Stop wasting hours on the treadmill, and switch up your cardio with some high intensity interval training (HIIT). With HIIT you can cut your workout time in half and still maintain effective fat burning. It can even help your body burn fat long after your workout is over.
The reason for this is EPOC (Excess Postexercise Oxygen Consumption). When you give 100% in a high intensity workout, your body’s oxygen consumption increases and your temperature rises. As your body works to return to its normal state you burn more calories for the next few hours post-workout.
Increase fat burning with these 7 cardio HIIT exercises
If you’re a beginner start your HIIT routine with 30 seconds of high intensity 30 seconds of low intensity exercise or rest. Once you work up to it, increase your high intensity periods to 45 seconds with 30 seconds of rest. If you’re more advanced, try 60 seconds of high intensity and 15 seconds of rest. Make sure you do a light warm up before starting any type of HIIT routine.
Your entire HIIT session should typically last 15-30 minutes in total.
1. Treadmill jog / Sprint (or walk/speed walk uphill)
How to do it:
- Start by jogging at a light pace for 30 seconds.
- Then sprint for 30 seconds.
- Slow your run down to a jog for 30 seconds, and repeat.
Beginner tip – Start with walking, then increase your speed and walk on an incline.
2. Squats / Jump squats
How to do a squat:
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands down at your sides.
- Lower your hips pushing your butt back and bending your knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Make sure your knees don’t extend past your toes.
- Pushing up through your heels come back up to a standing position.
- Repeat without pause.
How to do a jump squat:
- Start in a standing position with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Bending into a squat position lower yourself as if you were sitting, bending your knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Be sure to keep your knees behind your toes and keep your back straight.
- Pushing through your heels, jump straight up landing back down into a squat position.
- Continue without pausing.
3. High knees / Butt kicks
How to do high knees:
- Start in a standing position with your feet hip width apart.
- Jogging in place lifting each knee 90 degrees or higher.
- Continue without pausing.
How to do butt kicks:
- Start in a standing position with your feet hip width apart and your arms bent at 90 degrees by your sides.
- Kick your right heel up behind you as far as you can towards your butt.
- Follow with your left heel kicking it up behind you and towards your butt.
- Repeat the motion continuously alternating feet as if you were running in place.
4. Jog / Tuck jumps
Alternate between jogging at a steady pace for 30 seconds then walk for 30 seconds. Repeat continually.
How to do tuck jumps:
- Start in a squat position with your feet hip width apart, and your arms out in front of you.
- Using your arms for momentum thrust them back to jump as high as you can, tucking your feet behind you and bringing your knees up to your palms.
- Land in a squatting position, and repeat without pause.
5. Rest / Stair running
How to do stair running:
- Sprint up a flight or a few of stairs as fast as you can, then walk down.
- Then repeat, but sprinting up the stairs.
6. Step ups / Box jumps
How to do step ups:
- Start by facing a bench or chair. With your back straight, plant your right foot firmly on the bench keeping your knee at 90 degrees.
- Push through your right heel to thrust your body up and balance with your left knee at 90 degrees in the air.
- Lower yourself back down to the starting position keeping your weight in your right heel.
- Continued your repetitions, and then move on to your opposite leg.
How to do box jumps:
- Start by standing in front of a bench with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Preparing to jump, bend your knees into a slight squatting position, and swing your arms through as your feet propel you onto the bench.
- Step down and prepare to jump again.
7. Rest/ Jumping jacks with weights
How to do jumping jacks with weights:
- Start with your feet together and a dumbbell in each hand at your sides.
- Jump your feet apart while simultaneously bringing the dumbbells up above your head with a slight bend at your elbows.
- Jump your feet back together and bring the dumbbells back down at your sides.
- Repeat the movement without pausing.
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Supersetting your workouts are one of the best ways to increase fat burning. Take two exercises and pair them together – one directly after the other. In a HIIT style workout, you would alternate between high intensity and low intensity exercise for each training interval.
Make sure you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated since you’ll definitely be working up a sweat.
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