The top 5 HIIT exercises that tone your body

15 January 2018
By Fashion Quarterly

Laura Henshaw and Steph Claire Smith explain why high-intensity interval training is known for its ability to zap fat.

What’s cooler than ice, more effective than fake tan and will have your heart pumping faster than a first date? HIIT.

HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is a training technique that alternates between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of less intense activity or even complete rest. We love it because it uses every muscle group and helps tone your body from head to toe.

You can sweat it out to two HIIT sessions a week in our new health and wellness program KIC (Keep It Cleaner). Each session has four five-minute rounds and is made up of different exercises so you’ll never get bored.

Here are some of our faves:

1) Burpees

The burpee is one exercise with a million benefits. This full body strength training exercise works your arms, chest, quads, glutes, hamstring and abs!

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight in your heels, and arms at your sides. Lower into a crouching squat with your hands on the floor, then do a squat thrust by jumping your feet back into a plank position.

Do one basic push-up, bending the elbows and then straightening back to a plank. Jump the feet forward to the hands, and come into a squat. Then do an explosive jump straight up, getting as much height as you can.

2) High knees

If you want to tone your core, quads and butt, you’re going to love high knees. Plus, they also help get your heat rate up in a short period of time which is great for burning fat.

To perform a high knee, run on the spot while lifting your knees high to waist level. Engage your abs as the knee comes up. Pump your arms to warm up your upper body – simple, yet very effective.

3) Skipping

Some say skipping for 10 minutes is the same as running for 45 minutes – gotta love that!

Skipping is a full body workout which uses your abs for balance, legs for jumping, and shoulders and arms for turning the rope. To start, stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend your elbows to 90° with your arms at your sides.

Drive your right knee and left arm up while exploding upward off your left leg. Land on your left leg and then immediately drive your left knee and right arm up while pushing off your right foot.

With each skip, propel yourself upwards as high as possible while driving the lifted knee towards your chest.

4) Mountain climbers

These can be a killer, but they’re an incredible form of cardio. Mountain climbers challenge (and improve) your balance, agility and coordination.

Start in a plank position with your shoulders over your hands and weight in your toes. With your core engaged, bring your right knee forward under your chest, toes just off the ground.

Return to plank and then switch legs, bringing the left knee forward. Keep switching your legs and begin to pick up the pace until it feels a little like running in a plank position.

5) Jump squats

With summer here (which means denim shorts and cute little dresses), jump squats will have you feeling like a beach babe by toning your legs, thighs and hips.

Start in a squat position with your arms by your sides. Swing your arms to the ceiling and jump! Land with soft feet as you return to the squat position.

Steph Claire Smith and Laura Henshaw are the founders of KIC (Keep It Cleaner) health and fitness program.

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