There’s a reason HIIT workouts are so popular, is that scientific research has shown that they’re effective for heart health, fat loss, and strength gain.

Studies show that compared to longer moderate-intensity aerobic exercises, HIIT improves cardio fitness much more among people with heart disease. HIIT workouts have also been proven to yield the same amount of strength gain as traditional resistance training, but in less time. In addition, HIIT workouts may outperform traditional cardio when it comes to fat loss because they can increase the body’s fat burning and energy expenditure for hours after exercise.

If you want to lose weight, incorporating HIIT workouts into your routine can be a good idea. They are quick and effective, and you can do them anywhere with no equipment.  Fitness athlete and fat loss dietitian, Rhoda Lucas, includes a short HIIT in her strength training workouts as part of her Elegant Eating Solution.

The Workout Structure

You will do two circuits of exercises. The first week you will do circuit 1, the second week you will do circuit 2, and then alternate between them while increasing intensity for some exercises. Listen to your body and modify the exercises as necessary.

In addition to a three-day-a-week workout routine, set aside 20 minutes on a fourth day for some interval cardio. This means alternating 30 seconds of slow movement with 30 seconds of faster movement, whether you’re doing jumping jacks, high knees or running in place, or biking or running outdoors. After two weeks, add in another cardio day for a total of five workout days per week, each no longer than 20 minutes.

Day 1: Straightforward HIIT

Day 2: REST

Day 3: Sideways HIIT

Day 4: REST

Day 5: Straightforward HIIT

Day 6: REST

Day 7: Sideways HIIT

Day 8: REST

Day 9: Sideways HIIT

*Try an advanced move

Day 10: REST

Day 11: Straightforward HIIT

*Try an advanced move

Day 12: REST

Day 13: Straightforward HIIT

Day 14: REST

Day 15: Sideways HIIT

*Complete an additional round

Day 16: REST

Day 17: Sideways HIIT

Day 18: REST

Day 19: Straightforward HIIT

*Complete an additional round

Day 20: REST

Day 21: Straightforward HIIT

Day 22: REST

Day 23: Sideways HIIT

*Increase side plank hold to 30 secs each side

Day 24: REST

Day 25: Straightforward HIIT

*Hold your plank for 45 secs

Day 26: REST

Day 27: Straightforward HIIT

Day 28: REST

Day 29: Sideways HIIT

Day 30: REST

Day 31: REST

Circuit 1: Straightforward HIIT

This workout consists of exercises that involve movement in all directions, with an emphasis on the front and back of the body. Repeat this workout 3 times for a total of 15 minutes.

Jumping High Knees

This exercises is to get your heart rate up! To do it, bring one knee up to your chest as you press your arms up in the air; lower that leg and then bring the other knee up to your chest. Alternate, and once you feel comfortable you can add in a bounce so that this turns into jumping high knees. Perform for 60 seconds (30 high knees on each leg).

Modifications:

To march, raise one leg at a time, pressing your knee up toward your chest and your arms up toward the ceiling. This is a low-impact way to increase your heart rate.

Squat

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Point your toes forward. Pull your navel in toward your spine. Sit back by bending your knees and reaching your buttocks back, as if you’re sitting in a chair. Press down with your heels, and then stand back up. Repeat this 10 times.

Modifications:

  1. This targets your quads and glutes more. A beginner level half squat is a squat where the individual only sits down halfway. This exercise is used to target the quads and glutes more.
  2. After you finish each squat, jump up and land softly with bent knees. Repeat this 10 times.

Push Ups

Begin this exercise by getting down on your hands and knees. Your hands should be positioned directly beneath your shoulders. Once you are in place, pull your navel in towards your spine and then tuck your toes under. The next step is to push your body back into a plank position. It is important to keep your gaze fixed on a point two inches in front of you throughout the exercise. To lower yourself into a push-up, bend your elbows out to the side. Once you have finished the push-up, press your body back up into the starting position. Repeat this process ten times.

Modification:

  1. Perform push-ups with your knees on the ground instead of your feet. Make sure your knees are slightly behind your hips, so that your body forms a straight line from your head to your knees. Doing this 10 times will complete the exercise.
  2. After completing a push-up, jump forward so your hands are in between your legs. From here, jump up into a high jump. Jump back into a plank position and repeat this 10 times.

Ab Lower & Lift

Start by lying on your back on the ground. Next, tuck your chin and bring your knees in toward your chest. From here, press your lower back into the ground as you lift your legs straight up toward the ceiling. Once your legs are all the way up, slowly lower them back down a few inches, but no lower than halfway toward the ground. From here, lift your legs back up to the starting position. Be sure to keep your lower back pressed into the ground the entire time. Repeat this 10 times.

