Here’s how a short HIIT session can boost your weight loss

Let’s face it, ladies, we’re busy! Making time to work out isn’t always easy when juggling work, everyday life and everything in between!

This is where High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) comes in. Did you know that you can lose weight and burn fat with a workout that’s only 15 to 20 minutes long?

It’s not a long time, but don’t underestimate HIIT. It’s intense and absolutely packed with fat loss exercises. Plus, HIIT workouts rarely require any equipment, so you can jump straight in without a gym!

What is HIIT?

HIIT, or High-Intensity Interval Training, involves intervals of intense exercise that really get your heart pumping, up to approximately 85-90% max heart rate, followed by rest or active rest. So, maybe you’d do a burst of 20 seconds of exercise, rest for 10 seconds and then repeat for a certain number of rounds.

The concept is pretty easy, but the workouts are not! But don’t worry, the workouts can be tailored to your fitness level.

There are plenty of ways to go about HIIT, from sprints, cycling, bodyweight exercises or even using weights. What’s great about HIIT is that there are so many different options that it will always be fresh, exciting, and challenging.

HIIT’s purpose is to build muscle, lose weight and burn calories. Sounds perfect when you’re living a busy life and short on time, right? It pushes your limits, gets you out of your comfort zone and gets you to break a serious sweat!

Although often compared to cardio, HIIT workouts are anaerobic, not aerobic. This means that your muscles don’t use oxygen as their primary energy source. Instead, it’s like weight training, which is where your body relies on glucose and creatine phosphates (ATP) to fuel your muscles.

Because HIIT is so intense, you can’t have long workouts as you do for cardio. Generally, the entire training will only be about 20-25 minutes.

Also Read: What is a calorie deficit and how can it help you lose weight?

When setting up a HIIT workout, you should focus on four important aspects: duration, intensity, frequency, and the length of recovery. Generally, the workout part should last anywhere between 5 seconds to 8 minutes, at an intensity that’s 80-95% of your maximum heart rate.

How long you rest depends on your goals, as well as your fitness level. A more advanced exerciser might want more of a challenge, so they might opt for a 2:1 exercise to rest ratio. This looks like a one-minute burst of activity, followed by a 30-second rest.

For a less intense workout, the ratio might be 1:2, so working out hard for 30 seconds, followed by a minute of rest.

Get intense with your workouts: is HIIT good for women?

HIIT is just as effective for women as it is for men. It’s even been claimed that HIIT is perfect for women because when it’s done correctly, it’s fantastic for muscle retention, hormone balance, stress management and bone density. All things that we ladies need. Research has also shown that women burn more fat during HIIT than men.

We can’t believe we haven’t even told you the best thing about HIIT! You keep burning calories, even once you’ve finished working out.

But how? Well, when you push yourself through high-intensity bodyweight workouts, your body’s post-workout oxygen consumption level triggers fat burn long after your training has finished. That’s right, a quick 20-minute fat-burning session can keep pushing your body to lose weight for hours afterwards.

Working your body through this intense style of exercise takes hours, if not days, for you to recover to your pre-workout state – during which your body expends calories.

While training hard is a must during a fat burning workout, it’s also about training smarter. Why spend hours in the gym when an intense 20-minute circuit combines cardio and strength building!

Build lean muscle mass

While you’re probably not aiming to get hench, building lean muscle mass is essential for two reasons.

Lean muscles are far denser than fat, meaning they take up less space in the body. More lean muscle equals less fat, which means you’ll naturally slim down as this muscle builds.

Again, while you may not be going for the Hulk Hogan look, it isn’t about getting hench but getting slim. Lean muscles are active fibers, requiring more energy to sustain than fat. But what does that mean?

Well, the leaner muscles you have, the more your body will naturally burn. Whereas if your body is dominated by fat, your body will burn far fewer calories naturally.

