Let’s HIIT the park

High intensity interval training is a simple and effective way of getting fit, says Stephanie Hazelwood

High-Intensity Interval Training is a quick, effective and enjoyable way of maximising your fitness programme to gain big benefits, fast. The following 20-minute full body HIIT workout aims to burn calories, boost your cardio capacity, increase balance and strengthen your core. If the weather is good, you might want to try it in your local park.

The routine is broken into several exercises and to be performed twice, excluding the one-minute warm-up, which is to be done once. The duration of each exercise and rest time varies accordingly:

1. Warm up – Gentle jog
Duration: 1 minute.
Rest: 30 seconds

2. High knees
Duration: 30 seconds
Rest: 30 seconds

  • Align your feet hip-distance apart, keeping your spine straight.
  • Engage your core and keep your chest lifted.
  • Raise your arms just above the belly button, keeping your palms facing down.
  • Quickly lift your left knee up to meet your left hand and bring it down immediately. Follow this movement with your right knee.
  • Repeat this as fast as you can for 30 seconds.

3. Squats
Duration: 1 minute
Rest: 30 seconds

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, turning your feet to a 45-degree angle and keeping your spine straight.
  • Bend from the hip, dropping the knees down as if you are about to sit on a chair.
  • As you hit your lowest point, push the floor away to lift your pelvis up back to a standing position.
  • Remember to keep the chest high and not allow for the knees to go beyond the sight of your toes.

4. Walking lunges
Duration: 1 minute
Rest: 30 seconds

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, keep your spine straight and your core engaged.
  • Take a large step forward with your right leg and lower the knee down to a 90-degree angle.
  • As you lift-up, take another large step forward with your left leg falling into another lunge with the left knee.
  • Remember to keep your bent knee directly over the ankle, ensuring that you can constantly see your toes.

5. Burpees
Duration: 30 seconds
Rest: 30 seconds

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lowering down into a squat, place your hands directly in front of you on the floor and jump your feet back, leaving your weight in your arms.
  • In your plank position, jump your feet back so they land back behind your hands. Reach your arms over your head as you then jump into the air.
  • As you land, prepare to do the exercise again, continuing quickly for 30 seconds.

6. Single-leg bicycles
Duration: 1 minute
Rest: 30 seconds

  • Lie face up with both legs straight out in front of you.
  • Engage the core, lift your shoulder blades off the ground and bring your hands to your ears.
  • Twisting your chest, bring your left knee in and your right elbow to meet it.
  • As you untwist and extend your left leg straight, bend your right knee in and repeat the motion on the other side.

7. Plank
Duration: 1 minute
Rest: 30 seconds

  • Come onto your hands and knees, keeping your shoulders above your wrists and your hips above your knees.
  • Engage the core and extend your legs out behind you.
  • Keep your hands facing forward and your chest in line with your shoulders.
  • Avoid your glutes dropping, aiming to stay in a straight line.

The wonderful thing about a HIIT workout is that it never gets boring. You can switch it up, alter the timings and change the location dependent on your needs!

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