A High-Intensity Home Workout That Won’t Piss Off Your Downstairs Neighbors

By now, most of us have probably tried at least a few home workouts. With gyms still closed in several states, the art of working out from the comfort of your own home is still essential. But can you still feel the burn with limited or no equipment? Incorporating plyometrics (aka plyos or jump training) can be an easy solution, but if you live in an apartment, that can also be a problem. Your neighbors probably won’t be too happy with you if it sounds like a herd of elephants is about to fall through their ceiling once a day.

The answer to all your problems is HILIT, or high intensity, low impact training. HILIT workouts use short intense bursts of activity followed by brief rest periods that never require jumping movements. You read that right: no jumping.

I’ve been an athlete my whole life and a personal trainer and fitness competitor for several years, and this is the method I’ve used during all of quarantine to maintain my fitness level. HILIT uses little to no equipment, increases your metabolism, and is also gentle on your joints. If you ask me, it’s a win-win-win. If you’re looking for a home workout that burns fat while toning your body, this is it! Here are a few moves you can do for a full at-home HILIT workout.

Low To High Wood Choppers

This is a dynamic exercise that works your obliques and shoulders. To begin, squat, twist your torso to the right, and hold your hands to the outside of your right leg. If you have a dumbbell at home, you can hold that as well. Exhale and swing your arms diagonally across your body so that you end with your arms above your left shoulder. Return back to your starting position to complete one rep. Continue the movement on this side for 30 seconds, then switch.

Standing Supermans

Standing Supermans strengthen your upper back, glutes, hamstrings, and calves. Stand on one leg and extend both your arms out to the side as you bend forward. Let your raised leg stretch all the way behind you as you bring your back to a table-top position. Squeeze your glutes and pull yourself back to a standing position. Repeat the Superman on this side for 30 seconds.

Iguana Press-Ups

Start in plank position, then bring your left knee up to your left elbow. While holding this position, do a push-up. Alternate your legs back and forth for 30 seconds. Iguana press-ups require more stabilization than traditional push-ups and are excellent for building core stability in addition to working out your chest.

Standing Knee Drive

Stand with your hands behind your head and forcefully drive each knee in towards your chest. For maximum results, move as quickly as you can for 30 seconds straight. 

Reverse Plank Leg Lift

Begin by sitting on the ground with your legs bent and your arms behind you—your fingertips should be facing towards your toes. Push your butt up off the ground and begin raising one leg at a time up towards your chest. Keep your movements controlled, squeeze your abs at the top of each leg raise, and always keep your hips lifted.

Squat Hold To Calf Raise

Stand in sumo position (feet outside your hips and shoulders) and sit into a squat. Hold this position for 30 seconds while you raise your heels up and down off of the floor. You should keep your weight in the balls of your feet throughout the movement. Prepare to feel an intense burn in your thighs and calves!

Hip Bridge with Hamstring Curl

You’re going to need to wear a pair of socks for this one! Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and feet placed hip-width apart. Bridge your hips up into the air and slide your feet forward as far as you can without dropping your hips down. Then pull your feet back in towards your glutes and repeat the movement for 30 seconds. Don’t lower your hips for the entire 30 seconds.

Images: Jonathan Borba / Unsplash

How Many Calories Your Favorite Workout Classes Actually Burn
Group workout classes are great. You’re motivated by the overachieving people in the front row to work harder, but you also don’t feel super sh*tty about yourself because there is usually someone who’s just as lost as you. But even if you’re not perfectly coordinated (me in dance cardio classes), you will likely still be dying at the end of a class, if you’re doing it right. Obviously, not all workout classes are created equal, and some will burn more calories than others. So I did the research to find out if cycling is really kicking your butt, if CrossFit is really worth it, and more. Read on to find out how many calories workout classes burn. For reference purposes, I reported the number of calories burned for a woman who is 155 pounds. So your mileage may vary, but here’s a good reference guide to the calories burned in your favorite group fitness classes.

HIIT

Also known as high-intensity interval training, HIIT classes involve lots of sweating, heavy breathing, and typically burpees. As the name implies, they are structured in intervals of high-intensity workouts. Typically, you push yourself to the maximum for 20 to 90 seconds before taking a short break and doing it all again. Due to the intensity of the workout (say “intensity” again), you can burn up to 900 calories in an hour. The harder you work, the more you’ll burn. Either way, you’ll for sure need a shower and nap after this workout.

Kickboxing

If you want a major confidence boost, take up kickboxing. This high-intensity workout will test your balance, endurance, strength, coordination, and flexibility. Not to mention, you’ll feel like a total badass when you master a mean uppercut. A 155-pound woman could burn around 740 calories in an hour of kickboxing class. Speaking from experience, you’ll work legit every muscle in your body, and I can guarantee you’ll be so sore the next day. Have fun walking upstairs!

Cycling

Personally, cycling is my favorite workout. The high energy and fun music makes me forget about how much the instructor is kicking my ass. According to this calculator, you could burn 637 calories for a one-hour spin class working at mid-intensity (which means that you could still have a conversation). Personally, I can barely breathe midway through a spin class, let alone have a conversation, but sure.

CrossFit

Say what you want about the people who swear by it, but this workout is no joke, and you’re able to burn almost 800 calories in an hour (so I guess those bros are doing something right). It’s a high-intensity, constantly changing workout that involves exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, and squats. Honestly, I don’t feel like I need to explain it further—if you want to know more just go up to the nearest person you know who does CrossFit and breathe in their direction and they’ll tell you all about it.

