Whether you’re waiting to order some lifting equipment for home or can’t seem to get back in the groove of daily hour-long workouts, there may just be an unlikely hero waiting to rescue you from your couch potato zone: HIIT.
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is short, fast, and effective. You can read more about the general benefits here. But if you’re lacking motivation, space, and a full gym set up, then HIIT is your new best friend.
This is because HIIT workouts take up a short amount of time, require you to exert almost maximum effort, and only need to be done 1-2 times a week. That means you can get in an absolutely killer work out by committing to 20 minutes just a couple of days a week. It’s the perfect remedy to your self-isolation fitness rut and those boring bodyweight workouts (hey, they’re not for everyone).
HIIT can be done with nothing more than your body weight, but like any good workout, it’s important to keep your sessions interesting and engaging so that you actually, you know, do them.
Here are our top picks for home equipment to take your HIIT workouts to the next level and finally get you moving.
Skipping ropes are small, portable, and very affordable. They’re challenging enough to keep your mind focused and engaged, so you’ll never have to worry about mid-workout boredom— ever tried to do a double-under? Plus, they make for an absolutely killer cardio session. Prepare to sweat. A lot.
Beginners should opt for a regular, more weighted rope. The weight will help you get into the rhythm of jumping in time to avoid tripping over. As you progress, you can move on to a speed rope and start skipping like the pros.
Some ways you can incorporate a skipping rope into your HIIT routine include:
- Intervals of steady-state skipping and speed skipping
- Adding a skipping station to your HIIT circuit
- Switching between different skipping types, such as double-unders, one-legged, and high knees
Plyometric boxes offer the challenge, stability and safety that your couch/garden chairs/kid’s dining set is severely lacking.
It’s not only the ultimate plyometric tool, but can also work as a substitute for a gym bench for exercises like Bulgarian split squats. Not to mention they allow you to feel like a veritable ninja as you gradually work up your bravery to jump higher and higher.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to invest in a box purpose-built to withstand your body weight, especially if you plan on doing jumps. Please do not attempt to use your household furniture. You don’t want to find out the hard way that your cheap IKEA couch just isn’t built to handle the repeated weight of your body at high impact.
Some plyometric box exercises you can incorporate into your HIIT routine include:
- Box jumps
- Elevated push-ups
- Reverse crunches
These little discs are surprisingly versatile. Besides offering a ton of ab burners moves, sliders can be used to work other areas of the body like the hamstrings, glutes, and quads.
They also take up very little room. Just whip them out in front of the TV and get sliding!
Some slider exercises you can incorporate into your HIIT routine include:
- Mountain climbers
- Hamstring curls
- Knee tucks
- Side lunges
- Curtsey squats
More than just a simple weight, kettlebells are the ultimate functional strength tool. And, they’re great additions to your HIIT routine.
The kettlebell’s handle means it can be easily gripped, carried, and swung as you move about in your workout, opening up the possibility of so many different exercises. This also allows you to move more fluidly, or “flow”, between each exercise. Strength training just became graceful.
Some ways you can incorporate kettlebells into your HIIT routine include:
- Kettlebell swing intervals for a serious cardio and strength hybrid workout
- Create a push-pull circuit using rows and presses
- Add a challenging kettlebell exercise into your HIIT circuit, such as a Man Maker: start out in a plank position, holding onto the handles of two kettlebells sitting on the ground. Perform one push-up, then a row with your left arm, another push-up, another row with your right arm, then jump up into a squat, and finish with a clean and press.
Ready to get started with HIIT at home? Look up some easy workouts (WOD Generator is a great tool for this) and then download an interval timer app. Or invest in an epic interval timer for your home gym. Happy sweating!