At home workouts can be a little repetitive, I get it. One of the hardest parts of the last three weeks, at least for me, was staying focused on my goals. There's a whole couch and TV here, why can't I just relax? You can relax after you work!!
When we had access to the gym, what seems like decades ago, every other day or every two days, I incorporated HIIT workouts into my daily routine. I was already lifting and getting that burn, but my muscles were becoming fatigued and I needed something to offset that work, but not to sit at home and do nothing. I'd group a bunch of movement exercises into a circuit and repeat those over and over again until I went through the whole circuit like 5 or 6 times.
First, what is HIIT? If you're not familiar with it, HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. There are multiple benefits to doing a HIIT workout, especially when you don't have access to the weight room, and I'm going to help you out by talking about some of those benefits, and giving you some options you can do at home.
Calories Burned ^ In a Short Amount Of Time
You don't have to do a HIIT workout for an hour. It's just not necessary. At the gym, it's different. I have access to more equipment and so I'm able to expand and do more circuits and intervals. Lately, I've been doing 10-15 minute at Intermediate-High intensity, and feeling both accomplished and exhausted afterwards. Studies have shown that you're able to burn approximately 12-20 calories a minute during one of these workouts. Of course, that depends on your weight, whether you're male or female, how hard you work and how efficient your body already is to burning fat.
Compare this to either riding a bike or running and you can burn the same or even more calories in a much shorter amount of time.
HIIT Increases Your Metabolism After Exercise
Some researchers found that your metabolism is higher after completing a HIIT workout than jogging or weight training. It's also been found to remain higher hours after completion. That means your body is going to keep working for you, long after you've finished. Researchers were also able to find that your body actually tilts towards using fat for energy rather than carbs. That's crazy talk. But it's true! Just two minutes of HIIT style training has your metabolism working overtime for 24 hours - which equates to that of 30 minutes of running. I'll take the 2 minutes of HIIT, please Alex.
Oxygen Levels Increase
A study found that doing HIIT 3 to 4 days a week for 5 weeks increased a participant's oxygen consumption 9 percent. When you exercise, your muscles consume oxygen to produce energy. When doing HIIT, your oxygen consumption rises and you'll find yourself to be a bit more energized, especially during your workouts. That will come in handy later down the road, trust me.
Here's a HIIT routine you can start using at home. Let us know how it works by dropping a comment below, DM'ing us on IG or Twitter @legionxsports or e-mailing us at email@example.com. We'll do our best to reply in a timely fashion.
This one is going to be 5 different intervals and focused on legs (becuase who doesn't love leg day?)
Seesaw Lunges (with or without an added weight, that's your choice)
All this is is combining a standard lunge and then following that up with a reverse lunge as a complete set.
Bottom Up Squats
Reach down and touch your toes. Instantly go into your squat stance. Reach your arms straight overhead to the sky and stand up.
Lateral Hip Openers
Reach your leg out to the side as far as possible. Push off your heel to the other side.
Reverse Lunge Knee Drives
Go back into a reverse lunge. Using your arms, explode up and drive the knee that was down, up into your chest.
Dumbbell Squat (you will need dumbbells or a weighted object for this one)
Hold the dumbbells to your side with your feet shoulder length apart. Enter into your squat stance and then stand. Keep your dumbbells to your sides throughout the motion.
Now, you're going to do each of these exercises for 25 seconds. Once you hit 25 seconds, take a short, 10 second rest before starting the next exercise. There are 5 intervals in this HIIT workout. Once you finish your 5th interval or circuit, take a 1-2 minute rest before starting over again. I would go through this workout about 5-6 times or until exhaustion.
There's a really helpful app I use, called GymNext Flex Timer, where you can set up the length of the working timer + amount of rest you want in between each interval. It will count you into each exercise. We at Legion Sports are here to serve you! I hope this will help keep you guys focused and determined through this lockout.
Sources, because well, I'm not the expert =) :
(we do not own all the pictures used in this blog post)