Circuit Training

Circuit Training

This workout may be hard, but it is never boring. It combines a variety of different exercises to work different muscle groups that you move through with a short or no break in between. Your heart will be racing basically as soon as you start. In a one-hour class (or workout you do yourself, which I’m v impressed you are motivated to do), you could burn up to 547 calories.

Hot Yoga

Well for starters, it’s hot, which some people hate but I personally love. You sweat balls, which always makes me feel like I’m working 10 times harder that I probably am. The heat also helps you release toxins and loosens your muscles so you can have a deeper stretch. For an hour hot yoga session, you could burn up to 500 calories. You can also improve flexibility and reduce stress.

Barre

barre

I don’t think I’ve ever left a barre class when my legs don’t feel like Jell-O. Even though I danced ridiculous hours as a child, these classes are very hard. In case you missed the trend, barre is a combination of ballet, yoga, and pilates poses and exercises to work muscles you never even knew you had (or at least, that’s the case for myself).  You can burn more than 400 calories in an hour class and tone your muscles. These ballet-inspired classes will make you feel like a classy ballerina.

Images: Scott Webb/Unsplash; Giphy (7)
The Best Workout To Do Based On Your Fitness Goals

We all have our reasons for going to the gym, whether it’s because we want to drop some pounds, get toned for our Mexico vacay, or just need to clear our overly cluttered minds (how could Tristan do that to Khloé?! What’s baby True going to think??). Whatever the reason, there’s a specific workout that will help you best achieve your fitness goals. Like, I’m totally a fan of yoga and all, but it’s probs not your best workout option if you’re trying to lose weight, and if you want to tone up, doing straight cardio for an hour isn’t the best use of your time. So, to help you maximize your allotted 45 minutes at the gym as efficiently as possible, I’ve broken down the best workout for your fitness goals.

1. Weight Loss

If you’re trying to lose weight, the best workout for you is a high-intensity interval training workout, more commonly known as a HIIT workout. A HIIT workout is a training method in which you alternate bursts of high- and low-intensity intervals throughout a set cycle. This method of working out is proven to burn more calories than most other workouts, while also simultaneously boosting your metabolism. There are tons of free online programs for HIIT workouts that you can do on your own, and most are only a max of 30 minutes. If you’re looking for a HIIT workout class, try Switch Playground, Fhitting Room, 305 Fitness, or a group Tabata workout.

2. Tone Up

Everyone knows someone who’s skinny-fat. The skinny-fat person wears an XS, but their body isn’t exactly “tight” because they’ve clearly never stepped foot at a gym. Toning workouts are for anyone who is content with their current weight but is looking for a more overall definition (skinny-fat or not). The best workouts for those looking to tone up are programs that consist of body weight exercises such as squats, push-ups, and planks. If you’re looking for a group fitness class, your best options are pilates, kickboxing, or barre.

3. Strength & Muscle Building

Take a cue from the d-bags grunting at the gym and grab yourself a pair of free weights to work on building strength and muscles. There are dozens of free online programs specifically designed for women that will help guide you through one of these workouts. You’ll want to set different days to focus on different body parts and should either hire a trainer or watch a shit ton of YouTube videos to make sure your form is correct. There are also some apps that can teach you basic weights exercises, like squats and bicep curls (I use an app called Jefit, but I’m sure there are like, a million similar ones in the app store). For those looking for a strength building workout class, try boxing! Another option: grab some friends and do a P90x workout.

4. Flexibility

I’m not totally sure why this is your reason for working out… unless you’re like, trying to do some weird shit in the bedroom??? But hey, to each their own!

Improving your flexibility will help decrease your risk of injury, and it will also help your muscles work more efficiently overall. The best workouts for increasing your flexibility are stretching exercises and a workout class such as, you guessed it, yoga.

5. Endurance

Nope, not referring to your drinking endurance! (If that’s where your mind immediately went, then I’m going to guess you probs don’t need any help there anyway.) I’m actually referring to physical endurance, as in not being the girl who’s out of breath after climbing one flight of stairs. Building endurance is essential to multiple facets of your overall health. The best workouts for doing so are ones that combine both strength and cardio training, such as classes like Orange Theory. Any type of HIIT workout in general, though, works great for building your overall endurance.

6. Balance & Coordination

Working out for improved balance and coordination is another goal that I don’t totally get the motive for. I guess it’s useful if you’re auditioning for American Ninja Warrior or something?? Regardless, improving your balance and coordination can’t hurt, and almost any balance or coordination based workout will do more than just improve that. If you’re working out on your own, yoga poses are a great workout for improving balance and coordination. If you prefer a workout class, barre classes or any boot camp style class are great options because you’ll be doing multiple different moves that utilize multiple different muscles throughout the class.

7. Mental Health

At the end of the day, basically any workout that you’re willing to do is great for your mental health. There are, however, certain workout classes that integrate spiritual and mental well-being into the actual workout, such as SoulCycle and yoga. Sue me, but I’m personally a big fan of SoulCycle for that reason exactly. I love getting an intense workout in while simultaneously being flooded with messages of positivity. Of course, I know not everyone feels this way, so whatever workout best gets your own feel-good endorphins flowing is going to be beneficial.

Pretty much any workout you do will help you to achieve more than just one of the body goals listed. The most important step is just getting your ass to work out, whether your reasons for doing so are superficial or health-related (or are superficial but you’re pretending are health-related for your Insta story). Whatever your reasoning, I’m totally not judging.

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