This 15 minute HIIT workout is short on time but big on fat burn! Do it at home or at the gym on those days when you don’t have an hour, or even 30 minutes. We’ve got your workout covered.
What’s the one thing most of us would like to have more of, but is seemingly impossible to find? If you guessed “time,” you’re like so many others who struggle to find enough time in the day for all the chores, responsibilities, deadlines on top of a quality workout. Fortunately for the overextended among us, there is a way to squeeze in a great workout without having to spend hours at the gym. If you’ve got 15 minutes, you have enough time for a killer workout that will torch calories and improve your fitness level without getting in the way of completing the rest of your daily to-do list. What’s the secret? It’s high-intensity interval training, or HIIT.
HIIT is a form of interval training that involves short periods of maximum aerobic training, where you work as hard as you possibly can, followed by longer intervals of low- to moderate-intensity exercise. Instead of using heart rate as a guide, HIIT focuses on perceived effort to determine whether or not you’re working as hard as possible. While the concept sounds simple, HIIT is physically demanding and not for the beginning exerciser. Use caution if you’ve not tried a workout like this before.
Related Post: A week of HIIT workouts
Each workout should begin with a five-minute warm up and end with a five-minute cool down. To maximize fat loss, maintain an intensity level of 60 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate (RPE of five to six on the 10-point scale) during warm up, cool down and recovery intervals.
There are three rounds of five exercises in this workout. Perform each exercise for 30 seconds at an all-out effort, followed by a 30-second recovery interval of marching in place or slowly jogging. Complete all five exercises to complete one round. As you become more fit, add more rounds, increase the duration of the “work” intervals or decrease the duration of the recovery intervals to continue to challenge yourself.
- Burpees: Squat low keeping your knees in line with your ankle, then jump into a plank with a flat back before returning to the squat position and standing up to complete one rep. Increase the intensity by moving more quickly and/or adding a jump when returning to the starting position. Complete as many as you can for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second jogging recovery interval.
- Front kick with squat: Keep your abs engaged, the knee of your standing leg slightly bent and find a focal point in front of you to aid in balancing. Make sure your knee does not lock when you extend your leg. To increase intensity, squat lower, kick higher and/or move faster. Do as many as you can (alternating sides, not shown) for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second jogging recovery interval.
- Mountain climbers: Start in a plank position. Keeping your back straight and abs engaged, “march” by bringing one knee at a time toward your chest. To increase the intensity, move more quickly into a jog or a run with your feet. Do as many as you can for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second jogging recovery interval.
- Plank jumping jacks: While in the plank position, jack your feet out, then back in to the starting position. Keep your belly pulled in tight at all times and make sure your hips do not fall toward the floor or lift toward the ceiling as you move your legs. The more quickly you move, the more intense this exercise becomes. Do as many as you can for 30 seconds, followed by a 30-second jogging recovery interval.
- Balancing roundhouse kicks: Keep the knee of your standing leg slightly bent and aim for a target in front of you as you kick your lifted foot forward. To increase the intensity, kick higher off the floor and increase the speed of the movement. Do all repetitions on one side for the first 30-second round (followed by a 30-second jogging recovery), then switch to the other leg for the second round. For the third round, alternate sides.
Jen Mueller (SPARK_COACH_JEN)
SparkPeople Community Director and Fitness Coach
Jen Mueller left her first career in corporate finance to earn a master’s degree in health education. She is a busy mom of four and holds a number of fitness certifications (including ACE’s Health Coach, Personal Trainer, Medical Exercise Specialist and Behavior Change Specialist). She is passionate about helping people reach their health and fitness goals. In her spare time, Jen loves running, kickboxing and spending time with her family. Jen enjoys blogging about raising healthy children and how small behavior changes can impact health and quality of life.