Hey, friends! It’s Rachel Gainer of RachelRebuilt.com, NASM certified personal trainer and fitness contributor here at Simple as That. This month, I’m sharing my secret to staying in shape during the busy summer months. Today’s HIIT workout is short, sweaty, and super fun, so I can get back to playing with my kids and enjoying the sunshine!
Summer days are for swimming pools, sprinklers, and shave ice. Add in bubbles, bike rides, and BBQs, and that doesn’t leave much time for hitting the gym or enjoying a long run. But even if your summer schedule is packed from dawn to dusk, you can still stay active and stick to healthy habits by adding in a couple of short, sweaty HIIT workouts each week. Backyard to beach, today’s HIIT challenge is the perfect summer vacation workout to save your sanity and keep you moving when time is tight. No equipment required. Done in 16 minutes. Plenty of time to relax poolside!
What Is a HIIT Workout?
HIIT is an acronym for “high-intensity interval training.” It means you alternate between a short burst of high-intensity work (usually 20 seconds to 1 minute) followed by a short rest. HIIT gets your heart rate up, then brings it down. You move with maximum effort for a short period; then you get a moderate recovery so your body can restock ATP energy stores. In a HIIT workout, the resting interval is just as important as the working interval.
The best thing about HIIT is that you control the intensity by increasing your speed. To get the most out of your workout, I encourage you to move as quickly as possible with good form. Push hard and really test your limits. If you need to pause before your high-intensity interval is up, give yourself 2–3 seconds to breathe, say “go,” and jump back in. Today’s summer workout is just 16 minutes, so make it count!
What Makes HIIT So Effective?
You may be wondering if a 16-minute workout is worth the effort. It definitely is! HIIT has been shown to increase EPOC (post-exercise oxygen uptake), which increases post-workout metabolism better than traditional steady-state cardio. So you get an intense workout in a shorter period of time.
How to Set Up a HIIT Timer
Today’s HIIT workout features 4 exercises, which you’ll repeat 4 times in 16 minutes. I recommend the Seconds Pro app to create a personalized HIIT timer. (You can create timers in the free version, but you can save them only in the full version.) Set the number of sets to 16; then choose your high/low intervals based on your experience/conditioning level:
BEGINNER: 30 seconds work/30 seconds rest
INTERMEDIATE: 40 seconds work/20 seconds rest
ADVANCED: 45 seconds work/15 seconds rest or repeat circuit 5 times (increasing duration to 20 sets)
Once you’ve set up your timer, you’re ready to tackle this no-equipment workout. It’s that simple! Learn each move by watching the summary video and reading the step-by-step instructions below. Then start your timer, and get moving! If you like this short, sweaty workout, check out my #17MinutesStronger video series on my website RachelRebuilt.com or on Instagram @rachel_rebuilt.
Squat to Lateral Leg Lift
- Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing forward. Hold your arms close to your chest to improve balance throughout the movement.
- Bend your knees and drop your hips to lower yourself into a squatting position. Reach your bottom back to prevent your knees from drifting forward over your toes.
- As you stand up powerfully, lift your right leg laterally until it is parallel with the floor.
- In one fluid motion, return your right foot to the floor and drop into another squat.
- As you stand up powerfully, lift your left leg laterally until it is parallel with the floor.
- In one fluid motion, return your left foot to the floor and drop into another squat.
- Repeat alternating leg lifts throughout the working interval.
High Plank + Shoulder Taps
- Start in plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your feet close together. (This move may also be performed with your knees on the ground.)
- Lift your right hand off the ground, and tap your left shoulder. Work to maintain plank position and minimize core rotation. Return your right hand to the ground.
- Quickly lift your left hand off the ground, and tap your right shoulder. Return your left hand to the ground.
- Repeat alternating shoulder taps throughout the working interval.
- Start in a standing position. Step forward with your right foot, and lower your body toward the ground until each leg forms a right angle.
- Powerfully push off your right foot and left toe, jumping into the air.
- While you are airborne, switch lead legs, landing in a lunge with your left leg forward and your right leg back.
- Repeat jumping motion, alternating lead leg, throughout the working interval.
- Start in plank position with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart and your feet close together. (This move may also be performed with your knees on the ground.)
- Lower your body toward the ground until your elbows are bent at 90-degree angles; your chest should graze the ground but not rest there.
- As you push up, use your momentum to cross your right hand over your left; then uncross your left hand, moving it to the left into a new plank position. (This begins a pendulum motion that moves your push-ups from side-to-side.)
- Lower your body toward the ground until your elbows are bent at 90-degree angles.
- As you push up, use your momentum to cross your left hand over your right; then uncross your right hand, moving it to the right into the starting plank position.
- Repeat side-to-side push-ups throughout the working interval.
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