HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) Routine 1

HIIT jump Free Spirited Sisters


High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT has become really popular over the past few years and is a great way to get moving. It’s a quick intense workout that involves doing an interval of high-intensity exercise, followed by a short rest interval, and repeated for a number of sets.

Why I love HIIT

  • It builds strength and endurance.
  • You burn more energy and fat in the 24 hours afterward while your body is repairing itself, compared to a more steady workout.
  • It uses your own body weight, so no equipment is required.
  • It’s a short workout you can fit into your busy schedule.
  • You can do it almost anywhere.

I do it out in the backyard while the kids play, throwing the ball into the trampoline for them in between exercises (and yes, I have had a ball to the head mid-burpee more than once!). They will even join in sometimes or take on the role of drill sergeant and shout ‘keep going!’ as I quietly die at the end of the interval…no it’s really not that bad!

Time your intervals

I like to do a 45-second high-intensity interval, followed by a 15-second rest. You can set a timer or get an interval app on your phone that will make things easier. You just set it for the time you want for each interval, and the number of intervals. Don’t forget to add in a 2-minute warm-up time (I walk around at a good pace while I find my playlist!) and a 2-minute cool-down at the end. Follow that by a few stretches and your workout is done and dusted in under 30 minutes…awesome!

New to HIIT?

If you’re new to HIIT and don’t feel comfortable jumping into intense exercises straight up, you can:

  • Shorten the interval time to 30 seconds.
  • Do a lower intensity version of each exercise to start with.
  • Start with 2 rounds and work your way up to 4.

You don’t want to go too hard too soon and injure yourself. Choose exercises that you’re comfortable with, keeping in mind you want to be working at around 80% capacity in the high interval. It’s about keeping good form, not doing lots of reps in not so good form.

My current routine (x4 rounds)

1. High Knee Skips

Drive one leg up towards your chest while hopping off the ground with the other leg.

Propel yourself up and switch legs.

Be sure to engage your core and pump your arms at the same time.

Lower intensity: Normal skipping, knees not as high (yes you can sing skippity-do-dah!)

  • High knee skips right leg Free Spirited Sisters
    High knee skips - right leg

2. Jump Lunges

Stand with feet hip-width apart.

Lunge forward with one leg, making sure your thigh is parallel to the floor and your knee is directly above your ankle.

Your opposite arm should come forward for balance.

Keep your upper body straight, shoulders back, core engaged and chin up.

Jump your feet off the ground and switch into a lunge on the other leg.

Lower intensity: Do step lunges instead. Start with feet hip-width apart, step forward into a lunge then back to starting position. Alternate legs.

  • Jump lunges right leg Free Spirited Sisters
    Jump lunges - right leg

3. Burpees

Stand with feet hip-width apart, squat down and put your hands on the outside of your feet.

Jump both feet back to a plank position.

Do a push-up with your chest touching the floor, and then push back into a plank.

Jump your feet back to your hands.

Jump up and reach for the sky, before landing and starting the next rep.

Lower intensity: Step feet back one at a time and don’t jump at the top.

  • Burpee starting position Free Spirited Sisters
    Burpee - starting position

4. Jump Squats

Stand with feet hip-width apart and toes pointing slightly outward.

Push your hips back, keep your back straight and lower into a squat with your weight in your heels.

Engage your core and jump up, using your arms for momentum.

Land softly and lower into another squat.

Lower intensity: Do squats without the jump.

  • Jump Squats - squat

5. Mountain Climbers

Start in a high plank position with core engaged and back straight.

Bring one knee in toward your chest while keeping the other one straight back.

Push off your back foot and switch legs so the opposite knee is toward the chest.

Keep switching legs in a running motion.

Lower intensity: Start in a high plank position. Bring alternating knees up to your chest without the running motion.

  • Burpee plank Free Spirited Sisters
    Mountain Climbers - Plank

Recovery is key

Due to the intensity of HIIT exercises, a good goal is doing up to 3 HIIT workouts each week with at least a day break in between. Compliment it with active recovery like walking, swimming or yoga on the other days, and you will be feeling fit and strong in no time.

Keep an eye out for more HIIT posts with different exercises, coming soon!


Katie x

*Please note I’m not a qualified personal trainer, I’m just sharing what I have learnt along the way.