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Jumping rope with #hiit (high interval training) #exercise. WholeIntentions.com.(source)

I was never sports-oriented in high school. No track, basketball, or Powder Puff football. (Yes, they really did have that.) If fact, I was never much of a sport enthusiast at all. But strangely, years later, I’ve found exercising more enjoyable than I ever thought it would be.

One of my favorite ways to workout is with HIIT (high intensity interval training). HIIT is doing specific exercises at a high intensity for short periods of time.

There are tons of exercises you can do. Here’s a basic example of a HIIT workout:

1. Push ups – do these with your feet together, wider apart (easier), or on your knees (easiest).
2. Sit ups – feet on the floor, toes under the couch, or ask your toddler to sit on your feet.
3. Jumping Jacks – we loved doing them in elementary school.
4. Jump Rope – it’s like riding a bike: you never forget how, it just takes some practice to get the hang of it again.
5. Squats – make sure your feet are shoulder width apart and squat until your bum is lower than your knees. Don’t squat as low if you’re just beginning or if your knees give you problems.
6. Calf Raises – Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Rise up on your toes, hold for a few seconds, then lower your heels to the floor again.

For a nice workout you would time each exercise at a high intensity for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then move to the next exercise. You could go through all six exercises once, twice, or three or four times, depending on how intense you want to make it. One round through all six exercises would only take you four minutes. Do it five times and you’ve got a solid 20 minute workout.

You might look at this and smile – it sounds so easy! But wait ’til you try it. It’s an effective workout you can do easily in the comfort of your home and still get the results you’d be paying a gym membership for.


What’s your favorite HIIT exercise?



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Paula, CHS, Certified Level 3 Metabolic Effect Nutrition Consultant

Paula, CHS, Certified Level 3 Metabolic Effect Nutrition Consultant

Hi, I'm Paula - wife and homeschooling mom of six. Several family health issues involving candida, food allergies, and Lyme Disease have created a passion to better understand our God-created bodies. Today I share that enthusiasm by bringing you information on ways to improve your gut health. You can follow me on Facebook, and Pinterest.
Paula, CHS, Certified Level 3 Metabolic Effect Nutrition Consultant
Paula, CHS, Certified Level 3 Metabolic Effect Nutrition Consultant

Latest posts by Paula, CHS, Certified Level 3 Metabolic Effect Nutrition Consultant (see all)

    28 replies to "Why I Love HIIT (high intensity interval training)"

    • Rachel @ day2day joys

      my husband and I do this 1-3 times a week! We call it burst training but same idea!

    • Paula

      Isn't if fun to do with your spouse! We have a friendly competition once in a while, but he gets me laughing and wins all the time!

    • Mindy @ The Purposed Heart

      Love this Paula! My husband and I just finished P90X a few weeks ago, and I loved it. I was going to start over and do the 90 days again, but it takes over an hour a day, six days a week and that is a lot of time to spend working out! So I just haven't been doing anything the last couple of weeks due to time, and I'm starting to feel it. I know I need to start doing something soon, and HIIT sounds like just the thing I need – quick, but effective!

    • Paula

      Mindy – I've seen advertisements for P90X but never came out from behind the couch to try it. 🙂

      I used to do cardio and Turbo Jam for 60 min. + everyday and it became way too much. My body needed rest. I do HIIT 5 times a week and it's been a wonderful balance between a short workout while still getting results.

      I think you'll love it!

    • Heather

      I recently lost about 20 lbs by doing Thrive90 (http://wp.me/pGS6b-2m). They include several HIIT videos in their program. They were exhausting, but they seemed to do the trick! Maybe I'll make it to P90X soon…

      Found you through Titus 2sdays!

    • Paula

      Heather – Wow! 20 lbs off feels great, doesn't it! Good for you for sticking with it, even if it was hard.

    • Barb @ A Life in Balance

      I'm so happy you shared this! I've been making changes with my exercise program now that I'll be 44 in about 6 weeks. I realized that the long walks I was taking just didn't cut it anymore. I need to be more intense in my workouts and make them shorter to fit them in my schedule better.

      I started using my T-Tapp dvd again 3x weekly. It's a combination of stretches and using the body as a weight. The entire workout takes me 20 minutes, but should take less as I learn the moves.

