5 HIIT Cardio Workouts for Busy People

under Excercise And Fitness 11

Who says exercising is time consuming? With HIIT cardio, you can exercise less, but lose more pounds.

HIIT or high intensity training is the best friend of all bodybuilders and majority of athletes. It’s also gaining popularity among individuals who are simply looking to shed some pounds or maintain a healthy physique but couldn’t afford to spend time in the gym for hours of workout. With HIIT cardio, you can gain the benefits of a ten-hour aerobic session for just 15 to 30 minutes. No way! Well, that’s what scientific studies show.

According to experts, high intensity training, which is often composed of low-paced and fast-paced exercises, has a number of benefits. These include improved strength, endurance, flexibility, leaner muscles, and better health. Below are 5 HIIT cardio workouts you can try. After a week, expect to experience slight improvement in your physical strength and in your mood.

1.       Heavy rope training

This exercise was originally designed for those who are into football and mixed martial arts. But today, it’s a popular HIIT cardio exercise too. If you’re one of those people who complain of extra demanding workouts, this one’s for you. This workout includes some twisting, jumping, throwing, whipping and performing spiral movements. The entire session takes about 15 minutes. The first 5 minutes are allocated to a jumping rope activity for warming up. Then, you’ll have to perform 3-5 sets of intervals that are 10-30 each. Spare 45 seconds to one minute of rest between each interval. This HIIT cardio training will increase your strength, endurance and power.

2.       Car push

Uh-oh – sounds hard isn’t it? But it’s actually one of the best high intensity exercises there are today. Car pushing as a physical workout is underrated but when it comes to HIIT cardio, it’s a highly effective form of exercise. Remember, with HIIT, your goal is to push yourself to the limits. Car pushing enhances your leg, power, and upper body pressing ability. To do this, you just have to put your car on a neutral mode, drop your head down, and place your arms straight on a “push” position and thrust. Push it with all your might for 10-30 seconds. Prior the exercises, brisk walk or slow jog for 10 minutes to warm up. Push the car for 4 intervals, with 10-30 seconds each. Spare 10 minutes to cool down through brisk walking or mild jogging.

3.       Sprint

Did you notice that sprinters have leaner muscle mass on their legs as compared to long-distance runners? It’s because sprinting, which has been practiced for so many years, activates twitch muscles faster and leads to muscle damage, and eventually to new muscle fiber growth. If you sprint today, expect to feel sore muscles tomorrow. But the reward is big. For this HIIT cardio workout, spare 10 minutes for brisk walking. The training involves 5 sets of sprinting, with 10-30 seconds per interval. Give yourself 1-4 minutes in between the intervals and another 10 minutes of brisk walking to cool down.

4.       Boxing

Had a bad day at work? Is your wife nagging at you again? Instead of releasing your anger to something else, do it through boxing! Hitting a punching bag is a great HIIT cardio workout that is ideal for those who are suffering from lower extremity injuries. Experts do not recommend doing boxing after a heavy upper-body workout. To warm yourself up, jump rope for 10 minutes. Hit the punching bag for 5 rounds, 10-30 seconds of all-out punches (imagine hitting the face of the person you hate most). In between rounds, spare 2-4 minutes for jumping rope activities. Then, give it 10 minutes of brisk walking to cool down.

5.       Kettle bell swings

If you want to activate your hamstrings and glutes, you should try this HIIT cardio workout. In a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, it was found that muscle activation reaches as high as 50% of the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) as the movement of the swing shifts from the bottom to the top. Kettle bell exercises help strengthen your core muscles, hips and knees, and stimulate your glutes. Every time you swing the kettle bell, you are actually firing your muscle fibers which lead to new muscle growth. To warm up your body, jump rope for 5 minutes at a moderate pace, and then brisk walk or jog for another 10 minutes. Swing the kettle bell within 10-30 seconds for 5 sets. Take a 45-60 second rest in between intervals. To cool down, jump rope again for 5 minutes and brisk walk or jog for 10 minutes.

These HIIT cardio workouts are sure to squeeze off your fats and at the same time, strengthen your overall physical physique and help you build powerful and leaner muscles.


Comments (11)

  1. Margaret

    10/10/2012, 04:19 pm

    Great post! I do believe boxing is a very good training exercise. I know a person whose into boxing and she really does lose big amount of weight.

      • Margaret

        10/12/2012, 09:49 am

        Hello Kingsley,

        Well, unfortunately not. But I’m doing my 3 times a week workout at home. I’m actually thinking to give it a try someday soon, I just need to get it into my schedule. How about you? Are you into boxing too?

  2. evilcyber

    11/13/2012, 08:24 pm

    Most of that sounds more like strength training. HIIT is cardio and simply means go high intensity for x amount of time, go low intensity for x amount of time.

  3. Paul

    11/20/2012, 01:57 pm

    I just want to add that I feel shadow boxing is also very effective. I started doing it for about 20 mins a day 6 months ago and have lost a decent amount of weight. It’s also a lot more tiring than it looks!

  4. Logan

    03/21/2013, 02:16 pm

    Great article! I’ve honestly never thought of car pushing as a feasible training exercise (it’s more of something you only see on TV). There’s an abandoned street close by in my neighbourhood I’m going to give it a try this weekend! I’ll let you know how it goes! Thanks for the post!!

    • admin

      03/21/2013, 08:45 pm

      Thanks Logan! Trust me, car pushing is really effective for building muscles in your legs and upper body – and its such a simple activity.

    • James

      10/19/2013, 07:06 am

      I need to try kettleball swings, the guys and girls at the gym seem to look great doing it. I’m just worried that I damage something swinging that kettle between my legs!

  5. Mikeal

    08/19/2013, 10:21 am

    I got to be honest with you, I have not read about car pushing as a form of training on any blog I visit. (Unless you count world strongest man training). Unfortunately I don’t have any large spaces where I live to do it. Sounds like a great idea for a workout though.

    I already do the sprinting, and you are right about the rewards being being big, I feel a lot more explosive when I push off, and there has been a major improvement in overall muscle.

  6. James

    10/31/2013, 06:38 am

    For me skipping is one of the most underrated exercises.

    4-5 minutes of high intensity rope work is a great start to any workout!


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