If you’re short on time, and short on equipment then maybe HIIT is the answer. High Intensity Interval Training or ‘HIIT’ is a broad term for workouts that involve short periods of intense exercise alternated with recovery periods. For example, a good starter HIIT workout is running as fast as you can for one minute, and then walking for 2 minutes and repeat. One of the biggest advantages is that you can get big health benefits in minimal time. Not only do you burn more calories during a HIIT workout than steady-state cardio, but the effect of the intense exertion kicks your body’s repair cycle into overdrive. That means your body burns more calories in the 24 hours after a HIIT workout than you would after a steady-state run.
Running, cycling, jump roping and rowing all work great for HIIT workouts, but you don’t necessarily need equipment to get it done. High knees, fast feet, or anything plyometric work just as well to get your heart rate up.
We challenged our Muscle Consultants Kyle and Lauren to come up with a lower and upper body HIIT workout using limited equipment. We understand that when working out at home you’re often looking for a quick, effective workout but lack the space for heaps of heavy and bulky equipment. With that in mind, we gave them some items from a Squad Starter Set which can include a gym mat, a pair of dumbbells, a slam ball, a kettlebell and a set of resistance bands.
Give this lower body HIIT workout a try doing 40 seconds of exercise, followed by 20 seconds of rest. Aim for 3-4 rounds if possible, or more if you can!
Stand with your back straight and feet shoulder width apart. Lower into a half-squat position and hold the
kettlebell in both hands so that your palms are facing your body. Keep your core tight and a slight bend in your knees as you straighten your legs pushing from the heels and explode through the hips swinging the kettlebell to chest height. As you swing the kettlebell down between your legs, return to the half-squat position.
Stand with your feet just over hip-width apart, toes turned slightly out. Squat down with your weight in your heels, proud chest, knees tracking over toes and a neutral spine. When you hit the bottom of the squat, drive hard through your legs and heels as you launch straight up, with your toes last to leave the ground. Land softly, then use the momentum of the landing to right into your next one.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart and loop the resistance bands carefully and safely under both feet. Hold the resistance band in both hands next to your shoulders, with your palms facing forward. Press the band directly over your shoulders until your arms are straight. Simultaneously lower your body until your knees are at a 90-degree angle and lower your hands back down to your shoulders. And repeat!
Kneeling Prisoner Squats
Grab a gym mat to protect your knees. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, feet parallel. Place both hands behind your head, with elbows back and chest lifted. Kneel down, your knees should be in line with your hips and your feet in line with your knees, with your upper body standing tall and your hips in a neutral position. With your core engaged and shoulders back, drop your hips down and back towards your heels. When your glutes touch your calves, drive through the hips and bring yourself back up to the starting position. Bodyweight should be enough of a challenge, but you can intensify this by holding a kettlebell .
Plyometric Lunge Kick Through
Begin in a high plank position. Your hands should be about shoulder-width apart. In one sweeping motion, rotate your body to the left and kick your right foot through. Using your left arm, touch your hand to your toe (or as close as you can). Bring your hand and foot back to high plank position and then repeat on the opposite side. Remember to keep your legs as straight as possible
Upper-body HIIT session
If you’re looking for an upper-body HIIT session, give this one a try. 40 seconds of work, followed by 20 seconds of rest. Aim for 3-4 rounds.
Get into a plank position, making sure to evenly distribute your weight evenly between your hands and toes. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart, back flat, abs engaged and head in alignment. Pull your right knee into your chest as far as you can. Switch legs, pulling one knee out and bringing the other knee in. Keep your hips down and run your knees in as fast as you can.
Dumbbell Push Press
Stand hip-width apart with the dumbbells resting lightly on your shoulders. Keeping your back straight, bend your knees slightly, just enough to get some momentum without going into a full squat. As soon as the knees are slightly flexed, extend your hips and knees simultaneously by driving through your heels while pressing the dumbbells overhead. With controlled motion, lower the dumbbells back down to your shoulders and repeat.
Hand Release Push Up
Start in a high plank position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists and core engaged. Lower down until your chest hits the floor. Keep elbows at a 45-degree angle from your torso. At the bottom, pick up your hands to hover over the floor a few inches. Then, place your palms back down, and without arching your back push up back into the high plank position.
Kettlebell High Pull
Start with the kettlebell on the floor between your feet. Your feet should be slightly more than shoulder-width apart. With your spine in a neutral position, bend your knees and pick up the kettlebell. Raise the kettlebell until the handle reaches chin level, pointing your elbows up in the process. Lower the kettlebell back to your waist.
Dumbbell Alternating One Arm Snatch
Using an overhand grip, grab a dumbbells in one hand and stand with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Descend your hips to the floor until your knees are bent at 90-degrees and dumbbells is resting on the floor. Quickly pull the dumbbells towards the ceiling whilst simultaneously extending your knees and hips and raising your body on the balls of your feet. Keep the dumbbells close to your body. As the dumbbells reaches the highest point, quickly rotate your elbow under the weight to extend your arm. The dumbbells will rest over to the top of your shoulder with the palm facing away from your body. Repeat the other side. This exercise also works well with a kettlebell.
You only need a few pieces of key equipment to get started, check out our range of dumbbells, kettlebells, gym mats and squad starter sets