Best HIIT Workouts at Home
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Do you want to improve on your fitness, diet and self-confidence all from the comfort and convenience of your home? Do you want to avoid the bothers of gym membership fees, long lines and overcrowded workout areas?
If you have answered yes to any or all of these, you have no reason to worry: there is a playbook of safe, effective and practical at home workouts that you can do to maximize yourself, and to fulfill the image that you see when you envision your future self.
With High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) exercises, you can supplement a lot of your gym workouts into short, yet highly intense, training regimens.
Instead of spending long and tiresome minutes on the treadmill or bike, where you are in the same position for the entire duration, you can fit in multiple workouts in your HIIT cycle.
Instead of forcing yourself to reach your daily situp goal or pushing yourself to do your maximum rep pushups, HIIT workouts are a fair and even more effective way to accomplish your fitness goals.To begin, we should define exactly what High Intensity Interval Training really is, because after all, a good understanding of what this type of workout can avoid improper workout form and instead lead to more successful results.
HIIT is a mixture of cardiovascular and strength training workout routines that are intended to produce results in a shorter amount of time than a standard 1-2 hour training session.
Basically, the main purpose of a HIIT workout is to burn calories quickly, and to have that sustained over a long period of time.
With this in mind, we can look at what HIIT workouts usually look like. If your routine consists of short bursts of really intense movement, followed by a small break period of less intense exercise, and then repeating that cycle, you are looking at a HIIT workout.
The idea is similar to a runner sprinting at full speed for some time, then switching to jogging lightly for a short while, and then switching back. In essence, you are aiming to work out intensely, then giving your body a slight breather while keeping your heart rate up.
Doing these types of exercises really optimizes your time efficiency by completing full body workout routines that possess a well balanced ratio between working and resting.
From a short historical perspective, HIIT workouts started becoming popular only a few years ago, as the general public started to embrace home workout culture and lifestyles, instead of keeping exercise and working out strictly at the gym.
There was also a change in attitude toward pursuing healthier lifestyles and removing the idea that fitness, confidence and mental well being were only meant for celebrities, models, professional athletes or high culture society.
With all of these ideas working together, it would only be a matter of time that at home workouts started to improve, and that experts would share more effective ways of working out, such as HIIT.
What started out as 20 seconds of intense exercise, then 10 seconds of rest, then repeating the cycle, HIIT workouts have developed into one of the best ways of accomplishing any fitness goal.
So, what specific categories can HIIT workouts affect?
Any HIIT workout will primarily focus almost equally on fat loss and metabolic rate, but many positive byproducts will result from your body losing fat and through your metabolic rate changing.
This type of workout will accomplish this by burning many calories quickly while sustaining muscle mass over the duration of the workout.
In addition to this, you will notice your stamina increase as you workout with more regularity and your heart rate being more controlled.
HIIT workouts can reach a wide variety of positive changes for your body and mind, all while providing a workout routine that is highly efficient and practical when it comes to time and time management.
Body Fat Loss Through HIIT
When it comes to body fat loss, HIIT workouts are hugely successful and effective.
As a well proven exercise regimen, studies have shown that across a 12 week period, those who do HIIT workouts three to four times a week noticed a significant drop in their cardiovascular disease risk percentage and body fat percentage, while noticing increased blood flow in the veins and better vascular performance overall.
Further studies have noted that across a 12 week period, HIIT workouts three times a week at 20 minutes per workout resulted in approximately four lbs of weight loss, assuming that no dietary changes occurred.
In the same studies, the participants have remarked that a whopping 17 percent of visceral fat was worked off--in other words, the fat that primarily surrounds your internal organs, called visceral fat, was reduced by 17 percent over 12 weeks of 20 minute HIIT workouts, three times a week.
Metabolic Rate Changes from HIIT
If you are unfamiliar with this term, this is a key aspect of HIIT workouts that makes it one of the most effective methods of exercise.
Metabolic rate directly relates to your metabolism, and how well your body continues to burn calories long after you complete your workout.
This is an important aspect of fitness because, for most people, you are not working out for the majority of your day--workouts would only consist of a few minutes or hours of your average day, which is significantly less when compared to hours spent at your job, while sleeping, etc.
With successful HIIT workouts directly improving your metabolic rate, you will notice that over time, your body will behave more favourably even if your daily habits, diet, or patterns do not significantly change.
Certain studies on the subject of HIIT workouts and metabolic rate have noted that participants’ noticed better metabolisms even though they had not worked out for hours. In this sense, HIIT workouts directly impact calories burning in between your workouts.
Increased Workout Stamina Through HIIT
It seems like a contradiction--a workout that focuses on shorter intervals, increasing your overall stamina?
It can be a difficult concept to understand, but this is another way that HIIT exercise can help improve your fitness routine.
If you think of the Olympics or any standard track and field event, there are always races like the 100m dash, or one of its counterparts, the 200m dash.
This example is a bit of a stretch, but the image here is that a runner wants to be able to use their maximum speed for longer stretches of distance. The same can be said of marathons as well.
