HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. It is a type of exercise that involves short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by periods of rest or low-intensity exercise. The goal of HIIT apart from building strength and endurance is to increase your heart rate and metabolism, and to burn more calories in less time than traditional steady-state cardio exercises.
HIIT workouts can be done using a variety of exercises, such as running, cycling, jumping jacks, burpees, and weightlifting. Typically, a HIIT workout involves performing an exercise at maximum effort for 20-40 seconds, followed by a rest period of 10-30 seconds. This cycle is repeated for a set amount of time or number of repetitions.
To give you an example here is a link to Zeus Fitness Youtube Channel, our favorite source for inspiration in HIIT strength training. HIIT has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its efficiency and effectiveness in improving cardiovascular fitness, increasing calorie burn, and promoting fat loss. It is also a great way to challenge your body and break through fitness plateaus.
While it is possible to achieve a challenging and effective workout using just your bodyweight, some essential gym equipment can be helpful in enhancing your performance and getting the most out of your workout. Here is the Top 5 of accessories that you might find useful during a HIIT workout.
Versatile piece of equipment that you can use to add resistance to your exercises and make them more challenging. Dumbbells are great for exercises such as squats, lunges, chest presses, bicep curls, and tricep extensions. By adding dumbbells to your HIIT workout, you can increase the intensity of your exercises and build strength and endurance.
Popular choice for home gyms is hexagonal dumbbells, which you will need about three pairs to be able to perform a wide variety of exercises. Hex dumbbells are durable, easy to use, and provide a simple way to add resistance to exercises. They are also relatively affordable compared to other strength training equipment, such as weight machines.
Another option is adjustable dumbbells, they offer a convenient and space-saving alternative to traditional dumbbells. They also provide a cost-effective way to build a home gym, as you can purchase one set of adjustable dumbbells instead of multiple sets of fixed-weight dumbbells.
An adjustable incline flat decline (FID) or incline flat exercise bench is a type of exercise bench that allows you to adjust the angle of the bench to perform exercises at different incline and decline angles. These benches typically have a mechanism that allows you to adjust the angle of the bench, such as a pin-and-lock system or a lever.
Adjustable bench is a useful piece of equipment for HIIT workouts as it can be used for a wide range of exercises that are commonly included in HIIT, such as chest presses, dumbbell flies, tricep dips, planks, incline and decline push-ups and more. Adjustable benches vary in shapes, functions and prices. It is an essential equipment for any home gym or fitness studio.
Adjustable benches have different incline levels, allowing you to target different muscles and add variety to your routine. Here are some ways an adjustable bench can be incorporated into your HIIT workouts:
Plyometric exercises: Use the bench as a platform to jump on and off of or to perform box jumps.
Step-ups: Use the bench as a platform to step up onto, alternating legs for a cardio and leg workout.
Core exercises: Use the bench to perform various core exercises such as decline sit-ups or twists.
Upper body exercises: Use the bench to perform exercises such as bench dips or incline push-ups, targeting your triceps and chest.
Incline or decline cardio exercises: Use the bench in an incline or decline position to perform cardio exercises such as mountain climbers or plank jacks, targeting your abs and shoulders.
A plyometric box, also known as a plyo box, is a piece of exercise equipment used in plyometric training. It is typically a square or rectangular box made of sturdy materials, and comes in various sizes and heights. Plyometric exercises involve explosive movements that increase power, speed, and strength.
Here are five plyometric box exercises that you can add to your HIIT routine for an extra challenge and variety. These exercises work your legs, glutes, core, and upper body:
- Box jumps: This exercise is a classic plyometric move that can be used in a HIIT routine to target the legs, glutes, and core. Start by standing in front of the box with your feet hip-width apart. Jump onto the box, landing softly with both feet. Jump back down and repeat for several reps.
- Burpee box jumps: This exercise combines two high-intensity moves – burpees and box jumps – to give you a full-body workout. Start with a burpee, then jump up onto the box and stand up straight. Step back down and repeat for several reps.
- Lateral box jumps: This exercise is a great way to target your legs, glutes, and core while also improving your agility. Start by standing to the side of the box. Jump up onto the box, then jump back down and repeat on the other side.
- Plyo push-ups: This exercise is a challenging variation of a traditional push-up that targets the chest, triceps, and shoulders. Start in a push-up position with your hands on the box. Lower your body down towards the box, then explosively push up, lifting your hands off the box and clapping in mid-air. Land softly and repeat for several reps.
- Step-up knee lifts: This exercise is a great way to target your legs, glutes, and core while also improving your balance and stability. Start with one foot on the box and the other foot on the ground. Step up onto the box, lifting your opposite knee up towards your chest. Step back down and repeat for several reps before switching legs
Resistance bands are a versatile piece of equipment that can be incorporated into your HIIT workouts to add variety and challenge. Here are some resistance band exercises that you can perform during a HIIT routine:
- Squat jumps with resistance bands: Place the resistance band above your knees and perform squat jumps. The band adds extra resistance, making the exercise more challenging.
- Lateral band walks: Place the resistance band around your ankles and step to the side, keeping your legs slightly bent. This exercise targets your hips and glutes.
- Band push-ups: Place the resistance band across your upper back and perform push-ups. The band adds resistance, making the exercise more challenging.
- Band pull-aparts: Hold the resistance band in front of your chest with your hands shoulder-width apart. Pull the band apart, bringing your hands out to your sides, and then return to the starting position. This exercise targets your upper back and shoulders.
- Band bicycle crunches: Lie on your back and hold the resistance band in your hands. Lift your legs up and perform bicycle crunches while pulling the band apart. This exercise targets your abs and obliques.
Using a weighted vest during your HIIT workouts can increase the intensity and challenge of your exercises. Here are some HIIT exercises that you can perform with a weighted vest:
- Weighted squats: Put on the vest and perform squats. The added weight increases resistance, making the exercise more challenging.
- Weighted lunges: Put on the vest and perform lunges. The added weight works your legs and glutes, making the exercise more effective.
- Weighted push-ups: Put on the vest and perform push-ups. The added weight works your chest, shoulders, and triceps, making the exercise more challenging.
- Weighted pull-ups: Put on the vest and perform pull-ups. The added weight works your back and biceps, making the exercise more challenging.
- Weighted sprints: Put on the vest and perform sprints. The added weight increases resistance and makes the exercise more challenging.
Bonus: Open Hex Bar
The open hex bar also known as trap bar can be a great tool to incorporate into your high-intensity interval training (HIIT) routine. Here are some open hex bar exercises that you can include in your HIIT workouts: hex bar deadlifts, hex bar farmers walk, hex bar lunges: This exercise works your legs, particularly your glutes, hamstring and quads, as well as some muscles of upper body.