Worried about piling on the extra pounds this holiday season? If so, you’re far from alone. The good news is that there’s one easy yet effective way to burn calories without burning through tons of time: HIIT. To that end, we’ve rounded up five of our favorite HIIT moves that get the job done.
Says VeryWell of this go-to move for personal trainers everywhere: “Mountain climbers are an excellent move for building cardio endurance while also building core strength and agility. This is also a great move when you don’t have much (or any) equipment and want a challenging way to work your body.”
You don’t need any gear — or a mountain, for that matter — to pull it off. Just get into plank position, and alternate pulling each knee toward your chest while keeping your hip down. Repeat as quickly as you can. Voila! You’re “mountain climbing.”
Haven’t yet discovered the amazingness of the kettlebell? There’s a reason why these curious-looking pieces of exercise equipment have been perennial on lists of top workout trends. They are an invaluable tool for both strength training and cardiovascular conditioning — starting with the kettlebell swing, described by Men’s Health as “a simple exercise that simultaneously torches fat, builds strength, and improves cardiovascular fitness.” We’re in!
If functional fitness is your endgame, you can’t go wrong with kettlebells. Says ABC News: “With most everything you lift — whether it’s the groceries, a child, or snow on a shovel — the object is never in the optimum place for leverage… So training with a kettlebell mimics the same kind of lifting you do in everyday life.”
One caveat? According to fitness experts, most people who use kettlebells are using them incorrectly. Sign up for a personal trainer session to make sure you’re using the proper form.
3. Battle Ropes
More likely than not you’ve seen people slamming, waving, and swinging these thick lengths of ropes around at the gym. While they may look intimidating, they’re not only easy to use, but fun, too! They’re also the perfect HIIT exercise.
Says Houston Chronicle, “Battle ropes combine elements of resistance training and cardiovascular exercise. Your muscles get a workout at the same time as your heart and lungs. When it comes to calorie burn, training with battle ropes rivals how many calories you’d expend in a sprint workout.”
4. Jump Squats
HIIT workouts can not only help prevent weight gain during the holiday season, they can also help you start the next year with a sleeker, stronger, more shapely physique — especially with jump squats in your arsenal of exercises. Jump squats target the quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, and abs while simultaneously delivering a powerful cardio exercise. Looking for even more of a challenge? Amp up the intensity of your jump squats by incorporating barbells.
While push-ups are a type of HIIT work out, this move packs an extra punch — or tap, as the case may be. Says Get Healthy U of this low-impact, bodyweight exercise, “[The] shoulder tap push-up is a full body strength move that focuses on your arms and chest while also strengthening your core. If you learn how to do shoulder tap push-up[s] you are achieving both core and upper body strength along with balance training.”