Also Read: Sneaky ways food makes you gain weight

So, what’s the best fat loss workout for women? It needs to be high intensity, helping you get lean and develop lean muscle mass. But don’t worry, you’re not going to develop butch muscles and manly looking legs, as this fat-burning workout is designed to help you slim down, not bulk up.

Are you ready to burn fat, lose weight and get that summer body? Grab those stretchy pants, and let’s get to it!

How to get started with our 15-minute HIIT fat loss workout

Designed to get your heart pumping, perform each exercise for 30 seconds. The aim of the game? To complete as many reps as possible during that time. Rest for 30 seconds between each set of exercises.

Once you’ve completed all these exercises, rest for one minute and complete three sets. Get ready for lightning rounds of moves that intend to make you sweat!

If you’re more advanced, you could perform each exercise for one minute and then rest for 30 seconds.

Always start with a five-minute warm-up.

Push-ups for 30 seconds

Start the move by getting into a plank position, keeping your hands under but slightly outside your shoulders. Then lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor.

As you lower yourself, keep your elbows tucked close to your body. Keep your arms at a 45-degree angle at the lower part of the movement before pausing and pushing your weight back to the start position. Don’t forget to engage that core!

If your hips start to sag, you’ve broken form, and it’s time to end the set. Try to keep a straight line across your back throughout, ladies!

Rest for 30 seconds.

Glute bridges for 30 seconds

To perform the perfect glute bridge, lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor and your knees bent. Keep squeezing those glutes as you lift your hips off the floor until your body forms a straight line between your knees and shoulders.

Pause at the top of the movement before returning to the starting position. Be mindful of not overstretching your back at the top, and instead, focus on keeping a straight line across your body.

Rest for 30 seconds.

Side plank for 30 seconds

Ah, the good ol’ plank, but let’s put it on the side! Start on your side with your feet tucked together and one forearm directly beneath your shoulder. Keep your core engaged and raise those hips until your body forms a straight line from head to toe.

Also Read: Strength training at home: The complete guide for driven women

Hold that position, keep your core contracted and don’t let your hips drop for the allotted time for each set. Repeat on the other side and feel the burn!

Rest for 30 seconds.

V-crunch for 30 seconds

Start by lying on your back. Keep your abs braced and lift your legs to an extended position at a 45-degree angle with your torso. Lift your upper half and reach your arms out straight toward your shins if you’re able. Maintain good posture and avoid rounding your shoulders forward. Keep breathing deeply throughout the movement!

Hold this V-shape for a few seconds before returning to the start position and repeating! As you get more familiar with this movement, hold the position for longer. As you return to the start, keep those abs engaged!

Rest for 30 seconds.

Squats for 30 seconds

Get ready to squat by standing with your feet hip-distance apart, and your toes pointed slightly outwards. Keep your torso straight and engage your core and glutes before shifting your hips back and down as you bend at the knee. Lower your body as though you’re sitting on an invisible chair until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Drive the movement through your heels to return to the start position.

Rest for one minute and then repeat two more times.

Once you’re finished, cool down by stretching it out. We don’t want any pulled muscles here, ladies!

What are the benefits of HIIT for women?

There are so many benefits of HIIT for women, here are some of our favourites:

  1. Women have more fat-burning potential during an intense workout than men.
  2. As women, we are more susceptible to thinning bones, and HIIT can help combat this.
  3. Women have monthly hormonal changes, which HIIT can help support.
  4. HIIT causes you to burn more calories while resting long after your workout.
  5. It boosts your metabolism thanks to the intensity of the workouts and promotes muscle growth.
  6. Most people want to lose and burn fat, and HIIT is the most effective exercise for that.

Whilst you’re working out, trust us, we know HIIT is hard, but you only have to do it for 20 minutes, and then it’s all over, and your body gets to work burning those calories!

Ready for the ultimate fat burn?

If you’re ready to mix up your usual workout routine and give HIIT a go, have you considered how Trimtone could support your workout goals?

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