June 15, 2021
Whether you are training pro or new to workouts, a 30 minutes home circuit can aid your goals. Maybe you don’t have time for the gym before work, can’t afford all the fancy gym equipment or yoga class leaves you wanting more. This HIIT (high-intensity interval training) home workout has been designed to make you sweat whilst improving your strength and fitness. This workout makes a great alternative to a gym.
This high-intensity cardio bodyweight workout can be done anywhere with room to jump and lunge – making it ideal for the home. Having a solid 30 minute home workout can be the backbone to keeping active.
The short answer is a definite yes! When it comes to working out, consistency trumps all, that’s to say showing up and doing something is always going to beat good intentions – and where is easier to show up than your own home? That’s why I’ve put together this workout based on HIIT to get the blood pumping, metabolism moving up, all whilst improving your endurance and strength along the way.
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First of all, this workout can be done with no specialist equipment at all. I’ll offer alternatives for anything listed here, but if you do have any of this equipment, you can make use of it.
A mat can prevent slipping and injury, and cushion hands, feet, and joints when jumping or exerting force. If you have a yoga mat feel free to break it out. Alternatively, if you don’t, think about using a thick rug or if you have a plush carpet, that’s great!
Dumbbells are a great way to up resistance on an exercise, ie, make it more difficult. If you don’t have dumbbells, many household items will do, such as cans of beans. You could even fill up plastic water bottles to the desired level to give yourself a flexible weight.
Sports-specific clothing isn’t really a must – it’s about anything you feel comfortable in. You have the added bonus with a workout at home that no one will see you. My advice though would be don’t wear anything that could catch, such as tassels or ties. Safety first! Make sure the clothes also somewhat expand. You do not want to split those new Levi’s doing squats!
The purpose of the warmup is to get the blood flowing and getting the muscles used to moving before the more strenuous exercises. You want to use a moderate intensity when doing a warmup, this is just to get your body warm. This will last 3 minutes and consist of;
30 seconds jumping jacks.
30 seconds high knees – jog on the spot, bringing your knees up as high as you can.
30 seconds butt kicks – jog on the spot, this time focussing on the opposite side – try to kick yourself in the butt with your heel. Don’t go too hard!
30 seconds arm circles – put your arms out shoulder height. As the name suggests you’ll want to make small circles getting slowly bigger.
30 seconds walkouts – position your feet shoulder-width apart, bend at your hips to bring your hands to the floor, and slowly ‘walk’ out with your hands as your body straightens. Reverse until standing and repeat.
30 seconds bicycle kicks – lie on the floor, hands behind head, fully extend legs, press lower back into the floor. Now bring your chest up taking your shoulders off the floor. Bring your right knee towards your chest, bringing your left elbow to meet it as far as you can, reset and repeat for the other side.
This workout is fantastic for improving your fitness, toning your body at home, and demolishing fat. It’s based on HIIT to give it that extra calorie-burning potential, accelerating visual results. It’s a complete workout ensuring to hit your full body. To ensure it stays close to HIIT you’ll want to keep your heart rate at 80 – 90% of maximal throughout the duration of the sets.
Each of the following exercises will be performed for 30 seconds followed by a rest break of 15 seconds. In the 30 seconds, you’ll aim to do as many reps as you can. This break will allow you to catch your breath and get ready for the next exercise and it’s this switching of high intensity, low intensity (the interval) that is fundamental to HIIT. After completing the 6 movements you will have completed a circuit. In this 30 minute workout, you’ll complete 4 circuits in all. Rest for 90 seconds after each circuit.
Squats are an excellent exercise targeting more muscle volume than possibly any other exercise. This will hit your quads, hamstrings, and of course glutes, really making you sweat. As the name suggests, you’ll want to ‘squat’ down. Follow these cues;
Place your feet shoulder-width apart. You’ll want your feet facing outwards – imagine if your feet were the arms of a clock and aim for 5 minutes to 11.
Keep your head and chest up – you may want to hold your arms out in front of you for balance.
