By Matt Evans
Need a quick workout fix? Whether you're a busy parent trying to squeeze in exercise before the school run, or an office worker who doesn't have time to get to the gym on their lunch break, this is the workout for you.
The best exercises for weight loss all tend to revolve around HIIT principles. HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training, a format which requires you to work as hard as you can for very short periods of exertion, rest up and go again. These bursts of maximum effort allow for a lot of fat-burning to take place in a very short space of time.
This workout, brought to us by interactive workout brand Echelon Fitness and instructor Susanna Barrett, needs no equipment at all beyond your own body weight (and perhaps a set of the best cross training shoes). Susanna says "I am more than aware of how difficult it can be to keep physically fit – there’s always so much to do balancing work and home life, and so efficient, purposeful training is paramount!
"By alternating between quick, hard efforts and recovery, your metabolism will increase, the luxury being that your calorie burn will remain increased for an elevated period post training."
Check out the workout in full below. Perform each of the six exercises for 40 seconds, followed by 20 seconds recovery. On completion of all six sets of exercise rest for one minute, then repeat the circuit.
Stand with feet under hips, driving your hips back and down to bend the knees to 90 degrees. The aim should be to get your bottom to knee level. Keep belly braced and chest lifted then push through your heels as you rise back up into a standing position.
2. Mountain Climbers
Get into an all-fours position, placing your right foot close to right hand with left leg extended behind you. In one smooth motion switch legs keeping your arms in the same position – continue alternating. Keep shoulders in line with wrists and engage your core.
Lie down on your back, bending the knees with feet firmly on the floor, hip width apart. Place your fingertips either side of the temple. Exhale and lift the upper body contracting the abs, keeping head and neck relaxed with eye gaze between knees. Inhale back to starting position.
Start in a squat position with your knees bent, back straight, and your feet about shoulder-width apart. Lower your hands to the floor in front of you so they’re just inside your feet. With your weight on your hands, kick your feet back so you’re on your hands and toes, and in a push up position.
Ensure the body is straight from head to heels. Do one push-up, then one frog kick by jumping feet back to standing position. Stand tall and reach arms overhead. Jump quickly into the air so that you land back where you started. As soon as you land with your knees bent, get into a squat position and repeat.
5. High knees
Run on the spot with your knees high, bringing knee to chest height. Repeat in a fast, powerful motion.
6. Press ups
Get onto all fours, placing the hands slightly wider than shoulders, straightening the arms and legs (option stay on knees if preferred). Lower your body until your chest is in line with elbows and push yourself back up. Remember to keep the core engaged and neck in line with the rest of your spine.
Susanna Barrett is a UK fitness instructor at leading interactive fitness brand Echelon Fitness. Echelon Fitness’ product line includes immersive bikes, a rowing machine, treadmill and smart mirror products. To find out more, visit www.echelonfit.uk.
Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and Channel Editor at Fit&Well. He's previously written for titles like Men's Health and Red Bull, and covers all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen kickboxer and runner. His top fitness tip? Stretch.
What motivates you to exercise? New research examines what gets people moving
Wellness The University of Waterloo has found fear of illness and death is what gets people exercising rather than positive effects
By Matt Evans •
Watch: This 30-minute guided yoga flow for beginners' hip and posture health
Yoga This yoga flow from expert trainer Karen Kirkness will loosen up your hips and lower back
By Matt Evans •