What are HIIT workouts for women? As a woman, you are probably always on the go. There is something or someone pulling you in one direction or another. Whether you go to an office every day or not, your life is full of demands. In the midst of these challenging times, it can be easy to let certain things slide. Your health, and especially exercising, is usually the first thing you decide to give up.
Part of that may be due to convenience. It isn’t always easy to give up an hour of your day exercising. Even if you enjoy running, walking or lifting, you can’t always find that extra time to fit it in. You can get a lot of other stuff done in those 60 minutes. Perhaps you need to shuttle kids back and forth to activities during that time. Regardless of the reasons, working out for that long just can’t be fit into your schedule right now. That gym membership has been tossed to the wayside for months, and you think it’s time to cut it loose.
Did you know there is a way to get all the exercise to benefit your body in less time? While this sounds like an infomercial, it’s not. This article doesn’t promise results with little or no work. You are going to work your body, but you’re going to do it in a fraction of the time. How? By adopting a few different HIIT workouts for women into your every day (or every other day) routine. What does HIIT mean, what are HIIT workouts for women and how does it work? Below you will find the answers to these questions, and you’ll discover three exercises that are perfect for the woman on the go.
What Does HIIT Mean?
There’s a chance you’ve seen the term HIIT before and just never took the time to figure out what it was. HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. When training using this method, you alternate between intense periods of exercise or bursts of energy, usually less than 60 seconds worth, followed immediately by less intense movement or rest, generally in the same time range. It is a workout that will challenge you both physically and mentally. You will expend an impressive amount of energy and perform some hard movements for about a minute. After your rest period you may be tempted to give up, but don’t do it! The most important part of what makes HIIT work is that resumption in high-energy activity after slowing it down.
How Does HIIT Work? (HIIT Workouts for Women)
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When you exercise, your heart rate increases steadily. When you stop, it goes back to its regular resting rate. Elevated heart rate means your body is working harder to maintain itself. When you’re exercising, this means that your body is burning calories in the form of fat. Running, walking, cycling—they are all considered cardio exercises because they keep your heart rate elevated and the calories burning.
A HIIT workout is no different, except that after the periods of intense exercise, your heart rate never gets to return to normal fully. During your rest period, it does slow down, but before it dips too low or right after it returns to the comfort level, you kick your activity back up again, thus forcing the heart to go back into action. This constant up and down causes your heart to work harder which, in turn, causes your entire body to work harder. The heart is the pace-setter for the rest of your systems. It tells everything else in your body how hard to work.
The best effect of a HIIT workout happens afterward. A phenomenon is known as EPOC, or excessive-post exercise oxygen consumption continues to force your body to burn fat long after you’ve stepped out of the post-workout shower. This is because the more intense your workout, the longer it takes your body to replenish the oxygen it needs. While your body is seeking that oxygen, it is working hard to find it. You may not know it’s doing it; your heart rate returned to its resting state an hour or so ago. Your body systems, though, are still working hard returning the oxygen stores to your muscles, tissues, and blood. It is this “after-burn” that makes HIIT so effective in fat loss. You don’t need to be working out for your body to be working for you.
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Aside from the super fat-burning accomplished by HIIT workouts for women, some of the other benefits include:
No equipment required: Some HIIT workouts don’t require you to use anything but a stopwatch.
It can be done anywhere: Some HIIT workouts can be done in a gym, at home, at a park, at your friend’s house, well, you get the idea. You don’t need to join a fancy gym to get a great workout.
The workouts take up less time: Instead of logging in 60 additional minutes on the bike, you can burn twice as much fat in half the time. That gives you back 30 extra minutes and burns an enormous amount of fat. It’s a win-win.
Your metabolism can increase: Metabolism can sometimes seem like a dirty word. As a woman, it can always seem like it’s working against you, slowing down, making it that much harder to get rid of that extra weight or even get out of bed. EPOC increases metabolic rate for up to two days after you’ve done an interval workout. That gives you two days of higher energy, better sleep and, of course, fat burning.
Now that your interest is piqued, it’s time to check out some options for good HIIT routines.
Three HIIT Routines for Women (HIIT Workouts for Women)
Make sure before getting into your actual routine that you do a short 5- or 10-minute warmup, maybe some stretching or leisurely walking. While many of the HIIT workouts for women below incorporate sit-ups, push-ups, and so on, there are some moves you may not be as familiar with:
Jump squats: Stand up with feet about shoulder-width apart. Go back into a chair pose or squat. Jump up in the air and land back in the squat position.
Split jump: Also known as jumping lunges, stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place your hands on your hips and jump, landing with your left leg in front, bent at the knee and your right leg behind, straight from your hip. It should look almost like a shallower runners stretch. Repeat this process is switching legs.
Tricep dips: This can be done with the help of a well-anchored chair or bench or the side of your bathtub. Sit on the edge of the tub with your hands placed flat on each side of you. Move your buttocks off the container and lower yourself down bending your elbows. Then push yourself back up even with the tub using only your arms and not your legs.
Burpees: From a standing position, put your hands on the ground. Jump your legs back into a push-up position and then quickly bring the legs back and stand up jumping with your arms outstretched. Repeat immediately after landing the jump. This exercise is not usually measured in reps but in seconds or minutes.
1. Zero Equipment HIIT
Cycle through the following exercise reps. After each sets done, rest for 30 seconds before continuing with the next one. It should take you about 20 minutes to complete, longer when first starting out.
- 50 sit-ups
- 25 split jumps
- 25 push-ups
- 40 jump squats
- 10 tricep dips
- 45 seconds of burpees
2. Yoga HIIT
Turn any yoga routine into an interval workout by incorporating some intense bursts of cardio moves. An example routine would be:
- Downward dog
- 30 seconds of burpees
- Chair pose
- 40 jump squats
- Runners pose
- 25 split jumps
Aim for the routine to be about 20 minutes.
3. Lower Body Blast
Target legs, hips and buttocks in this 30-minute HIIT workout. Rest 30 seconds between exercises. Repeat the circuit at least once.
- 30 seconds Burpees
- 35 X-Jumps (like a jump squat only at the top of the hump raise your arms out to a V and widen your legs)
- 25 Donkey pop-ups (From a squatting position, place arms down and kick legs up. Immediately jump up in a standing position and jump straight up.)
- 35 Side Lunges
- 35 Lunging Power-hops (Start with right knee bent and left back jump up to standing position on the right leg, snapping the left knee up. Repeat on both sides.)
A successful HIIT workout for woman will leave you breathless. You shouldn’t be able to hold a conversation with someone during your burst periods. If you can, you need to make it more difficult by either adding more time to it or adding more reps.
Remember before starting this or any other workout, check with your doctor, who may suggest working your way up from a lower-intensity interval workout to a higher one depending on your health.
There are already some great HIIT workouts for women. With a little bit of thought, you can create your own using the exercises you’re familiar with and enjoy doing. By incorporating some pretty intense periods of training to a possible stale or non-existent routine, you could be burning fat long into the day and night.