Bend at the hips and knees, lowering yourself towards the floor. Aim for at least a 90-degree angle at the knee.
Straighten back up, ensuring to keep your chest and head up. Push through the mid of your foot – not the heel or toes.
Some people might not be able to achieve the 90-degree angle, this can be due to many factors. As you do more squats more mobility will come so don’t be disheartened. You can also try squatting with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart and having the feet facing a little more outward, say 10 to 2 on a clock. This sometimes aids people in getting a little lower, but I stress aim for 90 degrees and only go lower if comfortable.
The staple bodyweight back exercise at home, push-ups. This will work your chest, shoulders, and arms.
Place your hands on the floor, shoulder-width apart. Arms straight. Hands should be directly below your chest. Your toes should also be on the floor and your body straight, core tight.
Bend your arms lowering yourself to a couple of inches off the floor.
Now engage your core, keeping it tight, whilst pressing through your palms to straighten your arms again. Try not to flare your arms – do this by keeping your elbows a couple of inches away from your body. If you were to look down on yourself the shape of your body and arms would be an arrow, not a ‘T’.
If you need help improving these, try our simple pushups and sit ups workout plan to build a solid foundation.
Side planks are great for the core. They will target your abdominal muscles and obliques. To do them;
Start on the floor in a low plank position, elbows on the floor directly below shoulders.
Roll the weight to your right side so now the side of the right foot and right elbow is touching the floor. Your feet will be stacked on top of each other and you can hold your other arm up for balance. Drive your hips away from the floor to keep a straight line from head to toes. Maintain this posture for 30 seconds.
When you reach this exercise for the next rotation, change sides.
If you have trouble maintaining the side plank, instead of stacking the feet, lower your top foot to the ground for more stability.
Fantastic for glutes and hamstrings are glute bridges.
Lying with your back on the ground, feet on the floor, and knees bent. Lift your hips until your knees, hips, and shoulders form a straight line. Then lower your hips and repeat.
This exercise will work your shoulders, arms, and core.
Your starting position is the same as a push-up but do not bend your arms, keep them locked. Then whilst balancing on one arm, bring one hand up to touch the opposite shoulder. Place this hand back on the floor and repeat with the other hand.
You want to do this as smoothly as you can. At first, you might find yourself almost slapping your shoulders, but in time your muscles will develop and you’ll be able to do this exercise at an unhurried pace.
There is nothing quite like burpees for complete strength training. They will hit your body all over, improving core, arms, shoulders, and leg strength. A full-body HIIT exercise that any level of fitness enthusiast will find a challenge.
Starting position – Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and arms by your side. Drop into a squat and lower your hands to the floor. As your arms take your weight, kick your legs out so you are in a plank position whilst bringing your chest to the floor. Perform this movement in reverse, push your arms straight whilst bringing your knees towards your chest so your feet are under you. From here go into the squat and then stand tall. That’s one full rep.
Burpees have a place in any good HIIT workout but they are intense. At first, you may only manage a couple of reps per rotation but this will increase with practice.
With a HIIT workout and indeed, any workout a warm down is best practice. Your body will thank you for the transition from high intensity to a resting state again in the long run. To complete this circuit a 3 minute warm down is recommended.
Stand up straight and start lightly jogging on the spot. As you do this shake your arms lightly from the shoulders down. Do this for 30 seconds.
Now lie with your back against the floor – bring a knee towards your chest and hug it tight. Keep this position for a good 15 seconds. Release and repeat with the other side. Reset to legs straight.
Bend 1 leg at the hip to form as close as you can to 90 degrees with the floor. Try to keep the leg as straight as possible through the foot, knee, and hip. You can use your hands around the back of your leg to tug it closer for more stretch. Repeat for both sides.
Stand bringing your arms straight out in front of your upper body interlacing your fingers, palms facing outwards, and push through to using your chest and shoulders. Keep this position for 15 seconds.
Keeping your fingers locked, bring your hands back towards your upper body and then push upwards straightening your arms again. Maintain this position for 15 seconds.
Written by: Jonathan Green