Have you ever heard the saying that a 1-hour workout is only 4% of your day? Yup, only 4%! Yet, many of us (including me) struggle to find time to fit in a 1-hour workout. If you are short on time, well, I have a solution for you! High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). 

HIIT is a training technique in which repeated bouts of high-intensity exercise is followed by a short, sometimes active, recovery period. This type of training gets and keeps the heart rate up and helps you burn more calories over time through the process of EPOC (Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption).

There are many variations of a HIIT workout, and this type of training can be completed at the gym on a treadmill, spin bike, with weights, or at home with your body weight. To ensure you get the most benefits from a HIIT workout and maximize the afterburner effect, you want to PUSH yourself for the entire duration of the high-intensity exercise. 

I am excited to share with you a quick, 20-minute workout that can be performed at the gym or at home. Take about 5-minutes to warm-up before you jump into this time-saving HIIT workout.

Equipment Needed: 

  • Two Medium Weight Dumbbells 
  • One Medium Resistance Loop Band
  • Two Small Towels (or sliders / paper plates if performing the move on carpet).
  • A great pair of HIIT trainers

Note: All exercises below can be completed without any equipment

The Workout:

Work time is 45 seconds per exercise.

Take a 15-second break between exercises.

After completing all 5 exercises, take a 1-minute break.

Aim to do 4 rounds in total.

Exercise 1: Lunge to Squat Combo (Bodyweight only)

  • Start with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Keeping your chest up and back in a neutral position, begin to squat by sending your hips back and bending your knees. 
  • Ensure your knees track in the same direction as your toes and be mindful that your knees are not turning inwards. 
  • Squat down as far as is comfortable, and then return to the starting position, squeezing your glutes at the top.
  • Then step back into a reverse lunge stance dropping your back knee down towards the ground. Sink low, keep your chest up and your weight centered. 
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Squat, and then go into a reverse lunge with the other leg. 
  • Repeat for 45 seconds.

Modification: Increase the intensity by replacing the squat with a squat jump. 

Exercise #2: Alternating Wide to Narrow Row (Two Medium Weight Dumbbells)

  • Start with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing towards your thighs.
  • Bend your knees slightly and bring your torso forward by hinging at the waist. As you hinge, make sure to keep your back straight and to tuck your tailbone to prevent any hyperextension in the lower back. 
  • Keep your torso stationary, lift the dumbbells toward your chest, elbows out and up in a wide arc. At the top of the lift, squeeze your back and return to the start position. 
  • Now, perform a narrow row by keeping your elbows close to your body as you lift the weight, focusing on using the back for this movement.
  • Continue alternating between a wide and narrow row for 45 seconds.  

Exercise #3: Banded Skaters (One Medium Resistance Loop Band)

For many individuals, the glutes often remain inactive during a workout. This exercise helps to fire up your glutes in an effort to strengthen them.

  • To start, place the band around your thighs just above your knees.
  • From a standing position, begin by jumping laterally on one leg to the right, landing softly, with your hips and knees slightly bent. 
  • As soon as you land, use the power from your glutes to perform the same movement on the opposite side. 
  • Repeat for 45 seconds. 

Modification: This move can be completed without a band OR by stepping side to side instead of jumping. 

Exercise #4: Sumo Squat to High Pull (Two Medium Weight Dumbbells or One Kettlebell)

  • Start by standing with your feet past hip-width. 
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing towards your shins.
  • Bend your knees, push your hips back, and squat down with the weights hanging between your legs.
  • Drive through your heels and stand up while shrugging your shoulders and pulling the dumbbells up towards your chin, elbows high and flared out to the side. 
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together and then return to your starting position. 
  • Repeat for 45 seconds. 

Exercise #5: Towel Mountain Climbers (Two Small Towels or Gliders / Paper Plates)

  • Place the two small towels underneath each foot and then go into a plank position keeping your shoulders stacked over top of your elbows and wrists. Engage your core.
  • Keep your core and upper body still, then quickly pull one knee in towards the chest, sliding the foot along the floor. 
  • Continue to alternate feet as fast as possible, maintaining a strong plank position the entire time.
  • Repeat for 45 seconds. 

Take a 1-minute break after completing all 5 exercises. 

Aim to do a total of 4 Rounds. 

Good luck and let us know your thoughts on HIIT Workouts and how they benefit your training.

By Brittany Miller