With so much going on over the Christmas season, it can be tricky to find time to get to the gym. This speedy HIIT workout can be done at home in just 20 minutes. Requiring zero equipment, it targets the whole body, helping torch calories and build muscle.
Simply perform each exercise for 45 seconds followed by a 15 second break before moving straight on to the next exercise. If this is too difficult, try 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest. Repeat the circuit twice more, taking a minute long rest between sets.
Bear in mind that for this workout to be effective, you need to put in maximum effort during the work periods. On a scale of 1 to 10 of perceived effort, you should be at around 8 or 9 every time. This means the rest periods are very important, so don’t rush through.
A fitness tracker such as a Myzone belt (used in our Blaze classes) can be useful in helping gauge your effort and ensure you’re working at the right level. During HIIT, you should aim to hit somewhere between 70 and 90 percent of your maximum heart rate during work periods. You can estimate your maximum heart rate by subtracting your age from 220. For example, a 35-year-old has an estimated maximum heart rate of 185 beats per minute so should aim to get their heart rate up to between 148 and 175.
1.Running with high knees
Keeping a nice straight back, jog on the spot, lifting your knees really high and pumping your arms as you run.
2. Alternating lunges
Start standing with your feet together. Step your left foot out to the left; keep your right leg straight and bend your left knee. Step your left foot back to standing, and repeat, stepping out with your right foot this time. Continue switching back and forth.
From a standing start, put your hands on the ground and kick your feet back so you’re in a press-up position (make sure your back is straight). Jump your legs forward so they’re near your hands, then jump up in the air. Do as many as you can in the 45/30 seconds of work.
4. Mountain climbers
Start in a high plank position with your shoulders over the wrists and your hips as square to the floor as you can. Keep your core engaged by squeezing your stomach muscles. When ready, quickly draw your right knee in towards your chest and extend the leg back out as you drive your left knee to your chest. Continue this motion alternating each leg for the whole 45/30 seconds. Ensure your hips stay down throughout.
5. Power squats
Think of these as star jumps with an exaggerated wide squat at the bottom, with both arms and legs bent, and your elbows touching your knees. Start by keeping a straight body, lift your arms either side of your head, elbows bent. Then jump your feet apart, bending the knees, before jumping back. These need to be super speedy.
6. Plank jacks
Start in high plank. Keeping your core engaged, jump your feet out and in (like jumping jacks). Do as many as possible in 45/30 seconds.
If you do make it to the gym, or have equipment at home, try this quick Christmas cardio workout .