Your High Intensity Workout


Women's Health |

This high-intensity interval training workout (HIIT) will burn fat fast!

Essentially interval training on speed, HIIT involves bursts of flat-out exertion alternating with rest periods. The best part – a workout can last anything from 30 minutes to just four. And a flurry of studies in the past five years has shown that you get all the benefits (and more) of an hour-long steady-state workout in a fraction of the time. The catch? You have to be prepared to push yourself close to your drenched-in-sweat, heart-pounding max for the high-intensity periods.

Feel The HIIT

Do this workout two or three days a week in place of your usual cardio days (don’t skip strength training). Starting with the first exercise, complete as many reps as you can in 30 seconds, then rest for 30 seconds. Continue until you’ve finished all the exercises. That’s one circuit. Repeat three more times.

Too intense? Adjust The HIIT to tailor it to your fitness level.

Levels…

Good news: you can tailor high-intensity interval training to your fitness level. Use these guidelines from trainer and group exercise instructor Rachel Vaziralli.

Beginner:  Ratio: 1:3 (Go all out for 30 seconds; rest for 90 seconds)
Intermediate: Ratio: 1:2 (Go all out for 30 seconds; rest for 60 seconds)
Fit: Ratio: 1:1 (Go all out for 30 seconds; rest for 30 seconds)
Super-Fit: Ratio: 2:1 (Go all out for 30 seconds; rest for 15 seconds)

You’ll need: Floor space; a kettlebell (challenging, but not so heavy that you struggle to lift it).

1. Squat Thrust

Stand with your feet together and your arms at your sides. Squat down to the floor and place your hands in front of your feet (A). Jump your legs back into push-up position (B), then quickly reverse the movement and stand to return to start. That’s one rep.

squat

2. Prisoner Squat

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and place your hands behind your head, elbows out (A). Keeping your chest up and back flat, push your hips back and bend your knees until your thighs are nearly parallel to the floor (B). Push through your heels to return to start. That’s one rep.

Prisoner squat

3. Prone Hand Touch

Get into push-up position, your hands shoulder-width apart and your body forming a straight line from head to heels (A). Keeping your body stable and hips parallel to the floor, lift your left hand and touch your right hand (B), then return to start. Repeat with the right hand. That’s one rep. Continue alternating.

prone hand touch

4. Alternating Kettlebell Clean

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, a kettlebell (or dumbbell) sitting between your feet. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower and grab the weight with your right hand (A). With your back flat and core tight, stand and raise the weight to shoulder height (B). Reverse the move to return to start. Repeat with your left hand. That’s one rep. Continue alternating.

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5. Alternating Reverse Lunge

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your hips, chest up and shoulders back (A). Keeping your upper body still and core tight, take a large step back with your right foot, then bend both knees to lower into a lunge (B). Press through your left heel to return to standing. Repeat, stepping back with your left foot. That’s one rep. Continue alternating.

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