High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, is a new fitness trend that has quickly spilled into the mainstream of fitness communities across the country. This style of specialized training involves the use of all-out effort in rapid, intense bursts of physical activity. Activity bursts are followed by short periods of recovery.The spacing out of activity with rest is meant to stimulate your heart and burn more fat in comparably less time. This style of workout heightens the body's need for oxygen as the exercise is taking place. It also creates an oxygen shortage that forces the body to ask for additional oxygen throughout the recovery process. Some refer to this after-burn effect as the “Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption” or EPOC. It is the reason why rapid-fire HIIT exercise burns more calories and fat than traditional aerobic exercise.
HIIT actually boosts the participant's metabolism. This high intensity interval training causes the aforementioned EPOC that heightens the metabolic rate. The result is a faster metabolism for upwards of two days after HIIT exercises are performed. As a result, your body will still be burning fat after you have left your gym. Furthermore, HIIT exercises can be done just about anywhere. You just need a little bit of space and thirty minutes (or less) of time.
There is usually no need for dumbbells or other equipment as HIIT is based on the efficient use of your own body weight. Just be sure to include thirty second rest periods in between each HIIT exercise. Go all out when you are actually exercising and your body will reap the benefits. Ideally, HIIT exercises will be performed every other day. Try to perform them faster each time to increase the number of calories you burn. Let's take a look at some of the best HIIT exercises.
Sample HIIT Exercises:
Also know as jumping lunges, split jumps begin with the alignment of your feet with your hips. Hold your arms in at your sides. Then jump up while moving your left leg out in front of your body and your right leg back behind you. Land as you perform a lunge, with your left knee bent out over your toes. Bend your right knee in line with your hip. Jump and simultaneously reverse legs. Repeat.
Start out on all fours, facing skyward. Bend your knees at 90-degree angles out over your toes with your hands on the floor beneath your shoulders. Straighten out your back so that your body is parallel to the floor. Tuck in your elbows, bend them toward the floor, push back up and repeat.
Begin in the standing position. Position your hands on the floor. Jump your legs out back behind your body until they reach a full extension and a push up position. Jump your legs toward your hands, stand and jump once again with your hands pointed up to the ceiling. Repeat the exercise as soon as you land the jump.
Lay down on your back so you face the ceiling. Bend at the knees while keeping your feet flat on the floor. Tighten your core muscles, pull your head and upper back off the floor until you reach the upright sitting position and your back is perpendicular to the ground. Pull in your ab muscles, lie back down and repeat.
Begin in your normal standing position with your arms at your sides. Bend at the knees, keeping them aligned with your feet. Sit in a quarter squat position. Jump just a bit, land in the squat position and repeat.