This HIIT exercise for beginners combines cardio and strength training to give you a taste of the lethal workout approach.
Even though it stands for “high-intensity interval training,” the word “HIIT” may easily mean “very rigorous and terrifying training” to someone who has never done it before. To be honest, the training technique doesn’t appear all that appealing with its constant sighing, panting, and dripping perspiration.
Because of its health and fitness advantages, as well as its high level of efficiency and effectiveness, you may want to put aside your preconceptions and try HIIT. Here at Shape, we enlisted the help of a certified personal trainer with MIRROR, Chris Ryan, C.S.C.S., to help you understand the benefits of HIIT training, as well as show you a beginner’s HIIT exercise that will persuade even the most skeptical of fitness enthusiasts to try it out.
What Does HIIT Stand For?
HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a method of training that alternates between times of intense activity and periods of active recovery or complete rest, according to Ryan, a trainer. “You’re looking at performing some kind of workout and then switching it up to keep the heart rate high,” he adds. “You’re also not aiming to work out for two hours, so you’re confining the workout itself to a restricted length of time.” For instance, he suggests 45 seconds of thrusters followed by 45 seconds of toe-touch jacks (instead of full jumping jacks, you tap your foot out to the side) or just a full rest. A 15-minute HIIT workout that will leave you drenched in sweat may be achieved by doing this circuit three times, then repeating the procedure with two more training circuits.
Consider your rate of perceived exertion (RPE) as a simple technique to make sure your HIIT workout is as high-intensity as stated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your RPE is a self-administered evaluation of how hard you feel like you are working (based on breathing rate, heart rate, perspiration, and muscular weariness) on a scale of 1 to 10. According to Ryan, a moderate RPE of 5 means you’re working hard, while a high RPE of 9 means you’re pushing yourself to the limit.
Look at your heart rate as well if you’d like to get even more precise. According to the CDC, “vigorous-intensity” physical exercise is defined as having a heart rate of 77% to 93% of one’s maximal heart rate. (You may determine your maximal heart rate by dividing 220 by your age.) The average heart rate for an HIIT workout is 130 to 160 beats per minute, with some of the more difficult segments raising the rate to 170 or 180 beats per minute, according to Ryan. If you do the math, a 30-year-old who works out in a HIIT class with a heart rate ranging from 146 to 177 beats per minute is getting the most out of their sweat session. (By the way, the talk test may also be useful in determining the intensity of your workout.)
HIIT Workouts for Beginners to Advanced Athletes
Cardiovascular health and maximum oxygen uptake are boosted as a result.
HIIT exercises for beginners, with their plank jacks, high knees, and butt kicks, can be beneficial to your ticker and help you fulfill your weekly recommended activity quota. Health and Human Services recommended individuals engage in 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity each week for adults. According to the Health and Human Services (HHS), moderate-intensity physical exercise helps lower blood pressure, and those who keep to the moderate-intensity quota are much less likely to acquire the cardiovascular disease. Thanks to HIIT’s classification as “vigorous-intensity,” you have a good chance of reaping the advantages of this exercise.
Regular HIIT workouts, on the other hand, have the added benefit of making daily tasks less taxing. When it comes to things like lugging groceries or walking up a set of subway steps, the more agitated your heart and lungs are, the better. If you don’t put so much effort into a “simple” task, your daily life will be even better.
It’s possible that your strength training and endurance training will seem less challenging as a result. The greatest quantity of oxygen your body can use during strenuous exercise may be increased “substantially” by high-intensity aerobic interval training, according to a study. According to UC Davis Health, the greater your VO2 max, the more energy your body can utilize and the longer you can exercise. (Refer to this resource for further information on the health advantages of HIIT.)
After you finish your workout, your body will continue to burn calories.
As a result of EPOC, or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, you’ll continue to burn calories even after you’ve completed your high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session. In the words of Ryan, it’s a gift that keeps on giving. According to research from the University of New Mexico, your body has to take in extra oxygen after a workout in order to return to a state of homeostasis, or a normal, resting metabolic state. Using more energy to refill the ATP that was used as fuel during your workout, re-oxygenate the blood, and cool down your core temperature necessitates a greater rate of oxygen consumption (read: burning more calories). A HIIT workout, on the other hand, is a surefire way to get EPOC: It has been observed that people who engage in interval training had higher EPOC than those who just engage in steady-state exercise, according to previous research.
Muscle gains are to be expected
According to Ryan, HIIT exercises maybe both aerobic and strength training, depending on how they’re organized. With a simple addition of a dumbbell or weights, you can get your heart rate up and strengthen your arms at the same time, Ryan explains. It’s a great way to get your heart pumping and burn fat at the same time!
