Not everyone has the time, money, or even interest to spend on an expensive gym membership. You’ve got plenty of other responsibilities to juggle, and working out may seem like a lower priority. Add the COVID-19 pandemic to this equation and you have a great excuse to skip the gym altogether.
Now, even if you don’t have much interest in investing too much time and money in gyming, it is obviously in your best interest to stay in shape for a longer, happier, and healthier life. And the thing is, committing to regular and effective exercise doesn’t have to require a huge investment in terms of time and money.
What is HIIT Training?
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training and it’s a super-effective way to torch calories and build strength with minimal time and money investment. As the name suggests, HIIT workouts are meant to produce maximum results through short bursts of intense effort.
HIIT can be done with little-to-no equipment and requires little space for movement (can be done in your living room or balcony), thus making them a great option for working out at home. So whether you’re looking to shed some pounds fast or gain overall body strength at home, HIIT is a training style you should certainly consider.
Benefits of HIIT Workout
By now, you already have an idea about why HIIT deserves your attention. Here are some more concrete benefits of doing HIIT workouts at home.
HIIT couples strength and cardio training
HIIT workouts often include both full-body strength training and cardio exercises. This means you are able to increase your muscular strength, lose body fat, and improve cardio fitness, all in a single workout. HIIT training has an ‘after burn’ effect, burning more calories after your workout is complete than a longer, lower-intensity training session such as cycling or running.
HIIT doesn’t eat up your time and burns more calories
HIIT training is usually short, lasting from 10 minutes to half an hour. So it is ideal for you if you lack the time or prefer shorter and more intense workouts. In fact, a study compared the calories burned for 30 minutes each of HIIT, weight training, running, and biking.
The results suggested that HIIT burned 25–30% more calories than the other forms of exercise.
HIIT Can Improve Oxygen Consumption
Oxygen consumption refers to your muscles’ ability to use oxygen, and endurance training (such as running or cycling) is usually performed to improve your oxygen consumption.
Several studies conclude that HIIT can improve oxygen consumption as much as traditional steady-state endurance training, even if you only train for about half as long.
HIIT has other major health benefits
There’s a lot of research that suggests HIIT can decrease heart rate and blood pressure in overweight and obese individuals, who often have high blood pressure, even more so than the usually advised moderate-intensity exercise. What’s more, HIIT can be particularly beneficial for people wanting to reduce blood sugar and insulin resistance.
With so many clear benefits, HIIT is quite unarguably one of the best forms of training you can do at home. Now, let’s take a look at the…
Top 10 No-Equipment HIIT Exercises for Burning Fat and Building Strength
First, choose your exercise pace and duration. If you’re a complete beginner, it’s a good idea to start with a 1:2 work to rest ratio, which means working out at maximum intensity for half of the time you will be resting for. For instance, 30 seconds of intense workout, followed by a minute of rest, and repeat.
As for the total workout duration, start with a 10-15 minute workout, depending on your current level of fitness, and gradually take it up to 30 minutes. For best results, perform HIIT thrice a week, although twice a week is fine too. Make sure to have 24 hours of complete rest after each session.
Now, while there are plenty of HIIT exercises to choose from, some exercises stand out in terms of producing faster and stronger results. Assuming you’re working out at home (a small empty room preferably with a non-slip surface is enough) and have no equipment (dumbbells, kettlebells, etc.), here are ten of the most effective workouts to focus on for burning fat and building strength (and endurance):
- High Knees
- Mountain Climbers
- Jumping Jacks
- Squat Jumps
- Bicycle Crunches
- Flutter Kicks
- Plank Walks
If you’re working out twice a week, pick a combination of five (a circuit) of these to fully focus on for one session, and the next five for the next session. Try to do at least 3 sets of each circuit when starting out, and slowly increase to 5.
Get, Set, HIIT it!
HIIT is a fun and challenging way to work out at home. You need less than an hour each week to reap the massive benefits of this training strategy, so what are you waiting for? Get to work pronto!