5 impactful HIIT workout exercises
What are HIIT workouts?
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has taken the way people train to a whole new level. The method behind the idea is pretty simple: short periods of full-on activity, followed by short periods of rest, so the body works harder than during a period of steady cardio.
How to do the workout
Go through each of these five exercises for 40 seconds each, resting for 20 seconds between each exercise. Repeat four times for a 20-minute workout. As always, consult your GP before starting any new exercise program.
1. Star jumps
How to do them: Stand with your feet together and your hands by your sides. Jump your feet out and raise your hands above your head, then jump back into the start position. See how fast you can do this for 40 seconds.
Expert tip: Make sure you are jumping on a flat padded surface such as grass or a gym mat to avoid injury. If you feel any pain in your knees or lower back, try and exercise without jumping such as squats.
2. Knee to elbow squats
How to do them: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with your weight in your heels and your hands behind your head. Squat so your thighs are parallel to the floor. Push back up to the starting position, engage your core and maintain a fluid motion as you lift your left knee up towards your right elbow, then return your left foot down, dip back into the squat, then come back up to repeat the same movement at the top with the right leg and left elbow. See how many of these you can do in 40 seconds.
Expert tip: As you squat, stick your bottom out as though you’re sitting down in a chair. Engage your core to protect your lower back.
3. Air punches
How to do them: Stand with your feet just wider than hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, core engaged and your weight in your toes. Perform 20 straight punches followed by 20 high air punches, all while shifting your weight from foot to foot. Focus on keeping your feet and hand movements fast for the entire 40 seconds.
Expert tip: When throwing a punch, curl your thumb over your index and middle fingers.
How to do them: Stand with your feet just wider than hip-width apart, then reach down and place your hands flat on the ground, bending your knees if you need to. Keep your core engaged as you slowly walk your hands out until you are in a high plank position. Hold for 1 second, before slowly walking your hands back to your feet and stand tall again. See how many you can complete in 40 seconds.
Expert tip: For an easier version, put your knees down on the ground before you start to walk your hands out.
How to do them: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Step your right leg out to the side and squat while reaching down with your left hand towards the ground or your right heel. Try to keep your back straight as you bend and ensure your knee doesn't go forward of your toes. Push through your right leg to come back up to the standing position, then repeat on the other side, alternating for 40 seconds.
Expert tip: Keep your core engaged to protect your back as you bend.