Workout Routines for Beginners Using High-Intensity Interval Training
Ryan advises beginners to start with 45- to 75-second intervals for each exercise to allow them to improve their technique and become familiar with the action before moving on to longer intervals. Still, doing two or three rounds of each exercise for so long can be monotonous. Ryan recommends incorporating light dumbbells or a resistance band in the second or third round to keep things interesting and intense, provided you’ve mastered the movement pattern beforehand. It’s also a good idea to switch up the exercise’s duration from time to time: He recommends three rounds of 90 seconds each: one at a moderate level, one at a robust intensity, and a final round of 30 seconds at an all-out effort. If you’re interested in learning more about the most effective HIIT interval duration, check out this article.)
There are, of course, methods to lower the intensity of your HIIT workout for beginners. Try modifying the exercises, limiting your range of motion, or skipping the weights altogether in favor of bodyweight activities if your RPE or heart rate is too high, or if you have joint discomfort or mobility difficulties, suggests Ryan. For most exercises, “if you’re like ‘Oh, this movement’s far too simple,’ or ‘this movement is way too hard,’ there are always progressions and then regressions that you could provide,'” he explains.
Ryan advises avoiding completing too many HIIT workouts for beginners on a regular basis, even if it’s tempting. Due to the intensity of the workout, “your body needs time to recuperate,” he adds. “High-intensity means that you’re going tough, you’re pounding your butt,” he continues. “If you were to do HIIT seven days a week, you’d eventually see decreasing returns. Even if you have a terrific run for a week, a month, or even many months, you will eventually tire or become hurt.” It is better to incorporate it into a weekly schedule that includes a mix of HIIT exercises, weight training, Pilates, and/or yoga, as well as enough rest days. Make sure to keep in mind that “less is more,” advises Ryan.
The Beginner’s HIIT Workout
Try Ryan’s HIIT routine for beginners and intermediates to get a feel for the training technique. You may modify and develop the workout to meet your current fitness level.
In order to perform this exercise, you’ll require: a set of light to medium-weight dumbbells (Purchase It for $14 on Amazon.com)
There are three rounds overall, each consisting of 45-second circuits with 30-second rest periods in between each set of four exercises. Perform each exercise with a modest effort in the first round (RPE 5-6). In the second round, give everything you’ve got by pushing yourself to the limit (RPE 7-8). Perform each move with maximum effort in the third round (RPE 9-10).
Squat Jacks are the first exercise in Circuit 1.
A. Stand with your feet together and your hands clasped in front of your chest.
Assume a squatting position with your knees bent and your feet spread wide apart.
C. Jump out of the squat by pushing up from your heels.
Squat using your own weight as a mod
Squat Jack with Alternating Floor Touches is the progression for this exercise.
A. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, your hands clasped in front of your chest, and your back straight.
2. Quickly bring right heel to butt while shifting weight onto left foot. Replicate the action of placing weight on the right foot, then rapidly replace it with the left heel to complete the movement.
C. Repeat, switching feet swiftly.
Walking Butt Kicks as a Modification
A step-up from the side-kick:
Push-Ups on the Knees
Hands directly beneath shoulders and knees on the floor: This is a modified plank. Lift and hold your feet off the floor.
Tuck your tailbone in and drag your navel in toward your spine to activate your core. The lats may be locked in by lowering the shoulders away from the ears.
A 45-degree angle should be formed between the arms and the torso when performing this exercise. Maintain a straight line from the top of the head to the bottom of the knees as you lower your body slowly and halt 3 inches above the floor.
D. Return to the beginning by pushing away from the floor.
Change: Knee Taps with Shoulder Taps
Push-Ups with a Mountain Climber progression
Crunches in reverse
A conventional crunch posture is to lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your hands under your head with your elbows spread wide.
B. Lift your feet off the ground by pressing your lower back into the floor and bringing your belly button in towards your spine. Keep your knees together as you make a 90-degree bend.
In order to lift your tailbone, bring your knees towards your torso using your core. Lift your shoulders off the floor and use your core, not your hands, to lift your head and shoulders off the floor at the same time.
d. Slowly drop your shoulders, hips, and legs back into their original positions When your feet are barely off the floor, it’s time to come to a halt.
Do not use momentum to power the next rep as you repeat the movement.
Dumbbell Thrusters in a Round 2
Assume a stance with your feet hip-width apart. B Place a dumbbell on each thigh and turn your hands inwards.
Afterwards, drop the dumbbells to mid-thigh by bracing your midline. Pull the dumbbells vertically up and straighten your knees at the same time, turning your elbows below to catch the dumbbells at shoulder-height in a quarter squat. Stand. This is where things get started.
Squat down while maintaining a firm core with your elbows high and chest forward.
D. To straighten your legs and lift your dumbbells above, press your heels into the ground as you come out of the squat. Legs should be straight and dumbbells should be held exactly above shoulders with biceps squeezed against ears to complete a rep.
E. To begin the next rep, lower the dumbbells to your shoulders while falling into a squat.
Deadlift with a high sumo pull
Toes pointing slightly outward. A. Stand with feet somewhat wider than shoulder width apart. Hold dumbbells in front of the hips, palms towards the thighs.
Squeezing the shoulder blades together and bracing the core are all ways to begin reversing the hip flexion.
