With 90% of the population being 'stuck' at home it is essential to keep the body healthy and active. Give your cardiovascular system and muscles a good workout with this 15 minute HIIT workout at home using just your body.

What is HIIT?

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training, and it can be worked around all manners of exercises. While this article will give you ideas on a Bodyweight comprised HIIT workout, it can also be done cycling, running, weight training etc. Just as long as you can incorporate the high intensity. It is worth noting some ways are less dangerous than others. For example, throwing down your efforts on an exercise bike is far less dangerous than doing heavy barbell squats. You will not want to be doing HIIT every day as it will put strain on your muscles and joints. You may even find yourself with the oh so satisfying case of the DOMS (we love to hate them but we hate to love them)

While 'hard work', short rests' is the essence of HIIT, there are a few variables that can change the nature of your HIIT workout quite drastically.

Variables of HIIT

The first 2 are your work and rest periods. Working for 20 seconds and resting for 40 is a hell of a lot different to working for 40 seconds and resting for 20. Shorter work periods are generally better for working on explosive power where as longer work periods are better for endurance.

The intensity of your work periods can differ also. Although you need to be pushing hard, you also need to be able to sustain that level of effort throughout. Therefore just 'going all out' is not the be all and end all. An easy way to calculate this is to do a test run. Test your effort level and time it, adjust time or effort level to generate consistent workout periods. Knowing your target heart rate or understanding RPE (rate of perceived exertion) gives you a higher level of control. If you are unsure on how to measure RPE check the description out here.

Another variable is the type of rest you do - Will you stop completely or will you engage in an active recovery? Such as a slow peddle on a bike or on the spot jogging. These will be dependable on your fitness level or goal. The latter of the 2 options help keep the muscles warm, and flush out metabolic waste in the from of lactic acid.

So lets get into it...

Beginners workout

If you are new to working out then I suggest giving this one a go. Do this 2-3 times a week for around 4 - 6 weeks to ensure your body and cardiovascular system adapts to the efforts and is ready to push to another level.

Exercise 1: Jumping Jack or Star jumps as she of you may know it. Keep your chest up and back straight ensuring correct posture throughout.

Perform this exercise at a 'hard effort level' for 20 seconds. Rest for 40 seconds and move onto exercise 2.

Exercise 2: Box Press-ups - These are like normal press-ups but you have you knees on the ground throughout the movement. Ensure back is straight with your head in alignment.

Perform this exercise for 20 seconds followed by a rest period of 40 seconds and then on to exercise 3.

Exercise 3: Bodyweight squats - Keep your chest ups, neutral back position and face forward. Place feet around shoulder width apart.

Perform this exercise for 20 seconds with. a 40 second rest period to follow.

Exercise 4: Crunches/sit-ups - Perform this exercise for 20 seconds with a 40 second rest period to follow.

That is 1 round done which should amount to 4 minutes in total. Repeat these 4 exercises 3 times round to create a total workout time of 12 minutes. This will get your heart rate up, get you breaking a sweat and increase your cardiovascular system which intern is your health and well being.

Advanced/Intermediate

Exercise 1: Press-Ups - Maintain correct form throughout.

30 seconds on > 45 seconds rest to follow.

Exercise 2: Jumping Squats - Really drive up through the squat with maximum power (make sure your head is clear of the ceiling)

30 seconds on > 45 seconds rest.

Exercise 3: Mountain Climbers - Correct form throughout with a solid core base.

30 seconds on > 45 second rest.

Exercise 4: Burpees - I can’t stress enough the importance of strict form.

30 seconds on > 45 seconds rest to follow.

Exercise 5: Sit-Ups / Crunches

30 seconds on > 45 seconds rest to follow

You can repeat this workout as many rounds as you like. I suggest trying to complete 2 rounds at first and see how you get on. Like anything, progress takes time so don’t be disheartened if you are struggling at first. Once you can go 2 rounds, due to the size of each round, try adding one exercise at a time after that. Adding a whole 5 exercise round will be too much. Keep pushing yourself to create adaptions and progression. After just 3-4 weeks you will notice the difference in your strength & fitness for sure. The key is to make each rep count, make the effort to work out of your comfort zone, as this is where we grow.

Side Note.

We all want to ensure our workouts are not restricted by the clothes we are wearing. Whether you a training at home, bodybuilding in a gym, or running outdoors.. the correct Gym Apparel is essential for a good workout. Trying to perform jumping squats in thick, stiff joggers is just a recipe for disaster (and chafe) Therefor l ensure my gym wear is fit for purpose to give me the best chance for a quality, high performance workout without unnecessary discomfort.

Author's Bio: 

Marina Pal is a renowned author and social media enthusiast.