High-intensity workouts, like Tabata and HIIT, are all the rage, ranking at the top of fitness trends for 2014 and for good reason. I’ve been doing this style of workout myself and with my clients for years, and can say these exercises work wonders. You get your heart rate up and can burn more fat in less time. They’re also more fun than slogging away on a treadmill.
The idea is to give your all for quick, intense bursts of exercise followed by a short active or inactive rest period.
Here are some of my favorite moves. You can do them anywhere and with no equipment (all you need is a timer). Perform each exercise for 20 to 30 seconds, followed by a recovery period of 10 to 15 seconds or with an “active” recovery period (marching/jogging in place):
One round takes four-to-six minutes to complete and you can repeat the routine several times. Warm-up for a few minutes by jogging in place and stretch as needed. Make sure you're hydrated before, during and after your session and always listen to your body.
Let me know how you do!
Stand with feet together, knees soft, abs pulled in tight and hands tucked in front of chest.
“Jack” legs open and closed, landing lightly on feet.
2. Alternating Lunges
Stand with feet a few inches apart, chest lifted and hands on hip.
Step forward with right leg into a lunge, keeping front knee over front ankle as left knee lowers toward the ground. Step back and switch legs. Continue alternating.
BONUS: Split Jumps: Begin with feet hip width apart, arms at your sides or hands on hips. Perform a small jump upwards while simultaneously moving your right leg forward and left leg backwards, landing in a lunge with right knee bent directly over your toes, left knee bent directly in line with your hip. Jump and at the same time reverse legs. Repeat.
3. 180 Hop-Squat
Stand with legs a little wider than hip width apart, knees soft and lower into a squat.
Hop up and around 180 degrees ...
... and land in a soft squat. Hop back around into starting squat position, changing up direction from time to time.
Get into plank position, hands on the ground directly under your shoulders, legs about hip-width apart.
Bend your elbows and lower your entire body until it almost touches the ground (or as far down as you can).
Return to start position. Modified: Perform as above but on knees.
Stand with weight on left leg, right foot slightly off the ground.
Leap to the right as high as you can.
Land on softly on right foot. Repeat to the left “skating” side to side.
6. Bicycle Abs
Lie on your back, hands behind your head and “bicycle” left elbow towards right knee.
Bicycle right elbow towards left knee. Repeat cycle and try extending legs close to the ground as you twist torso.
7. Leg Drops
Lie on back with flat palms under your butt for stability, legs together in the air.
Lower and lift legs with control. Bend knees slightly if needed.
Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder width, chest lifted. arms extended or at sides.
Squat back keeping knees over toes. Keep abs and butt engaged as you lower and lift and don’t “snap” knees out as you rise back up.
And there you go: your six-minute high intensity workout! Enjoy!
Photo credit: Adhat Campos