Written and demonstrated by Sandra Sorgini, PTS, B.Kin, B.Ed
Photography by Paul Buceta |  Wardrobe Heroine Sport

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) combines bursts of intense exercise with periods of rest or lower-intensity movement. Typically shorter in duration than your usual workouts, HIIT can range from 10-30 minutes in length, although studies show that this style can produce results similar to twice the amount of moderate-intensity training. These types of taxing workouts burn tons of calories in a short amount of time, keep your metabolism revving for hours after your workout is completed, improve cardiovascular strength and oxygen consumption, and boost your overall fitness. The one shown here includes modifications for all fitness levels, so no matter where you’re starting from, the benefits will be yours in a snap.

The Workout

Complete each exercise for 30 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds before moving to the next exercise. Complete six rounds total, resting for one minute between rounds.

Warm-Up Suggestions

Perform the following movements for 5-10 minutes before getting started: 

  • Jog on the spot
  • Jumping jacks
  • High knees
  • Squats

Skaters

Begin standing with feet hip-distance apart. Bend one leg behind the other and maintain balance on the opposite leg (A). Drive off the standing leg to leap sideways, landing softly on the opposite leg (B). Be sure to land on the ball of your foot with your hips and knees bent slightly, keeping the opposite leg elevated. Repeat rapidly from side to side. 

MODIFICATION: To lower the intensity, tap the foot to the floor when you land. 


Cross-Body Mountain Climber

Get into high-plank position, keeping shoulders aligned with your wrists. Draw in the abs as you alternate bringing each knee towards the opposite elbow, as if running in a prone position. 

MODIFICATION: Alternate knees towards the center of the chest and nix the cross. 


Squat Jump

Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and clasp the hands in front of the chest. Bend the knees to come into a squat position (A), then drive through the heels to explode into the air as you move the arms down and back for momentum (B). Land back in your squat with the glutes and thighs engaged, and continue jumping rapidly. 

MODIFICATION: Hold a low squat for the full prescribed time. 


Burpee

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, hands at your sides (A). Bend the knees and reach your palms to the floor, then jump back into plank position (B). Perform one full push-up (C), then jump the feet forward to come back to a squat position (D). Jump up, bringing the arms overhead or swinging backwards (E). Land softly, then repeat from the beginning. 

MODIFICATION: Walk your way to plank and back to the squat instead of jumping, and drop the knees to the floor for the push-up. 


Push-Up Jack

Get into a high-plank position with feet together (A). Keeping the core braced, jump your feet and hands out wider than shoulder- and hip-width apart (B). Lower to the bottom of a push-up with elbows at a 45-degree angle (C). Press back up, then jump hands and feet back to their starting positions and repeat. 

MODIFICATION: Skip the arms and just jump the feet in and out. 


Commando Plank

Get into a high-plank position with hands directly under the shoulders. With the abs drawn in, alternate bringing each hand up to tap the opposite shoulder, making sure to place it back down in alignment each time. 

MODIFICATION: Instead of tapping your shoulder, reach out and tap the floor in front of you. 


Cool Down Suggestions

Static stretching post-workout can enhance recovery. Complete these stretches for 45 seconds at a time, each side when necessary: 

  • Quadricep stretch
  • Standing hamstring stretch
  • Figure-4 stretch 
  • Shoulder stretch
STRONG Fitness Mag
STRONG Fitness Magazine is a trusted source of cutting-edge fitness and health information for the modern woman who lives to be fit. STRONG’s sophisticated editorial voice combined with raw, powerful imagery and a modern, athletic design reflect the direction fitness has taken in the last decade.