left-arrow right-arrow Twitter Twitter Facebook Facebook Google Plus LinkedIn YouTube Email

You Don't Need to be a Superhero to Work Out

Healthy Lifestyle

Think you need to be Wonder Woman or spend an hour at the gym to get all the benefits of working out? Nope! You just need to HIIT it!

What is HIIT?

HIIT, an acronym for High Intensity Interval Training, helps increase fat burning and improve endurance. The training technique is when you go “all out, one hundred percent with intense bursts of energy, alternating with short recovery periods in between. This will keep your heart rate elevated and burn more fat in less time.

HIIT is more likely to produce quicker results in a short period of time. There are many amazing benefits to incorporating HIIT workouts into your lifestyle or workout. 

Short bursts of intense exercise

In order to improve your health and fitness, sometimes you must challenge yourself and make yourself a little uncomfortable. Listen to your body and know that you are the best judge of how hard you should workout. 

HIIT will make you breathe harder, increase your heartrate and work up a sweat. You can do the exercise for 20 seconds on, 20 seconds off – or do 10 repetitions of the exercise, rest 30 seconds and do it again. The key is using “all you have” for your intervals, no matter how long you rest in between. 

Putting a High Intensity Interval Training workout together

Below, you'll find a simple, yet effective HIIT workout you can do no matter where you are at, without any equipment. It also can be adapted with modifications for a beginner. Just getting moving will help you feel better and increase your health and well-being. 

Whatever activity you choose, do it hard, fast, and be proud if you are working up a sweat and pushing yourself. This isn't supposed to be easy! Always challenge yourself. Remember that stamina just isn't built in a day. HIIT workouts can be a challenge worth tackling for all the great benefits to your body and health. 

Try this Wonder Woman HIIT Workout

Start by doing 10 repetitions of each exercise, then 15, then 20. If you only have time or it is challenging to do one set of 10, then just do that. Build up to doing more sets as you get stronger. This type of full body workout gives you a very time efficient workout too! 

Jumping Jacks

  1. Stand tall with your feet together and your hands at your sides. 
  2. Raise your arms above your head quickly and jump your feet out at the sides. 

MODIFICATION: Take a step to the right and bring both hands above your head. Return to starting position and repeat of the left side. Alternate sides until the set is completed. 


Mountain Climbers

  1. Put both hands and knees on the floor.
  2. Place your right foot near your right hand and extend your left leg behind you. 
  3. In one smooth motion, switch your legs, keeping your arms in the same position. 
  4. Switch your legs back and forth twice, so your right leg is again close to your right hand. 

MODIFICATION: Place your hands on a sturdy desk, chair or table.

Do the same movements as above, in a slower motion. 


Walking High Knees

1.    Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Your arms should be bent and at your sides.
2.    Lift your right knee up until it reaches your waist. Your left arm should swing forward while your right arm swings back.  
3.    Return your right foot to the ground and lift your left knee. Swing your right arm forward and left arm back. 
4.    Repeat. 

MODIFICATION: Do the same move as above, but less jumping motion. 


Ice Skaters

  1. Begin in a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  2. Begin the exercise by jumping to the right with a slight bend in your knees.
  3. Next, in the same motion, reach down and toward the outside of your right foot with your left hand. 
  4. Repeat this movement for the desired number of reps.

MODIFICATION: Do the same move as above, but less jumping motion.


Lying Leg Raise

  1. Use a bench if there’s one available. Letting your legs hang off the edge will increase your range of motion. If not, lie on the floor. 
  2. Place your hands under your glutes or to the side with your palms facing down. Keep your legs as straight as possible, and hold a dumbbell between your feet if you want added resistance.
  3. Slowly raise your legs perpendicular to the floor. Hold the contraction at the top for a second, then slowly lower your legs to the start position.

MODIFICATION: Do the same move as above, but allow your heels to rest on the floor for two or three seconds before going into another rep.


Jump Rope (Even without a rope!)

  1. Stand tall with your feet underneath your hips. 
  2. Extend your arms at your sides and pretend to hold a jump rope handle in each hand.
  3. Perform a jump by lifting both feet off the floor at the same time. 
  4. Land and jump again. Continue for one minute. If you have a jump rope, do these with a rope if you can.

MODIFICATION: Do the same move as above, but less jumping motion. 
 

Brenda Herrod

About the Author:

Brenda Herrod is a board-certified women’s health nurse practitioner who is passionate about inspiring and sharing her healthy lifestyle with others.

She is also an AFAA Certified Personal Trainer, C.O.P.E. Certified Health Coach, and Precision Nutrition Health Coach working with employees at Methodist Health System.

See More Articles by Brenda Herrod