The HIIT List


This article originally appeared in Iowa Momentum magazine where I have a featured column. If you live in Des Moines, pick up a copy at Gateway Market, Dahls, Back Country Outfitters, and any other place that has a plethora of free literature waiting for you to get your hands on! All the photographs are courtesy of Dylan Huey of Huey Photography. Give him some love and check out his website. Better yet, hire him to take photos!

As you welcome the New Year, consider exploring new ways to stay in shape! If you are looking for something a little different from your typical 30-minute cardio routine at the gym, or perhaps want to add intensity to your current plan, consider HIIT, or high intensity interval training.

HIIT is not a new concept but it has grown in popularity over recent years. This type of workout entails short bursts of high-intensity exercises with little rest in between. A lot of the exercises will remind you of being in gym class – think Burpees, mountain climbers, and jumping jacks to name a few. Instead of an endurance workout on the treadmill, bike, or pavement lasting 30 minutes or more, HIIT is done within a much smaller timeframe, which is one reason why it has become so appealing given the fast paced lifestyles so many tend to live. Instead of 30 minutes, think 30 seconds! Yes, 30 second bursts of energy with 10 seconds of rest is one of the most effective ways to get and stay in shape. My top four reasons you should consider HIIT training are:

1. You get more for less! Time is a precious commodity and this is an easy way to get an effective workout during your busy day. Most HIIT routines are less than 20 minutes and there’s even some that take only seven minutes! Everyone has seven minutes, right!

2. You can do HIIT workouts in your home. When it is 3 degrees but feels like a negative 14, you can break a sweat and boost your metabolism in your living room.

3. There is no equipment required for HIIT training. In many ways our bodies are the best equipment and resource we have to get a great workout. 

4.You can get a cardio and strength workout all in one! While HIIT routines will get your heart racing, they also give your muscles a great resistance workout.

Here are three simple HIIT routines to follow. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds at a high level of intensity. Rest 10 seconds between exercises. Depending on how much time you have and your level of fitness, perform one to three circuits of each routine. 

Routine One – Heart Racer
* indicates photo included to help with exercise
Jumping Jacks
Mountain Climbers*
Row Boats
Triceps Dips
Alternating Lunges
Speed Skaters*
High Knees*

*Mountain Climbers – Watch form on these; keep gaze to floor for neutral spine. final-9429

*Burpees – Strong form on Burpees – get low and power back up with long arms!Burpees

*Speed Skater – How low can you go? You can do these with little hops in between sides to increase

*High Knees – I like to hold my hands out and get my knees high enough to tap the palms of my handsfinal-9421

Routine Two – Strength Booster
In bold are links to videos that showcase exercises
Plank Push-Ups – Start in push-up position and rotate to a side plank. Alternate sides with push-ups in between.
Triceps Push-Ups – Hands are under shoulders instead of shoulder distance.
Plank Mix-Up – Start on forearms, push up to palms, and continue through this rotation.
Starter Blocks – Watch this video to help you!
Squat Jumps* – Add a jump to your traditional squat
Jump Lunges – Add a little jump as you alternate lunges side to side
Triceps Dips – Can use a chair or stairs!
Crab Walk – From the floor in triceps dip position, walk forward and back

*Squat Jumps – Get those arms up high and don’t forget to smile because you’re having so much fun!final-9427

Routine Three – The Combo
This is a throwback to my 2013 New Year New You Workout! It’s a short and sweet cardio and strength workout! My husband is kind enough to help me with exercise videos but we haven’t filmed in over a year. My goal is to get back into videos in 2015 so stay tuned!

So there you have it, three HIIT routines that you can try for the New Year. One of my favorite aspects of HIIT training is that I can mix it up whenever and however I like! Get moving and make 2015 the best year yet.