A short history of high-intensity interval training (better known as HIIT): The workout modality got its start in the 1950s when Olympic athletes started performing sprints that challenged their heart rate to better their fitness. Nowadays, HIIT workouts have diversified to include moves like burpees, mountain climbers, and squat jumps. Best of all, in 2022, you can get a really great HIIT workout accomplished with no equipment and minimal space, even when you only have 15 minutes.
On this week’s episode of Trainer of the Month Club, Deja Riley, Lululemon ambassador, Mirror trainer, and founder of The Sweaty Smile Squad is serving up what she calls a “feel-good fire cardio workout”—and it’s just as fun as it sounds. In two rounds of six moves, you’ll challenge your full body (but mostly your hamstrings, glutes, and quads), up your heart rate and improve your cardio fitness.
After a short warm-up, you’ll get into the six moves in this HIIT circuit. When you’re ready, go ahead, crank your music and hit play on the video.
6 HIIT moves for a fast and fun, 15-minute, no-equipment HIIT workout
Bring your feet under your shoulders and place your hands on your hips. Begin to hop in place, and every time you land, alternate between kicking your left foot up toward your left glute, landing on both feet, then repeating on the right side. For a low-impact alternative, remove the hop and just alternate butt kicks from this wide-leg stance. Repeat for 45 seconds.
Stand to your right side, shift all your weight onto your right foot, and cross your left foot behind you, allowing your left toes to hover above the ground. Take a big leap (or step) to the left, landing on your left foot and allowing your right to cross behind it. Continue moving back and forth, sweeping your arms from side to side for extra momentum, until the 45 seconds is up.
3. Side-to-side lunges
Bring your feet to touch. Pour your weight into your right foot and step your left foot out wide to the side, bending into the left knee as you do so, while keeping your right leg straight. Step back to center an switch sides. (Alternatively, you can step your right foot over to meet your left and then switch sides, depending on how much room you have.) Continue moving back and forth for 45 seconds.
4. Jump jacks
Bring your feet to touch and place your arms at your sides. Bend gently into your knees and spring your feet outward, so they’re just wider than your hips. At the same time, lift your arms out wide to your sides in line with your shoulders. Return to your starting position and continue repping through jumping jacks for 45 seconds.
5. Jumping reverse lunges
Bring your feet together under your hips. Jump or step back into a reverse lunge so your left foot is back, heel high, and you’re bending deeply into both knees. Jump or step your feet back together, and then switch sides. Keep it going for 45 seconds.
6. Around the world marches
This is your active recovery, intended to let your heart rate come down after those more high-intensity moves. Begin marching in place, and every 10 seconds, make a quarter-turn to the left until you come full circle. You can pump your arms for some extra momentum here.