Some runners can give 100% for half the distance, while other runners can give 100% for only a quarter of the distance, and so on. A common way to improve on this is through HIIT training.
On your first workout, you will notice that you can only go a few seconds or minutes at your maximum capacity and that you will need a longer time of lower intensity to get back up to form.
As you do HIIT workouts more often, you will start to notice that you can go longer and longer at maximum capacity, and that you do not need as much time to recharge with low intensity activities.
Soon after, you can adjust your HIIT training to longer intervals of high intensity, or keep the duration of time the same, but do more intense exercising.
An added bonus of HIIT workouts is the time efficiency.
In terms of mentality and your mind being at the correct state of thought when approaching the workout, your body will generally perform better over a short amount of time, especially when the workout routine alternates between high and low intensity and spurts of energy.
As opposed to some other forms of exercise like isolated strength training, cardiovascular endurance or stationary cardio training, HIIT workouts are a proven way to do more over a shorter amount of time.
Suggested HIIT Workouts to Do at Home
Everyone has different bodies and there is a huge variety of fitness goals ranging from weight loss, muscle building, higher self confidence, higher sport performance, training the mind, and the list goes on and on.
Luckily, HIIT workout regimens are vast and can cater to all of these fitness goals, and it is important to use any of the following workouts that best fits your personal needs.
However, the best HIIT workouts in general are the ones that mix resistance training while keeping your heart rate up. So, any kind of movements like: push ups, sit ups, crunches, lunges, jumping jacks, squats, presses, sprints and high knees, among others, are ideal.Keeping this in mind, here are a few suggested HIIT workouts to really hammer home a successful and effective workout. These are in no particular order, and feel free to pick and choose which ones suit your personal goals the best.
#1. Tabata Protocol
Created by Japanese doctor, Izumi Tabata, this introductory HIIT routine is ideal for beginners, and requires a piece of cardio equipment that allows you to change the resistance (stationary bike, climbers, elliptical, etc.). This workout focuses on the legs and the heart and is approximately eight minutes in length.
Pedal for two minutes at a moderate pace, increasing resistance by one every 45 seconds
20 seconds maximum effort, 10 seconds low effort, four times
Do this workout three times per week, with at least one day of recovery between workouts.
#2. 4 x 4 Interval Training
This HIIT workout is best suited for those who want to follow a seven-week program. The 4 x 4 generally follows the formula of high intensity for four minutes, then three minutes of mid intensity. It requires a treadmill, or a space to run.
10 moderate jog
5 minute moderate jogging
#3. Sprint Interval HIIT Workout
The most basic HIIT workout, requiring a treadmill or space to run.
Basic stretch to prevent cramps
#4. 20/20 Full Body Cardio Workout
This HIIT workout focuses on the entire body, involving jumps and planks mostly, alternating with 20 second exercises and 20 second rest periods.
This workout requires a clear area and ceilings high enough to prevent accidental bumps or tripping hazards.
Basic stretch to prevent cramps
#5. Jump Rope Interval HIIT Workout
Focusing on cardiovascular training, this routine is favoured by boxers and combat fighters. This requires a safe space to move around without obstacles.
#6. Burpee Interval HIIT Workout
Focusing on core strength, cardio and stamina, the burpee is one of the trademarks of HIIT routines. It requires a pull up bar and a safe space to jump and land without obstructions.
A soft surface would be ideal if you are prone to heavy falling and landing.
#7. Abdominal HIIT Exercises
Ideal for core strength and endurance, this HIIT workout is a common practice and requires a yoga mat, or similar surface, and a foot place holder, if you require one for sit-ups.
A soft surface would be ideal if you are prone to heavy falling and landing.
#8. Lower Body HIIT Workout
Focusing on the legs, this HIIT workout mixes strength, cardio and calisthenics, while not allowing for rest only after each circuit. You will only need a safe space to not bump into anything.
#9. 30s Blast
This HIIT workout focuses on the core and develops endurance. For this routine, you will need to do approximately five different moves at high intensity before resting for 30 to 60 seconds. You will need a safe space to move around safely without obstacles.
Simple stretches to avoid cramping.
#10. Strength Training HIIT Workout
This workout provides an alternative goal for those who want to focus on strength training and muscle build. With still providing an all around workout, this cycle works best with resistance equipment and will require a treadmill or stationary bike and two dumbbells of equal weight.
Simple stretch to avoid cramps and accidental muscle pulls
#11. Battle Ropes HIIT Workout
As yet another alternative for those who have a more diverse home gym setup, this HIIT exercise uses battle ropes to work on strength, cardio, stamina and endurance. You will need two battle ropes, footwear with good grips and a safe space to use them at their full lengths.
Upper body stretches to prevent cramps and accidental muscle pull
While these are only a few HIIT workouts you can do from home, there is a wide variety of routines you can do. HIIT is so workout friendly and available for all, any of the above recommendations can easily help you work toward your fitness goals.