These days lots of HIIT workouts happen at a frenetic, all-out pace, jumping between exercises without even giving you a chance to wipe the sweat off your face. I’m all for heart-racing intensity (and trust me, you will sweat in this workout), but not at the cost of proper form. Think of fitness as a game of chess, not checkers: a strategized play for the long-term win.
Strength is the baseline of all physical performance, and this high-intensity workout is going to help you build some. But it’s a bit of a departure from what you may be used to. We’re going to put away the timed interval blocks and instead use a set number of reps in order to drill form and really focus on strength.
How it works:
- Before you start, roll your glutes, hamstrings, calves, IT bands, hips, quads, and upper back for about 5 minutes. Don’t have a foam roller? Get Fitness Tune Up Balls instead.
- Warm up with some jumping jacks, bodyweight squats, butt kicks, and high knees for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Set a timer for 15 minutes. Perform the assigned reps for each move below, back-to-back, resting only when necessary. Repeat for as many rounds as possible. Keep track of your rounds.
- Repeat this workout up to 3 times per week on non-consecutive days. Maintain proper form and work to increase your number of rounds in each session.
- After 3 weeks, increase your time to 20 minutes.
1. Explosive sumo squat
Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes turned out. Keeping your torso straight, push knees out over toes to lower into a squat. Explosively jump up pointing through toes. Land softly and repeat.
Start in top of push-up position. Take 3 seconds to lower chest to floor, then push back up quickly. At the top of the move, tap left shoulder with right fingertips. Return hand to floor. Repeat, this time tapping right shoulder with left fingertips. That’s 1 rep.
3. Power thrust
Crouch down and place hands on floor below shoulders. Jump feet back to land in the top of a push-up position. Jump feet back to start and jump up explosively, raising fingertips to the sky. Land softly and repeat.
4. Plank pike
Start in a low plank with elbows under shoulders and toes tucked. Pike hips and drive right knee forward. Return hips and foot to starting position. Repeat with left knee. That’s 1 rep.
Lower into a quarter squat and explosively jump up and over to your right. Land softly and repeat to the left. That’s 1 rep.
6. Single-arm iso hold
3 reps per side
Start in the top of a pushup position with wrists positioned below shoulders. Extend your right arm out parallel to the floor for a slow count of 15 to 20, focusing on contracting the muscles in your upper back. Repeat on the opposite side. That’s 1 rep. Go for 3 on each side.
7. Tuck jump
Stand with heels shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly, arms stacked in front of chest. Press hips back to lower into a squat. Go as low as you can without losing the natural curve in your lower back. Explosively jump up as high as you can, tucking the knees to the chest. Land softly and repeat.
Adam Rosante is a fitness and nutrition coach, author of The 30-Second Body, Target’s fitness ambassador, and founder of The People’s Bootcamp.