Whether you spent the past week indulging in your grandmother’s kugel or eating enough Peeps and chocolate Easter eggs to give you a three-month sugar high, I think we can all agree we could use a quick high-intensity sweat session to burn some of that shit off. In case you’ve been under a rock or on your couch for the past year, high intensity interval training, or HIIT is basically where you do short intervals of intense exercise where you feel like you might die followed by a brief recovery period. HIIT, so hot right now. Anyway, this workout is only 10 minutes, so you literally have no excuse not to get it done and go as hard as you can during every interval. The idea is to do each of these five moves for 45 seconds with 15 seconds of rest in between them, and then repeat all five one more time. You’ll probably be panting on the floor by the end, but you’ll thank us when your shorts from last summer still fit. Here’s the workout:.
1. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are a great move if you’re doing them right, because they work your abs, shoulders, and legs while giving you a cardio workout. Place your hands on the floor with your shoulders over your wrist and your legs straight back in a plank position. Then, climb your knees into your chest one at a time while engaging your core. The faster you go, the higher you’ll get your heart rate and the more calories you’ll burn.
2. Jump Squats
Your legs burn the most calories out of all the muscles in your body, so doing jumping exercises while combining squats or lunges is super effective. It’s also really hard, so pace yourself. Start in a squat position, making sure your knees are behind your feet so you don’t hurt yourself. Get super low, and then jump up explosively while straightening out your legs and arms. Keep going until the 45 seconds are up, or until you literally can’t feel your ass anymore. Either one works.
Froggers sound cute and innocent, but as soon as you start, you’ll notice they’re fucking brutal. Stand with your feet spread about shoulder width apart and bend at your knees with your palms on the ground slightly in front of you. Keep your palms on the ground the whole time while you straighten your legs out behind you by jumping your feet backward, and then jump them inward close to your hands. This move is similar to a squat thrust, but you’re staying low close to the ground the entire time without standing all the way up. If you’re doing it right, you should feel the burn in your arms, legs, and butt.
4. Tuck Jumps
If the idea of tucking your knees to your chest while jumping sounds like you’d rather take a Xanax and pass out on the couch, pay attention. Tuck jumps are a plyometric move that shoots your heart rate up in seconds, so you’ll burn a ton of calories and look like an idiot while doing it. Starting in a normal standing position, jump up, bringing your knees as high as you can, ideally tucking them into your chest. 45 seconds will be tough, but the trick is to keep jumping without resting in between so you don’t have to overthink it.
Burpees are the ultimate hell when it comes to HIIT workouts, but let’s just say, if it’s not intense, it’s not doing much for you. Burpees are the exercise we all know and hate, and we’ve written about them in almost every single workout article, but in case you’re not getting the hint: START DOING BURPEES. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Then, lower your body into a squat and place your hands on the floor in front of you, jumping your feet back so that you’re in a plank position. Once your body is in a straight line, lower your chest to the floor and then bring it back up as quickly as you can. Then, jump your feet forward, outside of your hands, and jump up with your arms in the air. This is a full-body move, so make sure you follow the movements without just slamming your body down to the ground in the sloppiest way possible.
Remember when Thanksgiving was literally just about eating good food and spending the day watching some Snoopy float make its way through Midtown Manhattan? The holiday used to be so sweet and innocent, and now that we’re older, we literally need three bottles of Merlot just to get through the first course. Like, if I’m asked one more time about what the “dating scene” is like at my age, I’ll throw this turkey across the room. Being home with family for the holidays can make you a little batshit, so we’ve decided to put together a short HIIT workout that’ll help get out your rage, release some much-needed endorphins, and obv burn a few calories before you stress-eat your way through all your mom’s side dishes. Perform each of these moves for 30 seconds with 20 seconds of rest in between, and then repeat the circuit two more times.
1. Mountain Climbers
Starting a HIIT workout with mountain climbers is a good call, because you’re engaging your core and getting your heart rate up at the same time. Plus, they’re basically a full body move. If you’re doing these right, you should feel it in your abs, shoulders, and legs. Place your hands on the floor with your shoulders over your wrists and your legs straight back in a plank position. Then, climb your knees into your chest one at a time while engaging your core. The faster you go, the higher you’ll get your heart rate and the more calories you’ll burn.
2. High Knees
High knees are one of those moves that look like they’d be really easy, but once you start doing them you’ll hate yourself for thinking that. High knees are so much more than just running in place. You need to lift your knees high enough—like, at least to your waist—and engage your core to bring your legs up each time. You’re warming up your leg muscles while working your hip flexors and increasing your heart rate, so there’s a lot going on here. Plus, pumping your arms at the same time helps burn more calories, so even though you’ll look like an idiot, you’ll be using more muscles and expending more energy than you would by just using your legs.
3. Plank Jacks
Sometimes people think workouts need to be so complicated to get results, but when you’re in a time crunch, simple movements do the trick, and that’s why plank jacks work. They combine the two classic exercises of planks and jumping jacks, so you’re getting an ab workout while also doing cardio. Everyone wins. Start in a forearm plank with your feet shoulder-width apart and your core engaged. Then, jump your feet in and out, making sure your butt stays low the entire time and your abs stay engaged. If you can’t stay still while jumping, just hold a plank for the 30-second interval.