Modification:

  1. Use bent knees when lying on your back. Your legs should be in a tabletop position. Lower the legs down towards the ground and then bring them back up to the starting position. Repeat 10 times.

Plank

Place your hands and knees on the ground, then raise your body into a plank position. Reach forward through the top of your head and reach back through your heels while pulling your abs up and in. Hold this for 20 seconds.

Modification:

  1. To modify the plank exercise, start by getting into the plank position on your knees instead of your toes. From there, lower your body down onto your knees, and hold the position for 20 seconds.
  2. Do another set of burpees now to make it more challenging.

Cardio Workout At Home To Burn Cals And Boost Your Mood

While you may already be aware of the benefits of cardio, you may not know that it is possible to get a great cardio workout at home without any equipment or even a lot of space.

Great bodyweight exercises are those that target all of the major muscle groups and get your heart pumping. They not only improve your cardiovascular endurance, but also your agility and core strength. These are all essential for anyone who wants to be fit.

Even though these moves are mostly easy, you should still be careful. Make sure to keep your abs tight and your back straight. Also, when you land from any jump, make sure your knees are bent and your toes and ankles are facing forward.

A good cardio routine at home should start with a dynamic warm-up to get you ready to sweat. Choose moves that you enjoy and follow them up with a cool-down. I recommend doing this type of workout at home at least three times a week.

This is a guide on how to turn everyday movements into a quick cardio workout that can be done from your living room, with nothing but a timer.

Time: 10–15 minutes

Equipment: none

Good for: cardio, core, lower body, shoulders

There are a lot of great exercises that you can do in order to stay fit. You should try to do a variety of exercises so that you can keep your body guessing and keep your muscles challenged. Try to do some cardio, some strength training, and some flexibility training.

Squat Thrusts

Squat thrusts are a great alternative to full burpees because they are low impact.

To do this exercise, start in a plank position with your wrists and elbows beneath your shoulders, your core tight, and your legs straight. Bend your knees to jump your feet forward outside your hands, then lift your chest and bring your hands together in front of your body, coming into a low squat. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds, then immediately move on to your next exercise. After you’ve completed all three or four moves in your circuit, rest for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat for three to four rounds total.

You can increase the intensity of this movement by adding a jump at the top, or you can decrease the intensity by stepping your feet in and out instead of jumping.

Crab Toe Reaches

The best thing about crab toe presses is that they work out your whole body, including your core, arms, glutes, and hamstrings. They’re also really enjoyable to do.

Begin in a reverse table-top position with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Your arms should be extended slightly behind your body, with your palms pressed into the mat emails facing your glutes. Bend your elbows straight back to lower your butt to tap the floor, then straighten your arms while lifting your right arm and left leg off the floor. Straighten both and reach a right hand for the left foot. Reverse the movement to return to start and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. Continue for 30 to 60 seconds, then immediately move on to your next exercise. After you’ve completed all three or four moves in your circuit, rest for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat for three to four rounds total.

Plank Jacks

This move is a great combination of core and cardio because it adds some simple movement to planks.

Start by sitting in a high plank position with your feet placed mat-width apart. From there, hop your feet together before moving them back to the starting position. This is one rep. Repeat this process for 30 to 60 seconds before moving on to your next exercise. After you’ve completed all three or four exercises in your circuit, take a 15 to 30 second break and repeat the entire process three to four times.

For a more intense workout, loop a resistance band around your ankles. To make it easier on your joints, step one foot out at a time.

Lateral Toe Taps

They are great for your cardiovascular system.

To do this exercise, put a dumbbell or small object on the mat in front of your feet. Put your right foot on top of the object, and leave your left foot on the ground. Quickly switch feet, so your left foot is on top of the object. Continue alternating feet, tapping your toes on the object for 30 to 60 seconds. Then move on to the next exercise.

This exercise tests your coordination and stability by having you rotate around a target object while tapping your toes.

Wrist-to-Ankles

They are great for getting your heart rate up while making you feel like you are at a party.

Stand up and raise your right leg in front of you, keeping it straight. At the same time, swing your left hand in front of your body toward your right ankle. Immediately repeat on the other side. That’s one rep. After you’ve completed all three or four moves in your circuit, rest for 15 to 30 seconds and repeat for three to four rounds total.

You can make this move less intense by slowing it down and removing the hops.

 

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About Rhoda ...

Rhoda is an award-winning dietitian, mature age model, and CEO of Sayvana Women.  

She is the creator of the Elegant Eating Solution, an affordable program that helps women avoid weight regain and feel great about themselves, without restrictive eating.

Elegant Eating is based on the science of protein leverage and follows the unique R.E.M.A.P approach to successful aging.

Learn More About Elegant Eating and How to Get Started

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