We get it – workouts can look different for everyone depending on the day. Maybe you’re able to make sweat sessions at the gym a regular thing, or maybe you’ve moved your workouts outside or into your home because your schedule allows for that better. But let’s be honest, between helping the kids with their schoolwork, taking that last Zoom call, picking up the groceries and the occasional happy hour with your friends…, it can be hard to find a lot of time to get a full workout in.
HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING
That’s where HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training – comes in. HIIT is a training technique in which you alternate between intense bursts of maximum effort exercise and short periods of recovery. These high octane workouts can be modified to suit your fitness level and absolutely torch calories in 30 minutes or less. The best part? You’ll be working on your heart health, energy levels and mood at the same time.
Want to get the best results from your home HIIT workout? Take the P.A.U.L method for a spin. Simply pick one exercise each from these four categories:
- P - Plyometric Cardio
- A - Abs/Core
- U - Upper Body
- L - Lower Body
Pick two exercises from each section and perform each one for 30 seconds, or the suggested amount of reps! These exercises will make up your HIIT circuit for the day, and you can repeat the circuit as many times as you like. Just make sure you provide your body with a 30 second rest period between each circuit!
Ready to lace up your tennis shoes and get started? Here are some of our favorite P.A.U.L workouts you can do at home!
Photo Credit: Health Digest
Jumping Jacks – A workout classic, jumping jacks are relatively low impact but deliver a big calorie burn. Do as many as you can during the 30-second interval, and don’t forget to celebrate when you set a new personal best! Beginners should shoot for 20 reps per set, and more advanced exercisers can shoot for 40 reps per set.
Burpees – There’s a reason burpees show up on every home workout circuit – they work! Beginners should shoot for 5 in a 30-second interval while more advanced exercisers should try for 10. We get it, no one loves a burpee…but as far as a quick and dirty movement…it can’t be beat!
Stairway Hops – Now you don’t need a lot of space to get the same benefits as box jumps. Start at the bottom of any set of stairs in your home, then hop up the stairs on your right leg. Walk back down and hop up on your left leg. Do as many as you can safely execute in a 30-second interval. Keep your hands on the wall or railing until you’re an expert at this! We promise you’ll feel the burn either way.
Squat Jacks – Let’s get our heart rate up while also working on our glutes! Start in a quarter squat position and jump your feet in and out. Don’t release your squat the entire time! The lower you hold the squat the more it’ll burn. See how many you can get in 30 seconds! Let’s get to werkin’.
Plank – Get the most out of your planks by doing them with great form. Start with your hands planted directly under your shoulders, slightly wider than shoulder-width and ground your toes into the floor. Squeeze your glutes to stabilize your body and make sure you’re not hyperextending your knees. Keep a neutral back, neck and spine by keeping your head in line with your back and holding your gaze on a spot on the floor about a foot beyond your hands. Release your plank as soon as you can no longer keep this form. Target at least 30 seconds to start…but we think you can get up to 3 minutes if you really want to :)
March and Twist – Target your obliques with a standing ab workout that combines high knees with core twisting. Simply alternate driving your knees up, and bring alternating elbows to alternating knees. So if your right knee goes up, your torso twists and you bring your left elbow across your body to meet it. Beginners should shoot for 15 in a 30-second interval, while advanced exercisers can try for 30!
Photo Credit: Muscle & Fitness
Dead Bug– This one is great for our postpartum moms as well as anyone who’s looking to really improve their core strength! Start on your back with your knees stacked over your hips and arms straight up in the air. You want to drive your rib cage down towards the ground so that your pelvis is tucked and the core is engaged. From there, extend your right leg and left arm out away from your body while maintaining a braced core. You don’t want your back to arch! Hold for a breath and bring both arm + leg back to starting position, repeat with the opposite leg and arm on the other side. Alternate sides and try for 30 seconds or 5 reps on each side! Take them slow and controlled to really get the most out of it!
Plank Jacks – Want to get your heart rate up while also working deep into the core? This one’s for you! Start in a plank position, hands underneath shoulders and core engaged. Jump your feet in and out just like if you were doing a jumping jack! Repeat this for 30-40 seconds. If you need to modify it, walk one foot out at a time and then walk them back in!
UPPER BODY EXERCISES
Push Ups – Push ups are a classic because they work! Beginners should start with a modified push up, with both knees on the floor to avoid injury to the neck, back or shoulders. Intermediate exercisers can perform the exercise up on their toes. Hands should be slightly wider than shoulder width, but as you lower your body you want your elbows to go back at a 45 degree angle. Think about making an arrow with the top half of your body → with the arrow being your head and elbows!
Superman Pull Up – Want to have the effects of a pull-up but not use any equipment? Give these a whirl! Lay down on your stomach with arms out in front of you. Raise your torso off the ground keeping your arms straight. Once you are lifted, pull your elbows in towards your spine, engaging your back like you’re trying to pinch a pencil between your shoulder blades and give it a good squeeze. Extend your arms back out and lower your torso back down to the ground, repeat for at least 8-12 reps!
Triceps Dips – A great way to improve your upper body strength. While performing these, make sure to keep your shoulder blades down and back to prevent the risk of injuries. These can be done on a chair, bench, or stairs! To make it easier, bend your knees or keep your legs straight to make it more challenging! These can be difficult, so we recommend starting with 5-8 reps if you are new to the movement and 10-12 reps if you are more experienced!
Arm Circles – Want to feel just how long 30 seconds really is? Classic arm circles target your shoulders and upper arms and will leave you wondering why you ever thought you needed the gym. Try for 30 seconds in each direction, alternating forward and backward with each circuit.
LOWER BODY EXERCISES
Squats – Any way you slice it, it’s hard to beat squats for building lean muscle in your lower body. Plus, there are tons of variations to keep you interested and challenged! Do as many as you can in a 30-second interval, with beginners trying for 15 and advanced exercisers trying for 25.
Curtsy Lunges – Target glutes, quads and hamstrings with curtsy lunges. To begin, stand with your feet hip-distance apart. Bring your right knee behind your left foot, lunging back diagonally. Lunge as deeply as possible, hovering your knee a couple of inches off the floor, then return to the standing curtsy position. It's important to make sure your left knee stays over your ankle to protect your knee. Attempt as many as possible in the 30-second interval, making sure to alternate sides.
Photo Credit: Very Well Fit
Single Leg Glute Bridges – Build that booty with glute bridges! Simply lie on your back with one leg bent and the other extended and raised toward the ceiling. Press through your heel and lift your hips until fully extended while keeping your pelvis tucked. Lower back down and immediately repeat. Beginners should try for 6 on each side, and more advanced exercisers should try to 10 on each side.
Photo Credit: Mind Body Green
Good Mornings – Want to make that booty burn? Start with your feet shoulder width apart and place your hands behind your head. Start pushing your hips behind you (like you’re trying to close a drawer) while having a slight bend in your knees. You should feel a good stretch in your hamstrings here! Stop once your range of motion limits you, or when your chest gets to a 45 degree angle from the ground. Push through your feet and stand back up giving your glutes a good squeeze at the top! Repeat for 30 seconds to get as many reps as you can!
What did we miss!? Do you have a favorite HIIT workout that we need to share with the FIT Fam? Make sure to post it in the FIT by Katy Community Group!