If you’re short of time, one of the most effective workouts you can do is a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout.
These workouts lend themselves to being short and effective. The basic premise is you work very hard, for a short period of time, mixing hard work and rest intervals. Here are 3 examples of full-body HIIT workouts you could complete in just 30 minutes.
1. 90 seconds on, 90 seconds off rowing machine.
The rowing machine uses both upper and lower body muscles. To keep things really simple, you can do 90 on, 90 off. Keep the stroke rate consistent across the 90 seconds, and across each set. Repeat 10 times.
2. 10 push ups, sprint 40m, walk back.
This is a simple workout that only requires bodyweight. You perform 10 push ups, then jump up and sprint for 40m. Walking back is the ‘active recovery’.
- Scale the push ups as needed (do them on your knees, or with arms on a bench).
3. Circuit training.
Circuit training is an effective way to get a full body workout in a short space of time. Choose one exercise for each major movement pattern (see examples below) and perform them in a circuit.
- Upper body push (push ups, bench press, shoulder press, dips)
- Upper body pull (seated row, chin up, pull down, body row)
- Lower body squat pattern (squat, lunge, split squat)
- Lower body hinge pattern (deadlift, Romanian deadlift, hip thrust)
- Core (leg raises, crunches, ab roll out, planks)
Do one minute of work, followed by one minute of rest. Complete the circuit 3 times in total, with as many reps as possible performed in the total time.
It is important when doing HIIT that you push yourself hard during the ‘work periods’. The total workout time is low, and you are resting approximately half of that time, on average. To get the most out of your workout, focus on giving it 100% effort during the work periods.
When you give your full effort, you actually cannot sustain that level of intensity for long anyway, so you get just as good a workout finished in half of the time it might otherwise take.