The reason HIIT training – or high intensity interval training – is such a big hit?
There are two reasons. The first being that you actually have to spend less time exercising. And the second? It’s a brilliant fat-busting workout.
Plus, research has shown that it can reduce your risk of diabetes type 2.
Even the creator of the 5:2 diet loves it, as he reveals on BBC One's The Truth About Getting Fit next week (January 31).
He told The Daily Mail that "high intensity interval training, or HIIT – has been shown to suppress appetite by reducing levels of a hunger hormone called ghrelin". For Dr Mosley, his HIIT is 10-minutes on an exercise bike, three times a week, with a short sharp burst of strength training exercises on top.
But what is HIIT? HIIT refers to any workout that alternates between exercising at your hardest and then complete rest for a period of time.
So you might do an intense burst of jumping for 30 seconds and then rest for 30 seconds; it’s an efficient way of exercising that revs up your body to continue burning fat even after you’ve finished.
Fitness First Personal Trainer Ambassador Anthony Murray comments: “This style of training is showing no sign of slowing down, with gym goers looking to ramp up the intensity of their workouts. People are starting to relish the notion of pushing themselves further and the ‘EPOC’ effect associated with this style of training means you continue to burn calories much quicker, up to 48 hours after the workout itself.”
Luckily, this type of training can be done anywhere – even in your living room. Here are five HIIT workouts you should give a go to get in shape for summer.
Targets: Whole body, specifically heart rate and legs.
How to do it:
Inchworms – Start out with your body positioned as if you’re about to do a push up. Facing downward with your body in a straight line and your hands and feet shoulder width apart, walk your hands back to your toes, letting your back rise as you go. Once you touch your toes walk your hands back out until your body is in starting position. Repeat 10 times.
Knees to chest – Lie flat keeping your head and back on the floor. Wrap your arms around your knees and keep your ankles together and lift your feet off the floor bringing your knees to your chest. Move your legs back to starting position and repeat this motion 10 times.
Side lunges – Clasp your hands together in front of you and stand with your feet at roughly shoulder length apart. Bend down and shift your weight to one leg, so one leg is bent and one is extended straight to your side. Make sure you are bending your knees and lowering yourself back into a semi-sitting position. Return back to standing position and repeat 6 times on each side.
Take a 30-second break before you start.
2. High Knees
Target: Legs and glutes
How to do it: Stand with your feet hip width apart with your arms hanging down at your sides. Jump from one foot to the other at the same time lifting your knees as high as you can. Your arms should either the follow the same motion as your legs or you can air punch.
Repeat for 30 seconds; 30 second break.
Target: Butt, legs, obliques
How to do it: Stand shoulder length apart leaning slightly forward with a straight back. Position arms bent at a 90 degree angle and bend down so your thighs are parallel to the floor. Jump up and as you land make sure your opposite arm touches your opposite foot and keep on alternating.
Land in your starting position and repeat for 30 seconds, break for 30 seconds.
4. Starship Burpees
Target: Entire body with focus on arms and legs
How to do it: Start standing and bend knees and place hands in front of you on the ground. Extend legs behind you like you are doing a push up and then bring your knees back in and as you come up jump in a star jump. Perform these motions continuously for 30 seconds, break for 30 seconds.
5. Jumping Jacks
Target: Arms and legs
How to do it: Start with your legs together and arms together by your sides. While jumping spread your legs out and spring upwards while doing the same motion with your arms. Land back in starting position and repeat for 30 seconds; break for 30 seconds.
6. Mountain Climbers
Target: Upper Arms, legs and core
How to do it: Start in a plank position ensuring that your core is engaged and your hips remain parallel with the floor. Bend one knee at a time into your chest as far as you can go and repeat for 30 seconds. Break for 30 seconds.
For maximum effectiveness repeat this circuit four times. Remember to drink plenty of water and stretch when you finish.