C. Do not allow hips to descend any farther once dumbbells are lower than knees. Dumbbells should be held a few inches above the ground for optimal results.
D. Keep the dumbbells close to the body and drive through the heels at the bottom of the action. Extend hips and knees fully after dumbbells pass knees and squeeze glutes at the top.
Keeping your elbows tucked in and out to the side, shrug your shoulders and bring the dumbbells up to the chin, keeping your elbows elevated. Put weights on hips and lower them.
Side Punches using Dumbbells
a. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with your hands on two dumbbells in front of your chest, elbows pointing down.
B. While maintaining a raised chest and a firm core, rotate your torso to the left and punch with your right arm across your body. Repeat with the left arm. Arms alternated as you went on
Place Your Dumbbell in the Right Position
Holding dumbbells at either side with palms facing you, stand with feet hip-width apart. Stand tall with your shoulders back and down.
B. Maintain a 90-degree angle between the thigh and the calf while shifting weight to the left foot. Return to starting position by lowering back until knee is parallel to hips. Alternate legs while doing so.
A lateral shuffle in Circuit 3
Assume a stance with your feet hip-width apart. B As you take a step to the left, lower yourself to a deep squat.
Squat down and move your feet as far to the left as your space will allow, maintaining them hip-width apart while you do so. Then, go to the right and repeat the process.
Adding a lateral walk to the game
Lateral Shuffle with Opposing Toe Touch: Next Steps
T Rotations on a High Plank
Hands exactly under shoulders and knees bent and stacked under hips are good starting points for a tabletop posture on the floor.
In high plank posture on palms, pressing heels and glutes together and pulling navel to spine, step back one leg at a time.
C. Press the right arm into the floor while lifting the left hand up, rotating the hips and shoulders to raise the left arm toward the ceiling.
D. Lower your left hand to the floor and repeat on the other side, switching sides.
High Plank Modification
T Push-Ups are the next step.
Jog Backward and Forward with the Knees Raised
The right knee should be pushed toward the chest, and the right hand should be pumped upward.
Then, raise your right arm and drive your left knee toward your chest.
For the next five to ten feet or more, alternate rapidly pumping the opposing arm with each leg.
Adaptation: Marching Both Forward and Reverse
High-Knee Backward Sprint progression
Mountaineers with a Slant
To begin, place your hands and feet hip-width apart in a high plank posture, with your shoulders directly above your wrists and your whole weight on the balls of your feet. Shoulders to ankles, the body should be in a straight line.
B. Brace your core, elevate your right foot off the ground, and immediately push your knee to the left side of your chest.
C. Drive the knee toward the right side of the chest while returning to the starting point with the left leg. Running-like motion: Alternately drive knees toward the opposite side of the chest.
Mountaineers will now be able to use this feature.
Progression: Kick Thrust in High Plank Position
Squat to Calf Raise with Dumbbell Front Rack
With your feet somewhat wider than hip-width apart, you’re ready to begin! Keep one end of a dumbbell sitting on top of each shoulder while holding it in each hand slightly in front of the shoulders. Keep your elbows pointed down and your weight over your wrists when performing this exercise.
As you drop your hips back and down to parallel with the ground, keep your chest upright and your spine tall. The knees should not cave in toward the center of the body or flare out to the sides.
To stand, firmly press your feet into the ground. Press up from the balls of your feet into a calf lift at the peak of the squat. Begin again by lowering your heel to the ground.
Hammer Curl to Reverse Fly with Dumbbells
With your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent, stand with your core engaged in a plank position. Hands together in front of legs, elbows at sides. Straighten out your knuckle-to-elbow knuckle-to-elbow grip on the dumbbells.
Keeping your elbows close to your sides, curl the dumbbells up toward your shoulders. Using soft knees, bend the hips and lean the chest forward roughly 45 degrees at the top of the curl Keep your back flat and your neck in a neutral position. Keep palms facing in and hands directly below shoulders.
Exhale and raise the dumbbells in a broad arching motion to shoulder height while keeping your core engaged and your elbows slightly bent at the elbows. You should concentrate on pressing your shoulders inward.
D. Pause at the peak, then inhale and slowly drop the dumbbells to return to the starting position. Then get back up and do it again.
Dumbbell Lateral Arm Raise in Split Squats
A. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides while holding a dumbbell in each hand. Step forward with one leg, keeping ankle, knee, and hip in line.
The thigh of the front leg should be parallel to the ground at this point. Raising both arms out to the sides, parallel to the chin, at the same time.
Return to the starting position by standing up straight with feet planted firmly on the ground and lowering dumbbells slowly while keeping your legs straight. Replace your legs midway through the exercise and repeat this movement three times in a row.
Squat Holding Dumbbell Punches Alternately
a. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with your hands on two dumbbells in front of your chest, elbows pointing down.
Slowly and steadily drop into the quart squat, keeping your chest proud and core firm, until the kneecaps are aligned with your toes.
Holding this stance, punch across the body with the right arm toward the left side with a small twist of the torso. Alternate punches as you go.