4. Squat Jumps
Because your legs are the biggest muscle group in your body, any leg-based cardio movement will burn the most amount of calories in a short amount of time. Squat jumps use multiple muscles in your glutes and quads to burn calories, and that’s why we’re obsessed (and also why they’re so damn hard). Start in a squat position, making sure your knees are behind your feet so you don’t hurt yourself. Get super low, and then jump up explosively while straightening out your legs and arms. Your butt might be on fire by the end of the 30 seconds, but that just means you’re doing something right.
5. Bicycle Crunches
Bicycle crunches are such a winning ab move, but sometimes people get carried away with how fast they can go, and they end up screwing up their form and completely missing the point. I know this is a HIIT workout, but for this one move you’ll have to slow down a bit and feel the burn in your abs without trying to die in 30 seconds. The point is to lie on your back with your hands behind your head, crunching your right elbow toward your left knee, and then doing the same on the other side. When you bring the opposite leg in, make sure you’re twisting with your core and not just pushing your elbow toward your knee without the crunch. Try doing 20 seconds super slow, and then speed up for the last 10.
If there’s anything more painful than your aunt asking you why you’re not married yet, it might be burpees. Burpees are the ultimate HIIT move because they force you to use every muscle in your body to get down to the ground and back up as fast as you can. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms at your sides. Then, lower your body into a squat and place your hands on the floor in front of you, jumping your feet back so that you’re in a plank position. Once your body is in a straight line, lower your chest to the floor and then bring it back up as quickly as you can. Jump your feet forward outside of your hands, and jump up with your arms in the air. You’ll be pretty dead after 30 seconds of these, but then again, it’s *probably* better than the screaming political debate currently going down in the living room.
Since we’re being honest—cardio kind of really sucks but being skinny doesn’t. Like, why would I want to spend a half an hour dripping sweat onto a treadmill when I can … literally do anything else? Well, stop going to your sorority sisters for fitness advice because running and the elliptical aren’t the only options when it comes to cardio. Betches know that adding some body weight exercises to your routine will make you look way more toned, which is like, obviously great for your summer bikini body. If you hate running just as much as we do, pick 3 or 4 of these exercises and do them for 30-60 seconds a few times through. Your body will thank you for not torturing it on the treadmill but still getting in shape.
1. Weighted Step-Ups
This isn’t as awful as it sounds. Okay, maybe it is, but at least we’re not making you carry a ton of weight. Grab some 5 or 10 pounds dumbbells and a (sturdy) box to step on (you will start to feel this burn fast). Place your right foot on the box then push yourself up using only your right foot so it’s straight and your left foot is off the ground. Then, pull your left knee up in the air for a high knee before lowering to the ground with your left foot first, followed by your right foot. Alternate sides. Bonus: this is also great for your ass, as long as you engage your glutes.
2. Mountain Climbers
Don’t worry—we’re not actually making you climb a mountain but like, that would be great cardio, too. Mountain climbers are on every fucking list we make and it’s because they are hella effective and only require 30-second intervals of work. Start in a push-up position with your body in a straight line, then lift your right knee and pull it into your abs (don’t worry—your abs are there and this exercise is working them), then put your leg back down in the starting position. Then, lift your left knee into your abs. Repeat this motion as fast as you can for 30 seconds then take a well deserved break before you go again. And yes, you have to do this again for it to work.
3. Lateral Skater Jumps
We know, we know—being on skates only sounds appealing if you’re on a date with a hot guy, but trust us, this exercise is great cardio. Start standing in a squat position then hop your whole body to the left, landing ONLY on the ball of your left foot. Swing your right leg behind you and your left arm down in front of your left foot. Then, jump as far as you can to the right landing on just the ball of your right foot with your left leg swinging behind. Go side to side for about 45 seconds and if it isn’t burning, go lower.
4. Tuck Jumps
Exercises that involve jumping are so effective, honestly, that’s why we do them. Start with your knees slightly bent and jump up, bringing your knees to your chest. Engage your arms by extending them in front of your chest or wrap them in around your legs if possible. Lower your arms as you land back on the floor and immediately jump again.
5. Lunge Jumps
Okay, betches, this is just what it sounds like and it will get your heart racing in no time. Start with your feet together, then jump into a lunge with one foot in front of you and the other behind you. Make sure that your knee doesn’t go over the front of your toes. Then jump, switching your legs in the air and landing back in a lunge position. It’s a simple exercise but it does the damn trick as long as you’re not cheating by not getting low enough.
6. Jumping Jacks
We see you rolling your eyes over this one. Don’t. There’s a reason this exercise is so popular, and yes, it’s because it works. We can’t even believe we’re about to explain this to you because if you don’t know how to properly do a jumping jack you need to crawl out of the cave you’ve been under and join the real world. Anyway, start with your feet together and your arms by your side, then jump both of your feet out while you simultaneously raise your arms together over your head. Now, jump your feet back in together and lower your arms down. Repeat this for a minute as fast as you can.
You were hoping we’d forget this one but we didn’t. Sorry not sorry, betch. We all know it takes hard work to look this good, so don’t cheat yourself—there’s already enough fuckboys who are trying to do that. Start with your feet hip distance apart, then jump down into a high plank/push-up position and lower down into a push-up. Jump your feet back towards your hand and in one swift motion jump all the way back to your starting position. Great, that’s one. Now do more.