one exercise per :30 interval) until the timer beeps:

1. Burpees

2. Dive bomber push ups

3. High knees

4. Side lunges

5. High knees

6. V ups

How to do the exercises:

Not sure how to actually do some of the exercises in the workouts above? Not to worry, just follow these instructions and you’re good to go:

Air squats: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, pull your shoulders back and engage your abs. Push your butt & hips back as if you were sitting in a chair, then lower down as far as possible while keeping your weight on your heels.

Burpees: To do a burpee, get into a squat position, then put your hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet back quickly and land so that your chest hits the floor. Bow your chest up slightly, then jump your feet back toward your hands and immediately jump up and get some air, adding a clap at the top position for pizazz.

Diamond push ups: Get into a plank position with your hands in a diamond shape in front of you. Your fingers should be touching or almost touching. As you lower down, really think about keeping your elbows as close to your body as possible. If this is too tough at first, lower to your knees or do them with your hands on an elevated surface such as a table or a bench.

Dive bomber push ups: Start in a downward dog position with your butt piked in the air. Bend your elbows and drop your chest to the floor as you push forward to an upward dog position. Bend your elbows again, bring your chest back to the floor, then push back up into a downward dog.

High knees: Drive your left knee toward your chest as high as you can get it, then immediately bring it to the ground and replace it with your right knee. Try and focus on keeping your body as tight as possible, and use your arms to pump you and move you faster, just as you would if you were sprinting. Try and go as fast as you can!

Jump lunges: Get into a lunge position with one leg bent forward in a 90 degree angle and the other bent behind you. Jump up explosively with your front leg, switch positions in the air and land with the opposite leg forward. Although at first you should focus on form and make sure you don’t fall over from lack of balance, eventually you should try and do these as quickly as possible.

Plank pike jumps: Start in a downward dog position, then jump your feet up as high as possible and land on one side. Jump to the other side as quickly as possible, then continue jumping with speed.

Pistols: Stand on one leg, with the other leg parallel to the floor. Lower yourself down on one leg as if you’re sitting in a chair, aiming to get your butt to the back of your calve. Tip: These are really tough, so holding onto a chair or a doorframe can help make them more doable while still building strength!

Side lunges: Stand up straight with your legs in a wide straddle position. Lower down to one side as far as possible, aiming to touch your butt to the back of your calve. Stand back up in a straddle and repeat on the other side.

Snowboarder jumps: Start in a squat position with one hand touching the ground, then jump up as high as you can, rotating 180 degrees midair. Land back in a squat position, touching the ground with the opposite hand, and repeat as quickly as possible.

V ups: Lie on your back with your arms stretched overhead and your legs straight. Simultaneously raise your arms and legs as high as you can, keeping them as straight as possible while trying to touch your feet to your hands before lowering back down. If this is too tough to start, try it with bent knees instead.

Don't forget to work hard, and have fun!

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