A Quick 20 Minute HIIT Workout For Busy People
You’ve finally decided that there’s no time like the present: You’re going to add a workout to your schedule, and nothing is going to get in your way—nothing except for your chaotically busy schedule.
Let’s face it; most of us lead very busy lives, and it can be difficult to make time for things like exercise. And we’ve all been there. After a stressful day at work, it’s more tempting than ever to sit down and relax than to roll out the good ol’ exercise mat or go for a run. Yet, we know movement is necessary for the body to function properly.
So, how can you fit a little movement into your day? Focusing on HIIT, High-Intensity Interval Training, offers a way to get a solid workout done in a small amount of time. In this article, we’re going to explain what HIIT is exactly and examples of HIIT workouts you can perform.
What Is HIIT?
HIIT is anaerobic training that is much more intensive and exhaustive than other forms of exercise. HIIT involves high-intensity intervals combined with active rest intervals.
The average HIIT session lasts about 30 minutes, but a 20-minute HIIT session can be just as effective. How well your body responds to HIIT can depend on which workout you use, as well as how physically fit you already are.
Can A 20 Minute Workout Be Effective?
So, is a twenty-minute workout really enough? Most of us can spare twenty minutes a day to exercise, but it can seem a bit too good to be true.
The short answer is yes. A twenty-minute workout can be very effective, but you do need to make sure it’s the right kind of workout. Here are a few focus points to think about for your daily HIIT workout:
Have A Focus Point
You should focus on a particular muscle group during your 20-minute HIIT routine. For example, you could focus on your leg muscles on Monday, arms and abs on Wednesday, cardio on Friday, and a full-body workout on Saturday. On the “off” days, try a low-intensity workout or exercise.
Plan Your Routine
Make sure you’re exercising your entire body during the week. You need appropriate exercises for your fitness level, but be sure not to neglect any one muscle group. If you want to get your workout done in 20 minutes, you need to know exactly what you’re doing and how to perform the exercises.
Set Your Schedule
A 20-minute daily HIIT workout is only going to work if you actually workout daily (at a minimum of four times a week). 20 minutes isn’t a long time. At the same time, you have to remember to allow time for warm-up exercises, cool-down exercises, and even a shower afterward, if necessary. Set time in your schedule for your workout. If possible, plan the whole week in advance.
Do Low-Intensity Exercises
Low-intensity exercise can include light cardio, aerobics, running, jogging, power walking, cycling, swimming, and more. If you don’t want to do a HIIT workout every day, be sure to do some low-intensity exercises on your “off” days. If you can, choose aworkout intensity that is right for you and your specific situation.
What Is A Good 20 Minute HIIT Workout?
Now it’s time to get down to business. The following HIIT workout should only take 20 minutes, including warm-up and cool-down. So, let’s get moving!
Grab a timer so that you can time each exercise, and don’t forget to have water nearby for when you need it.
The Warm-Up (Four Minutes)
Warming up prepares your body for exercise, as well as lowers your risk of injury. Spend about 30 seconds on each exercise.
- Squat circles
- Arm circles
- Jumping jacks
- Toe touch sweeps
- Boxer shuffle
- March in place
- March in place with a torso twist
- Side-step arm cross
Round One: Six Minutes
Now it’s time for the first round of HIIT. If you’re not familiar with HIIT, get a friend or trainer to spot you and make sure you’re doing everything right. It might even be a good idea to watch a few videos of each exercise before starting your workout.
- Plank jack
- High knees
- Plank to push up
- Plank hold
- Squat jump
- Plank with knee-up
Round Two: Six Minutes
Feel free to take a water break between rounds. Try not to take too long a break, though. Remember, this is a high-intensity workout!
- Jumping lunge
- Lunge hold on right side
- Jumping jack
- Lunge hold on left side
- Star jump
- Russian twists
The Cool-Down: Four Minutes
Now, you probably want nothing more than to hit the shower and possibly collapse in exhaustion. However, don’t skip this crucial part of your workout. The cooldown helps your heart rate come back down and helps guide you into recovery mode. Feel free to spend more time on the cool-down if you need it (and if you have the time).
- Chest stretch (left and right)
- Quad stretch (left and right)
- Inside thigh stretch (left and right)
- Toe touch
- Cobra pose
- Butterfly stretch
- Child’s pose
Working Out At Home
More than ever before, people are resorting to working out at home, instead of paying for expensive gym memberships. The good news here is that you can perform the above workout anywhere and anytime. There is no equipment required (unless you want to add some). All you need is enough space to perform each movement and comfortable clothes to wear during it.
Whichever way you choose to exercise, make sure you listen to your body. Push yourself but pay attention to the signals your body sends you. Pain is never a good thing, and many of the exercises above have lower-intensity options that you can resort to. Happy exercising!
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