4 Moves to Make Your Workout a ‘HIIT’

It’s tough to let go of sunny summer runs in the park, but you can make sure your fall and winter indoor workouts are a ‘HIIT’ by adding High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) to your routines. These workouts combine 30 second intervals of plyometrics—explosive muscle moves also known as ‘jump training’—with cardio ‘recovery’ intervals.

HIIT is popular because it cuts your sweat session time in half because you’re doing double the work in short spurts. Athletes and martial artists use plyometrics to increase speed, power, and performance. They’re used in the fitness field to get great results fast. Generally speaking, your improved 30-minute HIIT workout will burn the same amount or more calories than the easier routine done for an hour. You’ll chisel and cut muscles more visually, and push past fitness plateaus.

But HIIT isn’t for beginners. Just as you have to walk before you can run, you have to be able to perform moves like squats, lunges, push-ups, and jumping jacks for an hour before transforming them into HIIT 30 second plyometric moves for 30 minutes.

Here are four HIIT 30 second plyometric moves to add to your routines. Do light cardio, such as jogging in place, doing jumping jacks, or simulated jump rope, in between each interval to recover for 30 seconds and whip your body into shape quickly.

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Spring Squats
Squat with hands on quadriceps for support. Jump off the ground as high as you can. Land softly with knees bent and hands on quads again. Repeat for a 30 second plyometric interval for cardio and glutes, quadriceps and calf toning.

RELATED Improve the Move: Lunges

Jumping Scissor Lunges
Lunge with right leg in front, knee over ankle, and then jump off the ground and switch legs in the air. Land in a lunge with the left leg in front. Repeat the jump to right lunge and jump to left lunge for a 30 second interval. The plyometric jumping motion here works your quads, glutes, and calves while elevating the heart rate for maximum fat slimming, muscle sculpting, and calorie burn.

Burpee Push-ups
Start standing, then squat down and place your hands on the floor wider than shoulder-width apart. Jump your feet backward and land on your toes, so that your body forms a straight line from your head-hips-heels (a plank). Do a push-up by bending your elbows and lowering your chest towards the floor, keeping the straight alignment of the body. Push back up to a plank by straightening the arms, and use your abdominal strength to jump your legs back toward the hands. Straighten legs from this squat position and jump off the floor, reaching the arms overhead. Land soft with bent knees into a squat and repeat.

Air Jacks
Do a jumping jack (out and in), then on the next out, instead of sweeping your hands away from you, sweep and cross them in front of you and up/out to the top of an X while jumping off the ground and kicking the legs out to form the bottom legs of the X. The rhythm should be jack/in/X jump/in. Do a 30 second plyometric interval for cardio coupled with glutes, quads, and calf toning.

Try it for yourself with my workout DVDs and downloads. You’ll work hard, look better, and have the energy to play hard. High Intensity Interval Training hits (or HIITs!) the jiggle where it hurts, but you’ll only be sore for a few days.

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Nicole Glor is a fitness expert based in NYC, author of The Slimnastics Workout, and the star of 8 fitness DVDs. You can search for “NikkiFitness” on Facebook and Twitter.




About the author

Nicole Glor

Nicole Glor is a fitness expert, author of The Slimnastics Workout, a freelance fitness writer, and the star of 11 fitness DVDs/Videos/Apps. Nikki's "Slimnastics" exercises have been featured in over 100 national media outlets including the New York Times, Live! With Kelly and Michael, Fox & Friends, GMA Health, Shape, Self, Fitness, and Women's Health. Her "Improve the Move" workouts focus on multitasking toning and plyomentric cardio intervals (HIIT- High Intensity Interval Training) to cut workout time in half and boost metabolism. Nikki is an AFAA certified NYC personal (and celebrity) trainer, group fitness instructor at Crunch in Manhattan, and a 200hr RYT YogaFit/Yoga Alliance trained yoga instructor. Nikki got her start in fitness as a Syracuse University Cheerleader, where she graduated with a degree in Broadcast Journalism from the prestigious Newhouse School. Her music playlists, video demos and DVDs can be found at www.nikkifitness.com