HIIT workouts have long been hailed for their effectiveness. They help you work up a sweat, get your heart pumping, and may even (temporarily) boost your metabolism. A quick session usually takes less than 30 minutes and often doesn’t require any equipment.
So, if you don’t have time to make it to the gym this week and are looking for a low-impact way to raise your heart rate, save this equipment-free routine from LA-based personal trainers Juice & Toya.
Watch Juice & Toya’s low-impact HIIT workout
This routine has no jumping, so it's ideal if you need to take it easy on your joints or don’t want to upset your downstairs neighbor.
There are nine exercises, all with an extra variation, so 18 moves to try in total. You complete this twice through to finish the 20-minute workout.
You'll be working for 25 seconds, but will need to stay sharp on your feet as rest periods are only five seconds between variations and 15 seconds in between moves.
How does cardio affect your metabolism?
Cardio is not the workout you want to leave out of your routine. As the name suggests, cardiovascular workouts improve your heart health. Working your heart also helps your lungs function better and improves blood and oxygen flow around the body, which is important for energy, immune function and overall health.
The intervals in HIIT training challenge the heart as you alternate between working hard and recovering. This also leads to increased calorie burn during and after the workout (although it’s worth noting that the elevated calorie burn is temporary).
If you are not used to HIIT workouts you might feel some delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) the next day as the moves will have caused tiny tears in your muscle fibers.
Sounds ominous, but your body will repair these microtears, making the muscle fibers larger and stronger.
Just make sure you’re consuming adequate amounts of protein across the day, as your muscles need the amino acids in this nutrient for the repair process.
Want to top up your protein levels without adding any carbs or sugar to your diet? Have a look at our guide to the best protein powders for weight loss
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Lois Mackenzie is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering strength training workouts with weights, accessible ways to stay active at home, and training routines for runners. She joined the team from Newsquest Media Group, where she was a senior sports, trends, and lifestyle reporter. She is a dedicated runner, having just completed her first marathon, and an advocate for spending time outdoors, whether on a walk, taking a long run, or swimming in the sea.
Lois holds a Master's degree in Digital Journalism, and has written for Good Health, Wellbeing & The Great Outdoors, Metro.co.uk, and Newsquest Media Group, where her reporting was published in over 200 local newspapers.
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