HIIT (or High Intensity Interval Training) has become more and more popular over the past couple of years, with the realisation that taking part in this type of training can do some serious burning of body fat, whilst taking up practically none of your day!
So what is HIIT?
High Intensity Interval Training is a form of exercise where you alternate between very intense periods of exercise, teamed with short rest periods or low intensity exercise. The ‘on’ periods should be performed at a 100% effort level, and the ‘off’ periods at about 50%.
You can do HIIT training using cardio machines such as treadmills, bikes or cross trainers or you can use a whole host of other gym favourites to get that heart pumping and fat burning. Most of the time, you won’t need any equipment at all – just your own body weight, and you’ll be able to complete a heart racing HIIT circuit.
Here are my Top 10 HIIT Moves to Blast Body Fat:
#One – Sprints
– Using one of the cardio machines in your gym, alternate with 30 seconds of high intensity exercise, followed by 1 minute of low intensity exercise.
– With practice, reduce the time of the ‘off’ period of HIIT exercise until you get down to 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off.
#Two – Mountain Climbers
– Get into a press up position, with your body forming a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles.
– Lift one foot off the floor and bring your knee as close to your chest as possible.
– Return to the starting position and repeat with the other leg.
– Continue alternating as fast as possible for the allotted time.
Extra Points: Bring your knee diagonally across your body to intensify your workout
#Three – Kettlebell Swings
– Stand over the kettlebell with your feet hip-width apart.
– Squat down and grip the kettlebell with palms facing you, making sure you keep your chest up and shoulders back.
– Stand up and soften the knees, shifting your bodyweight into your heels, and get ready to swing!
– Drive through the heel and hips and swing the kettlebell upwards from your quads. Aim for chest height with your arms extended. When reaching this point, straighten your hips and contract your core whilst squeezing those glutes.
– Repeat this motion, remembering to keep your chest up and shoulders back when you lower back down for this full body HIIT move.
#Four – High Knees
– Run in place, bringing you knees up to your chest as high as you can, as fast as you can.
– Use your arms and pump as quickly as possible.
Tiffy Top Tip: Lean back slightly to bring those knees higher, and try and land on the balls of your feet to switch your legs as fast as you can.
#Five – Burpees
– Stand with your feet hip width apart and arms down by your side.
– Lower into a squat position with your hands flat on the floor in front of you.
– Kick your legs back to go into the press up position.
– Push your chest back up and jump back into a squat.
– Jump up and raise both hands above your head. Clap for extra emphasis!
Variation: Go into a tuck jump to add some extra oomph into your burpees!
#Six – Russian Twist
– Sit on the floor with your knees bent.
– Lean back so your feet are lifted off of the ground and pick up a weight or medicine ball (optional).
– Engage your core and rotate right to left, ensuring to keep your spine straight and not rounded.
– Repeat this movement for the allotted time.
#Seven – Lunges
– Stand up straight with your shoulders back and relaxed.
– Pick a point in front of you so that you don’t look down.
– Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both legs are at a 90 degree angle. Make sure your front knee is above your ankle, not pushing forward.
– Keep the weight in your heels as you push back up to the starting position.
– Repeat with other leg.
Variation: Hold dumbbells to add extra weight into your lunges, or speed switch your lunges, keeping as low to the ground as possible when switching from one foot to the other.
#Eight – Squats
– Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms down by your side.
– Slowly lower your body back as far as you can by pushing your hips back and bending your knees, with your weight pushing into your heels (like you are sitting on a chair that’s far behind you).
– Your arms will start to raise out in front of you for balance.
– Your lower body should be parallel with the floor and remember to keep your chest lifted.
– Pause and then lift back up into the starting position.
Tiffy Top Tip: Don’t let your knees go over your toes, and remember to keep your spine straight.
#Nine – 90 Degree Crunch
– Lie down on a mat face up, with you knees bent at a 90 degree angle.
– Engage your core and lift up into a crunch, keeping your knees over your hips.
– Repeat this for the allotted time.
Variation: Add some extra weight by holding a medicine ball out above your head when lifting into the crunch.
#Ten – Plank
– Start in a press up position.
– Bend your elbows and rest your weight onto your forearms.
– Your body should form a straight line from shoulders to ankles.
– Engage your core by sucking your belly button to your spine, and hold!
Variation: Make this exercise more difficult by moving in and out of the press up position, one hand at a time.
These full body exercises can be paired up and completed 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off for 4 minutes per pair. That’s just 20 minutes of exercise with more benefits than running for an hour and a half at a steady state!! I use this track to complete my workouts – as it is perfectly timed so I don’t need to be watching a clock or looking at a stopwatch.
If you haven’t already tried HIIT, give it a go!