Want to remember this? Post this amazing at home HIIT workout to your favorite Pinterest board! And don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest
-Mind Your Damn Fitness-
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts are in serious demand due to the mega-boost to your metabolism that turns your body into a fat-burning machine! But you don’t need to join a high-end boutique gym to reap the benefits of these killer workouts. At home HIIT workouts can be just as effective as their gym-based counterparts – or even better – if you can regularly incorporate them into your workout routine.
Why is HIIT so effective?
The main reason is that your body continues to burn calories after your HIIT workout – a phenomenon known as the “afterburn effect”.
In traditional cardio workouts, the steady physical exertion during a workout is responsible for the calories you burn. These type of workouts tend to be longer in duration (30-60+ minutes) in order to maximize the benefits. However, after a HIIT workout, your body continues to consume more oxygen (and, thus, burn more calories) for 16-24 hours after your workout to help it return to its pre-exercise state. In actuality, HIIT may burn fewer calories during the actual workout compared to traditional cardio, but it can result in more overall calories burned and fat loss post-workout.
One of the best things about HIIT is that it requires significantly less time than traditional cardio workouts to produce greater fat-burning benefits!
What do I need to know to get started?
Check with your physician to ensure an at home HIIT workout is safe for you BEFORE you start!
“On” and “off” intervals
HIIT workouts incorporate intervals that vary between quick bursts of intense exercises (all-out effort) and short periods of active rest. While the length of time for the exercise (on) and rest (off) intervals varies, my preference for an at home HIIT workout is 20 seconds on/10 seconds off. These specific intervals are derived from a type of HIIT known as “Tabata”, named after the researcher who demonstrated the effectiveness in clinical studies.
The goal of the intense “on” intervals is to get your heart rate to somewhere between 70% (for beginners) and 90% (very advanced) of your max heart rate. A simple way of calculating max heart rate is to subtract your age from 220. For instance, the max heart rate of a 40-year old woman would be 180 beats per minute (bpm). 70% of her max heart rate (180 x 0.70) is 126 bpm, and 90% of her max heart rate (180 x 0.90) is 162 bpm. So her target heart rate during the “on” interval is between 126 and 162 bpm, depending on her current fitness level and overall health.
Most people aren’t used to pushing themselves as hard as required for HIIT workouts. So expect to be uncomfortable during the “on” intervals.
Unless recommended by your physician, don’t worry about strapping on a heart rate monitor during your workout.
Research has shown that how hard you perceive you are working can be used to estimate actual heart rate. On the below “Rating of Perceived Exertion” scale, which ranges from 6 (no exertion at all) to 20 (maximal exertion), multiply the level of effort that you perceive (middle column) by 10 to estimate your heart rate. For instance, if an activity feels “somewhat hard”, this corresponds to a perceived level of effort of 13 to 14. At this perceived level of effort, your heart rate is estimated to be 130-140 bpm. Unless otherwise directed by your physician, an ideal target HIIT intensity falls in the “hard” to “very hard” range. This means you should be unable to talk during the exercises.
|How would you describe your exertion?||Perceived level of effort||Examples (for most adults <65 years old)|
|None||6||Reading a book, watching television|
|Very, very light||7 to 8||Tying shoes|
|Very light||9 to 10||Chores like folding clothes that seem to take little effort|
|Fairly light||11 to 12||Walking through the grocery store or other activities that require some effort but not enough to speed up your breathing|
|Somewhat hard||13 to 14||Brisk walking or other activities that require moderate effort and speed your heart rate and breathing but don’t make you out of breath (i.e. still able to talk during activity)|
|Hard||15 to 16||Bicycling, swimming, or other activities that take vigorous effort and get the heart pounding and make breathing very fast (i.e. not able to talk during activity)|
|Very hard||17 to 18||The highest level of activity you can sustain|
|Very, very, hard||19 to 20||A finishing kick in a race or other burst of activity that you can’t maintain for long|
Keeping track of your workout
Because of the high intensity, Tabata HIIT workouts are generally designed to be 4 to 8 minutes in length. There’s nothing worse than having to keep looking at the clock during your at home HIIT workout to track the intervals. This takes away from your ability to concentrate on the exercises themselves.
