Picture the scene. You’re away on a business trip and your hotel doesn’t have a gym. Or you’re staying with the in-laws in the middle of nowhere and the closest gym is an hour away. Your workout routine will just have wait until you get home, right?
Luckily for you, there are plenty of HIIT moves you can do literally anywhere. No more making excuses that you can’t get to the gym or that the weather is bad and you can’t be bothered to trek out after work.
If you’re serious about your fitness, HIIT (or high-intensity interval training) is a great way to supercharge your cardio fitness. As the name suggests, a HIIT workout involves intense intervals of different moves or exercises.
Popular moves you may already know include burpees or push-ups. The idea is to do as many reps of each move in a set space of time followed by a short rest. Workouts are often put together in circuits and will often work different areas of the body.
The best HIIT workouts are varied and don’t require any equipment. This makes it very easy to get an intense cardio workout and a full body strength workout in a short space of time. If you’re looking for a varied and energetic workout to help keep your fitness on track when you can’t get to the gym, look no further.
Aim to do as many reps of each exercise as possible in 30 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds. Rotate through the entire list of exercises and then rest for 1 minute. Repeat the entire set 5 times if you’re a beginner and challenge yourself to more sets if you are feeling stronger. The beginner’s workout should take no more than 25 minutes to complete.
#1. Spider plank
If you want to sculpt your core, the plank is a great place to start, but some people don’t like the stationary nature of a traditional plank. To counteract the boredom, why not upgrade to spider planks? Start in a regular plank position with your arms below your shoulders, your bum tucked in and your core straight. Bring your right knee up towards your left elbow and then return to a central position. Then do the same with your left knee, this time bringing it towards your right elbow. Repeat as many times as you can and try to keep your movements controlled and steady.
This essential HIIT exercise is an essential move in many HIIT boxing workout routines. Start by standing with your legs hip-width apart. Make sure there is enough space behind you to extend your legs out. Drop down in a low squat, plant your hands on the floor and kick your feet out so that your legs are extended behind you. To make it harder, lower down into a low push up and then raise yourself up again. When you reach the top of your push up, jump your legs forward so they are just in front of your hands. Jump straight in the air with as much power as you can muster. Repeat as many times as you can, focussing on control and form over speed.
#3. Leg lower
At this point in the workout, you’ll likely be grateful for a lie-down. Lay on the floor with your arms by your side and your legs together. Bending at the hip, lift your legs straight up in the air to a 90° angle. Lower them down slowly, focussing on keeping your back flat. Make sure you keep breathing through this exercise.
#4. Curtsy Lunge
Back on your feet again, you’re going to stand with your legs hip-width apart. Still facing forward, step back and to the left with your right foot. Lower down into a squat until your knee almost touches the floor. Raise yourself back up and bring your foot back to the center. Repeat the same move on the other side, stepping back to to the right with your left foot. As with all of these moves, the focus should be on stability over speed.
As you may have guessed, the next move focuses on your upper body and core. Back on the floor, keep your feet together and hold yourself up using your arms. Keep your arms shoulder-width apart. Moving them closer to the center of your body will make this exercise harder as you work different muscles. Drop to your knees if you want to make your push up easier. Do as many as you can in your 30-second interval.