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Workout Wednesday: Reap the benefits of this HIIT Express routine

Working out at home can be fun, easy, and extremely effective! A HIIT workout hits every muscle group and increases your cardiovascular strength.

DENVER — Being stuck in your house does not mean you still can't complete a full-body workout.

As a certified personal trainer, I've redesigned all of my workouts for my clients and members to fit within a small room of their homes, using nearly 100% body-weight, resistance bands and/or small hand weights.

Every day must start with a warm-up. I always encourage dynamic stretching, which is moving while you stretch. 

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Use a double-pull for each of your lower body parts. For example, pull your knee to your chest twice, your ankles back twice and your feet toward your chest in a pigeon twice. That allows your muscles to activate and then elongate. A short jog in place or mock jump-rope is also encouraged.

Today's workout is centered around high intensity interval training — HIIT. This strategy alternates short periods of anaerobic workouts with shorter periods of rest. I typically use the "tabata" timer, which incorporates periods of 20 seconds of high-intensity work and 10 seconds of rest for eight reps. This lasts for four minutes per set. 

The benefits of HIIT workouts are huge! The short periods of anaerobic workouts help you to improve your cardiovascular capacity (VO2 max), significantly lower your insulin resistance over a period of time — and burn more fat.

WEEKLY WORKOUT: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

TABATA ONE

  • Thrusters
    • Rack your weights on your shoulders and stand with your feet below your shoulders. Sit down in a squat and then use the momentum from the upward part of the squat to thrust the weights above your shoulders. Repeat for 20 seconds.
  • Rest for 10 seconds.
  • Drop Squats
    • Start in a wide squat with one hand on the ground. Jump your feet together bringing your hands up to center. Jump the feet back out and switch hands. Repeat for 20 seconds.
  • Rest for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat Thrusters and Drop Squats for 8 sets (4 and 4).

TABATA TWO

  • Snatches
    • Grab one dumb bell and hang it by your knee. Keep your back flat, as you would in a row or a dead lift. Bring the weight up your body until you get to your shoulder and then flip your wrist. Your weight should now be racked. Push straight up. Repeat for 20 seconds.
  • Rest for 10 seconds.
  • Jump and Cross
    • Start in a neutral position. Jump straight up and land softly. Immediately, pivot one leg and throw a cross-punch. Back to center and jump to the other side, pivoting on the other leg. Repeat for 20 seconds.
  • Rest for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat snatches and jump crosses for 8 sets.

TABATA THREE

  • Dumb Bell Swings
    • Grab your heaviest dumb bell with two hands and bring it between your legs. Using your hips, push the weight forward and squeeze your glutes and abs. Keep the weight below your shoulder and repeat for 20 seconds.
  • Rest for 10 seconds.
  • Knee pulls
    • Stand on one leg and pull the other knee into the chest repeatedly.
  • Rest for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat swings and pulls for 8 sets.

TABATA FOUR

  • Push-up, walk-over
    • Perform a standard push-up (knees or toes), then walk both your hands and feet over one step and push-up again. Go back the other way. Repeat for 20 seconds.
  • Rest for 10 seconds.
  • Mountain Climbers
    • Start in a push-up position. Bring your knees into your chest repeatedly as fast as you can. Repeat for 20 seconds.
  • Rest for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat push-ups and mountain climbers for 8 sets.

The most important part of every workout is the cool-down or stretch. Spend roughly 10 minutes on your stretch session, and no less than 15 seconds per stretch. 

Start from the bottom and work your way up, stretch your hamstrings, hip flexors, glutes, hips, lower back and quads, before moving to your upper body. Then stretch your shoulders, triceps, back and finish with chest.

Drink plenty of water, especially after your stretch. Once your muscles have been stretched out, they need to be replenished with fluids.

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