Fortunately, there are some great interval training timers and also HIIT timer apps out there that are an absolute must-have to help automate your workout. Some of the apps even integrate with your music playlist! So make sure you download a good Tabata or HIIT timer app before you get started.
Ok great! I’m ready for my at home HIIT workout!
Awesome, here we go! Check out the below exercise descriptions and demonstrations.
2 min light warm-up (jog in place, jumping jacks, etc.)
1. Plié Jump x 20 sec ⇒ 10 sec rest (repeat x 4)
2. High Knees x 20 sec ⇒ 10 sec rest (repeat x 4)
3. Knee Strike x 20 sec ⇒ 10 sec rest (repeat x 4)
4. Cross Jab x 20 sec ⇒ 10 sec rest (repeat x 4)
5 min cool down (walking around swinging arms or a low-intensity ab circuit) followed by stretch
1. Plié Jump
Place your hands on your hips and move your feet a little wider than shoulder distance apart. Turn feet slightly out. Keeping chest upright, bend knees so that they track over your toes (but not past them) and explode upwards to jump off the ground. Continue at your target intensity for 20 sec. Follow with 10 sec active rest (something low intensity like marching in place). Repeat 4 times.
2. High Knees
With your arms by your side, bend elbows so that your hands are in front of you. Using a running motion (but staying in place), tap each hand with alternating knees. Continue at your target intensity for 20 sec. Follow with 10 sec active rest. Repeat 4 times.
3. Knee Strike
Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder distance apart. Lay one hand on top of the other and raise hands just overhead as you lean to one side. Quickly bring your opposite knee up as your bring your hands down so that they meet in the middle. Continue on the same side at your target intensity for 20 sec. Follow with 10 sec active rest. Repeat 4 times (twice on each side).
4. Cross Jab
Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder distance apart. Twist to one side and lower into a lunge position while punching the opposite arm. Continue on alternating sides at your target intensity for 20 sec. Follow with 10 sec active rest. Repeat 4 times.
Customize the total number of rounds of the above sequence based on your current activity level:
- Beginner: Perform the “on” intervals at an intensity of approximately 70% of your max heart rate. This will roughly correspond to a “somewhat hard” (13 to 14) perceived level of effort. The exercises should require moderate effort and will speed your heart rate and breathing, but they should not make you out of breath (i.e. still able to talk during activity).
- Intermediate: Perform the “on” intervals at an intensity of approximately 80% of your max heart rate. This will roughly correspond to a “hard” (15 to 16) perceived level of effort. The exercises should require vigorous effort and will get your heart pounding. Breathing will be so fast that you will not be able to talk during the exercises.
- Advanced: Perform the “on” intervals at an intensity of approximately 90% of your max heart rate. This will roughly correspond to a “very hard” (17 to 18) perceived level of effort. The exercise intensity will be at the highest level that you can sustain. You should essentially be praying for the active rest interval every round.
TOTAL TIME TO COMPLETE: 15 minutes (including 2 min warm-up and 5 min cool down/stretch).
An at home HIIT workout is a great way to jump start your metabolism and effectively burn unwanted fat. These intense workouts should be part of a regular exercise routine. However, limit HIIT workouts to 2-3 days a week, with at least 24 hours in between sessions to ensure your body has time to recover.
Lastly, if you’re just getting started with exercising, make sure you have a plan that will make achieving your fitness goals a reality!
Want to get fit but having a hard time staying motivated to exercise? Take the “My Fitness Personality” quiz to help you find a workout routine that sticks! Click here!
Like this post? Don’t forget to Pin It or Share It!