High-intensity interval training (HIIT) promises great benefits – muscle building, high-calorie burn, greater aerobic capacity – in a short time, but it comes at a cost. You have to work for it. Intense exertion is followed by short periods of rest so that your heart pounds and your metabolism burns calories long after your workout. While they can be strenuous, a HIIT workout is also accessible for beginners who are new to training and want to burn fat and build muscle.
The idea is to prioritize compound movements that challenge multiple muscle groups at the same time without putting your joints at risk. That’s exactly what Luke Zocchi, CPT, does in this circuit developed for Chris Hemsworth’s health and fitness app, Centr. “While most of these exercises are based on body weight, a pair of dumbbells can be done,” says Zocchi. You don’t have weights? Fill water bottles with sand or backpacks full of books (just make sure both sides are the same weight).
At a time when we prioritize workouts, we can squeeze into hectic schedules with little or no equipment. This checks all boxes. Just be ready to turn your garage into a welding glove.
The Best Beginners HIIT Workout To Burn Fat
Do 10 repetitions of all exercises in each group in a row without stopping (hold the side forearm plank for 30 seconds). Repeat three times, pausing for 15 seconds between rounds. Complete all 3 rounds before moving on to the next group.
1. Bike crunches
Lie on your back with your knees bent at 90 degrees, your hands behind your head, and your abs. Lift your upper back and balance on your bum. In control, straighten your right leg while twisting your torso counterclockwise and pulling your right elbow towards your left knee. Stop briefly, then return to the starting position and switch sides. This is a repetition. At the end of each rep, add a small contraction to increase the intensity.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the dumbbells in the front rack position near your shoulders to begin. Hinge your hips back, lower yourself into a crouch, then explode, straightening through your hips, and flicking the weights over your head while standing. Your hands should be over your shoulders and palms facing each other. Lower the dumbbells to return to the starting position. This is a repetition.
3. Reneged ranks
Start in a high plank position with your hands holding the dumbbells just below your shoulders, feet hip-width apart (or wider for stability). Engage your glutes and core, then do a push-up. Row one dumbbell towards your ribs, then the other. This is a repetition. Eliminate the push-up to reduce the difficulty.
Start in a high plank position with your hands just below your shoulders and feet hip-width apart. Keep your spine straight, eyes on the floor, and your glutes and core engaged. Activate your lats and shoulder stabilizers like you were screwing your hands into the ground. Lower yourself in control, with your elbows turned slightly outward. Stop before your chest hits the floor and your elbows are bent 90 degrees. Drive to the starting position. This is a repetition.
Start in a high plank position with your hands just below your shoulders and feet hip-width apart. Maintain a flat back as you drive your left knee toward your right elbow. Return to the starting position and repeat on the opposite side. This is a repetition. Keep your weight over your hands and increase the speed.
3. Bicep curls
Stand on the dumbbells with your feet hip-width apart and arms outstretched with your palms facing each other to begin. Keeping your elbows locked at your side, rotate the dumbbells up while twisting your hands so the palms are facing up. Squeeze your biceps, then with the control lower them to the starting position. This is a repetition.
1. Lateral forearm boards
Lie on your left side with your left elbow planted under your shoulder and your feet stacked to begin. Lift off the floor by placing all of your weight on the side of your left foot and forearm and walking your hips up to form a straight line from head to toe. Reach into your core and raise your right arm straight up to maintain good chest posture. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the right side. Don’t let your weight drop into the stabilizing shoulder. Keep space between your shoulder and neck.
2. High-low planks
Start in a low plank position with the weight on your forearms and toes, elbows under your shoulders, and the core locked in place. Squeeze your forearms to rest your right hand on the floor, then your left, and step onto a high plank (on top of a push-up position). Reverse the movement to return to the starting position. This is a repetition. On the next rep, perform with your left arm. alternate further.
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