High intensity interval training (HIIT) has a cult following for a reason—the popular form of exercise has been shown to yield major health benefits, from improved cardiac function to mega fat burn, and more.
In case you’ve never tried it, HIIT consists of a variety of fast-paced exercises (think: burpees, moving planks, jumping lunges) that are completed in quick bursts or sprints, followed by short periods of recovery. A typical routine may consist of 20 45-second bursts of activity, with 15-second rests between each.
So what’s the hype about? HIIT allows people to get seriously sweaty in minutes, so even the busiest of us can fit in a quick session. Just 20 minutes of the demanding training method can torch an impressive 190 calories for a 150-pound woman. But it doesn’t stop after you towel off; HIIT actually works to rev the body’s metabolism, so you continue to burn calories for up to 24 hours after you’ve completed the workout.
As an added bonus, HIIT’s intense spurts of activity also protect your ticker. By pushing you into an anaerobic state (that’s when you’re out of breath), the high-energy technique strengthens the heart and also maximizes blood flow throughout the body.
In this video, Dara Theodore of the New York City fitness studio The Fhitting Room and Aly Teich of The Sweat Life show you how to get your heart rate up with a 20-minute HIIT workout that’s packed with effective exercises you can do right in your living room, no equipment needed. Ready, set, sweat!