As strong as our intentions are to hit the gym every single day, our everyday lives seem to always get in the way and we end up missing another day of workout. With most adults leading a life with hectic schedules and appointments, we can’t seem to squeeze in even an hour of exercise.
Luckily, you don't need to spend hours at the gym to get a good workout. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts allow you to burn calories and build muscles in a short amount of time. Whether you want to tone up before hitting the beach or fit in a quick workout before work, here are some HIIT workouts that are sure to help you reach your fitness goals without taking up too much of your time.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing forward. Bend your knees, lowering into a lunge. Lower until you feel the stretch in your glutes and hamstrings, but keep your back leg straight and maintain a slight bend in the front knee.
Lift the front foot and jump straight up in the air; land softly back on both feet (on top of each other) without touching down with either foot first. Repeat for 30 seconds per leg.
Stand on the floor with your feet hip-width apart. Place your hands on the floor in front of you (approximately shoulder-width apart) with palms facing down. Imagine that there’s a line running directly through the center of your body—this is where we want all of our movement to happen from now on.
Inhale slowly through the nose and lower yourself into a pushup position by bending at the elbows until your chest is almost touching the floor. Exhale slowly as you raise back up into plank position (straight arms, tight core). Do this rapidly several times before slowing down slightly and doing more reps at a slower pace—really focusing on keeping good form throughout each rep! You should feel this one right in those abs!
This is a great cardio workout that you can do anywhere, and it works your core as well. The mountain climbers are especially good for beginners because they can be done with or without a mat.
Jumping jacks are a classic exercise that can be done anywhere and will work your entire body. As you might expect, they’re easy to learn, but there are a few variations you can do to make the move more challenging.
To do jumping jacks:
Stand straight with your feet together and arms at your sides. Bend your knees and jump up into the air as high as possible while swinging both arms overhead. When you land, bend your knees again and return to starting position with feet together in an opposite stance. Repeat this movement for 30 seconds or more at a moderate pace (around 80–100 beats per minute).
This is a great move if you need to get your heart rate up and kickstart your metabolism but don’t have time for a longer workout. The lateral jumps are done over the course of five minutes and involve jumping sideways and back as fast as possible while maintaining proper form. If you want to add resistance (and make it more challenging), try holding light dumbbells in each hand. Each rep should be done this way: place feet shoulder-width apart; jump up as high as possible; land softly on two feet; repeat immediately without rest in between reps or sets.
Squat jumps are a great way to add intensity to a workout. You can do them at home or at the gym with friends or alone.
Do a squat and then jump up as high as you can and repeat. Squat jumps are great for building strength in your quads, glutes, and core muscles—all of which get worked during HIIT workouts!
Burpees are a full-body exercise that can be done anywhere. To perform a burpee, squat down and place your hands on the floor. Jump up so that you’re standing with your feet together. Place both hands directly above your head and jump back into the squatting position. Repeat for as many reps as you deem necessary!
These exercises can be done in 10 repetitions for 3 sets for a full-body HIIT workout. Depending on your endurance and how far you can go, you can increase the repetitions and sets. And if you really want to limit your workouts to 20-30 minutes, you can do each for 5 minutes.
Of course your workouts are not limited to the following exercises because these are only suggestions for you to try out. You can always switch up your workouts and give it a nice twist every once in a while in order to challenge the body to perform better.
As you work out, it pays to have a partner that will help you stay on track. Garmin’s Venu 2s offers a daily training workout mode where it provides you with animated workout guides for your routines.
For those of you who want to lean out, its built-in interval training mode will have you working up a sweat in no time and keep your heart pumping throughout your busy day. With the special features of the Garmin Connect app, you can follow an on-screen coach that’s available 24/7.
So next time you stress about fitting your exercise routines in your busy schedule, keep in mind that you can still get a good workout without spending 60 minutes on the elliptical.
Now that we’ve covered some of the best HIIT workouts for beginners, it’s up to you to pick your favorite and set yourself up for success! Together with the Garmin Venu 2s, let’s work on a new look!