And the best part? High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT, isn't just for the super-fit gym buffs. (And thank goodness for that!)
Let's be honest: as busy mums tearing around the place looking after the kids, pets, other halves and god knows who else, we have our work cut out. So when we started thinking about the benefits of taking on a 30-day HIIT Challenge, with the idea being that the exercises would be super fast as well as extremely effective, we quickly realised this might just be the solution we've been looking for! Getting some exercise into our busy routines that's guaranteed to work - it's a win win.
HIIT is becoming so popular thanks to it being one of the best ways to incorporate cardio exercise with strengthening and toning exercise. By completing a short 'burst' of exercise, you'll be maximising on your time spent huffing and puffing, and seeing the maximum benefits!
Nutracheck Fitness Expert Kelly Marshall, shows you how to try HIIT exercises at home, slowly building up your fitness so that by the end of it, you'll be feeling better than ever! Her fitness challenge is easily set out so you can see exactly which exercise you need to do each day of the month - there's even examples of how to do each exercise move. So there's no excuses ladies!
If you feel like you need a little encouragement, why not get one of your friends or your other half involved? That way you'll be twice as likely to stick to your plan!
What does the plan involve?Kelly says: The concept of HIIT is to approach each aspect of the workout with maximum effort - 'flat out' for the duration of the time or repetitions stated in the plan. This optimises the intensity of the workout, meaning more calories burned and more fitness benefits gained!
In this bodyweight approach, we use five simple exercises, combined together in different ways, to create a variety of HIIT workouts with increasing demand as you adapt to the workouts and become more familiar with the exercises.
The challengeStarting your 30-day HIIT challenge couldn't be easier. All you need to do is download your own plan using the link below, print it off and stick it up somewhere that will motivate you to do your daily workout.
The movesKelly demonstrates how to perfect each of the five moves you'll need to know, take on the 30-day HIIT challenge:
1. Static plank
Lying on your front, bring our elbows underneath your shoulders before pulling your tummy muscles in and lifting yourself up onto your toes and elbows. Hold this 'plank' position for the allocated time (if able to hold without losing tummy muscle activation). If this is too difficult change to a safer position with your knees on the floor.
2. Air squats
With feet shoulder-width apart, push your bottom back and bend your knees to lower towards the floor. Hold your arms out in front of you to aid balance and allow you to squat lower.
Aim to squat as low as feels comfortable - the optimum would be when your thighs reach the point where they are parallel to the floor. From here clench your bottom to stand back up and repeat as many reps as you can within the time frame.
3. Alternative lunges
Take a big step forward with your left leg and bend both knees so you create a forward lunge - both knees should be 90 degrees and the heel of your back foot should be lifted.
Once the back knee has touched the floor then push back with your front leg to return to the start position. Repeat the motion with the other leg. Continue alternating lunges for the duration of the time frame.
This is a cousin of the classic burpee, but instead of the chest and rest of the body touching the floor the person drops into, what looks like, the start of a press up. From a standing position place hands on the floor in
front of you and kick your legs out behind you so you land on your toes adopting a plank / press up position.
Ensure your core is tight throughout (to protect your back). Keep your chest over your hands to keep workload on core and not your neck. Jump your legs back in towards the hands and then stand. This is one rep, continue for the duration of the time frame.
5. Knee drives
To perform knee drives, start in a press up position with your chest fully over your hands (this engages the core muscles). Keeping your tummy muscles tight and your body still, lift a knee in toward your elbow, ideally making light contact with the elbow.
Then replace the foot back to the start position and lift the other leg, taking that knee to the same side elbow. Aim to perform these movements with minimal change at the hips, keeping the body parallel. Continue for the duration of the time scale.
We'd love to know if you're going to take on the 30-day HIIT challenge, and for you to keep us posted with your progress! Either leave us a comment below or visit our Facebook page to share your exercise experiences. Good luck!
Kelly Marshall, Nutracheck Fitness Expert says 'It's true that you can't out-train a bad diet. To get the maximum benefit from your HIIT plan, you need to make sure your nutrition is as focused as your exercise. The Nutracheck App is a must-have tool if you want to monitor your diet and track your calorie intake'.
If you are trying to lose a few pounds as well as tone up, the Nutracheck calorie counter App and website can help. Enter all the activity you do in the exercise diary and see how many calories you've burn. Record everything you eat in the Nutracheck food diary - the App is super-fast to use - and get the balance right to lose weight.