HIIT workout at home: Sweat it out at home
If you’re looking for a way to get fit fast, burn calories, and improve your health, you might want to try high intensity interval training (HIIT). HIIT is a form of exercise that involves alternating short bursts of intense activity with periods of rest or low intensity exercise. HIIT can be done with any type of exercise, such as running, cycling, jumping, or bodyweight exercises.
You don’t need any special equipment or a gym membership to do HIIT. You can do it at home, at any time that suits you. In this article, we’ll explain the benefits of HIIT, how to do it safely and effectively, and give you some examples of HIIT workouts you can try at home.
What are the benefits of HIIT?
HIIT has many advantages over other forms of exercise. Some of the benefits of HIIT include:
- Burning more calories in less time. HIIT can help you burn up to 30% more calories than other types of exercise, according to one study. This is because HIIT increases your metabolic rate during and after the workout, meaning you continue to burn calories even when you’re resting.
- Reducing body fat and improving body composition. HIIT can help you lose fat, especially around your abdomen, and increase your muscle mass. One study found that 12 weeks of HIIT reduced abdominal fat by 17% in young men. Another study found that 10 weeks of HIIT increased lean body mass by 1.5% in previously inactive adults.
- Improving cardiovascular and metabolic health. HIIT can help lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, and insulin levels. It can also improve your heart function and oxygen uptake. One study found that 10 weeks of HIIT improved cardiovascular and metabolic health as much as traditional moderate intensity exercise, but in half the time.
- Enhancing mental health and cognitive function. HIIT can boost your mood, reduce stress, and improve your self-esteem. It can also help prevent or treat depression and anxiety. HIIT may also benefit your brain health by enhancing your memory, attention, and learning abilities. One study found that six weeks of HIIT improved cognitive performance in older adults.
How to do HIIT safely and effectively?
HIIT is a challenging form of exercise that requires a lot of effort and motivation. It’s not suitable for everyone, especially if you have a medical condition or an injury that limits your ability to exercise intensely. Before starting any HIIT program, consult your doctor and make sure you’re healthy enough to do it.
To do HIIT safely and effectively, follow these tips:
- Warm up before each session. A proper warm-up prepares your body for the high intensity intervals and reduces the risk of injury. A warm-up should include some dynamic stretches, such as leg swings and arm circles, and some light cardio exercises, such as jogging or skipping.
- Choose exercises that suit your fitness level and goals. You can do HIIT with any type of exercise that gets your heart rate up quickly. Some examples are sprinting, jumping jacks, burpees, squats, push-ups, and mountain climbers. You can also use equipment like a bike, a rower, or a treadmill. Choose exercises that you enjoy and that challenge you enough to reach your target heart rate zone (usually between 80% and 95% of your maximum heart rate).
- Pick a work-to-rest ratio that works for you. The work-to-rest ratio is the amount of time you spend doing intense exercise versus the amount of time you spend resting or doing low intensity exercise. There is no fixed rule for this ratio, but generally speaking, the shorter the work interval, the higher the intensity should be. For example, if you do 20 seconds of hard work followed by 10 seconds of rest (a popular format called Tabata), you should aim for near-maximal effort during the work interval. If you do longer work intervals (such as 60 seconds), you can lower the intensity slightly to sustain it for longer.
- Do enough repetitions to complete a session. A typical HIIT session lasts between 10 and 30 minutes, depending on your fitness level and goals. You can do as many repetitions (or rounds) of work and rest intervals as you need to fill up this time frame. For example, if you do 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest (Tabata), you can do eight rounds to complete a four-minute session. You can then repeat this session two or three times with a short break in between to make up a full workout.
- Cool down after each session. A proper cool-down helps your body recover from the high intensity intervals and prevents soreness and stiffness. A cool-down should include some static stretches for all the major muscle groups involved in the workout, as well as some deep breathing and relaxation techniques.
Examples of HIIT workouts you can try at home
Here are some examples of HIIT workouts you can do at home with no equipment. You can adjust the work-to-rest ratio, the number of repetitions, and the intensity level according to your preference and ability. Remember to warm up before and cool down after each workout.
Workout 1: Full-body HIIT
This workout targets all the major muscle groups in your body and boosts your cardiorespiratory fitness.
- Do each exercise for 30 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of rest.
- Repeat the circuit four times, resting for one minute between each round.
The exercises are:
- Jumping jacks
Workout 2: HIIT with weights
This workout adds some resistance to your HIIT routine by using household items as weights, such as water bottles, books, or cans. You can also use dumbbells or kettlebells if you have them.
- Do each exercise for 40 seconds, followed by 20 seconds of rest.
- Repeat the circuit three times, resting for one minute between each round.
The exercises are:
- Squat and press (hold the weights at your shoulders, squat down, then stand up and press the weights overhead)
- Bent-over row (hold the weights in front of you, hinge at the hips, then pull the weights to your chest)
- Lunge and curl (hold the weights at your sides, step back into a lunge, then curl the weights to your shoulders)
- Deadlift and upright row (hold the weights in front of you, hinge at the hips, then stand up and pull the weights to your chin)
- Glute bridge and chest press (lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, hold the weights over your chest, then lift your hips and press the weights up)
Workout 3: HIIT with cardio equipment
This workout uses a bike, a rower, or a treadmill to increase your heart rate and challenge your endurance.
- Do each exercise for 60 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of rest.
- Repeat the circuit two times, resting for two minutes between each round.
The exercises are:
- Bike sprint (pedal as fast as you can with high resistance)
- Rower sprint (row as fast as you can with high resistance)
- Treadmill sprint (run as fast as you can with high incline)
Here are a few tips for HIIT workouts for advanced users:
- Increase the intensity of your workouts by reducing the rest intervals or increasing the difficulty of the exercises. For example, you could try doing burpees with push-ups or mountain climbers with alternating leg raises.
- Increase the duration of your workouts by adding more rounds or increasing the total amount of time you spend exercising. For example, you could try doing a 30-minute HIIT workout instead of a 20-minute workout.
- Add more challenging exercises to your workouts, such as weighted burpees, weighted mountain climbers, and box jumps.
- Try different HIIT workout formats, such as Tabata workouts (20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, 8 rounds total) or EMOM workouts (every minute on the minute, do a certain number of repetitions of an exercise).
HIIT is a great way to get fit fast, burn calories, and improve your health. You can do HIIT at home with no equipment or with some simple items. You can also use any type of exercise that gets your heart rate up quickly. The key is to alternate short periods of intense effort with short periods of rest or low intensity exercise.
HIIT can help you reduce body fat, improve cardiovascular and metabolic health, enhance mental health and cognitive function, and save time. Try some of the HIIT workouts we suggested or create your own. Remember to warm up before and cool down after each session. Have fun and enjoy the benefits of HIIT!