This quick HIIT routine, though short and simple in nature, is far from easy. Meant to be done 2-4 times a day to burn maximum calories, this HIIT routine is designed to take full advantage of the after burn effect created by this type of workout.
Fully embracing the “Keep It Simple” mantra, this bodyweight high intensity interval training routine uses the Tabata interval length of 20 seconds of activity and 10 seconds of rest per set. Using only three exercises and doing two sets of each exercise before moving to the next exercise creates an easy three minute calorie burner that we are going to do twice through.
The beauty of this six minute workout is not that it can burn 48-84 calories (8-14 cal/min) by itself but that when used multiple times throughout a day it can drastically increase the overall calories burned by your body, even while you are resting.
For example, if you do this routine 4 times throughout the course of a day (a total of 24 minutes of exercise) you can burn not just the sum of each workout’s calorie burn of 192-336 calories but you also get an “after burn” bump of up to one calorie per minute for the next two to three hours or more while resting. When you do this routine every three hours throughout your waking day then you never let your metabolism go back to normal, causing you to burn up to an extra 720 calories per day. That means that this simple 6 minute routine, if done four times in a day with at least a three hour break in between each round, can burn up to 1056 calories total in a 24 hour period.
That is the beauty of HIIT workouts, not just that they can work on strength training and cardiovascular training at the same time but that they also have one of the highest if not the highest “after burn effects” compared to any other style of physical training.
Another advantage of HIIT is that it can actually help you build muscle (type 2 fast twitch muscles, to be specific). It’s worth mentioning that typical endurance cardio (longer duration, steady state) doesn’t always offer this benefit and in fact can even result in the breaking down of such muscles.
This routine works great as a standalone cardio workout that you can do at home without any equipment, and it also pairs well with strength training routines in order to increase your overall caloric expenditure.
Printable HIIT Routine - 20 on 10 off twice per exercise (one minute per exercise)
Toe Touch Jumps – Start in an upright position, squat down to touch your toes and then jump upward explosively, reaching towards the ceiling.
Jumping Jacks – A classic bodyweight cardio move, this one feels easy in between the other two, but still manages to get all of the muscle groups engaged.
High Knees – Get your knees up high, and do it quickly. You can easily adjust the difficulty of this HIIT exercise by adjusting the pace that you’re bringing your knees up. You can make it harder by really pushing yourself and making quick transitions in which knee is lifted, and you can also slow it down drastically by just doing high knee steps, where one foot is always on the ground.
Make sure that you do a quick stretch, particularly in the lower body muscles, after you complete this workout. Drink lots of water, eat healthily, and come back and workout with us again tomorrow (or come back for a second session today, if you’re feeling brave).