    • Janice

      I so need to get back into shape this year. 🙁 Thanks for this post. I would love it if you'd link this up on my blog carnival Family Time Tuesday!


    • Paula

      Barb – Sad, isn't it, that the older we get the harder we have to work to get if off 🙂 I've noticed the same thing.

      But every little bit helps, and a good, heart- pounding, 20 minute workout is better than strolling along on a treadmill for an hour. (Been there, done that).

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • Paula

      Janice – Thanks for coming over, I linked up to your blog carnival – it looks great!

    • Jennifer

      I have been doing slim in 6. Do you think the interval training is as effective? I don't enjoy exercising for 45 min. So to move to 20min would be great!

    • Paula

      Jennifer – I know exactly where you're coming from. I used to Turbo Jam between 45 min – 1 hr every day for several years (in between pregnancies). It was really hard to stay motivated and fit that time into my schedule!

      I started interval training for just that reason and I've been doing it for five months now. I do think it's just as effective – if not more.

      My eating habits have not changed, just my exercise and this is what I've noticed:

      1. weekly weight loss is about the same either way
      2. muscle strength has markedly improved and I'm quite a bit toner (according to hubby 🙂 (i.e. When I started I could barely squeak out 3-5 push ups in a row without falling on my face – I'm now up to 20)
      3. I LOVE being done in 15-20 min! This makes it so much easier to get up and get started.
      4. Interval training is so varied – I love how each day is different rather than watching a workout video and being able to mouth everything the instructor says as she says it. 🙂

      Give it a go and let me know what you think – I'll think you'll be glad you did!

    • Dannette

      Paula I checked out the site you mentioned but there are so many videos…besides the fitness test where would a beginner start? Some of the videos seemed so advanced!

    • Paula


      When I started I just grabbed a video and gave it a shot. At first I was flopping around like a fish out of water 🙂 But keep at it, it looks a lot more difficult than it is.

      At the end of each video they break down each exercise and also show you different ways to modify it depending on your level and whether or not you have any equipment. That's really helpful.

      I recently read that a fellow bodyrocker created this site: Bodyrock Workout Search where you can search for specific Bodyrock workouts (i.e. less than 15 min., workouts that don't use equipment, etc.) That might help you get started.

      My advice would be to pick a video, and even if you have to do it several days in a row, get comfortable doing each exercise and then move on to another video. The important thing isn't to keep up with them, but to just move. 🙂

      You don't have to do the videos "in order", they each work your body from top to bottom. Each one is different so boredom is never an excuse!

      Hope that helps!

    • Dannette

      Thank you for your reply! I am such a busy mom (aren't we all??) and I really need something quick yet effective and this really looks like a great option. Maybe I'm not giving myself enough credit! Maybe I can do more than I think! Maybe I got a little intimidated by that tiny ripped little instructor…:) I'm going to find a video and give this a try! I'll keep you posted…thank you!

    • Paula

      Dannette – Of course you can do this! It's sooooo much better than hours on a treadmill, let me tell ya!

      Give it a shot and let me know how it goes 🙂

      P.S. Isn't Lisa Marie just "peppy"! The original instructor (Zuzana) has changed her focus from workouts to eating/recipes, but she was just as ripped. After 6 kids I don't think I'll ever have a stomach like that, but I'm sure having fun trying!

    • Laurel @ Ducks in a Row

      I love it too – it is how I run on the treadmill! Thanks!

    • Kurt

      This is very good advice. I like doing body weight and dynamic visualized resistance exercises. Although push ups are a great exercise, it's sometimes a challenge for me because when my dogs see me on the floor like that, they think it is a great time to play. If you're looking for variety, you might also check out some of the exercises in the book "The Miracle Seven" or on the website of the company which publishes it, Bronze Bow publishing.

    • Good Girl Gone Green

      Thats how I roll too!I love interval and circuit training. i do 20 minutes 5 times a week! So much fun!

    • Rebecca Watkins

      I spend too much time infront of the computer these days and your post has encouraged me to get up and get back into the exercise routine I used to do daily. I host a linky and would love it if you popped over and linked this post! It would be great to introduce your blog to my readership! Seasonal Celebration Linky http://naturalmothersnetwork.com/seasonal-celebration-sunday/seasonal-celebration/ Thank you 🙂

    • Amanda

      I followed the link to your blog from the Healthy Home Economist about HIIT. I went to the Bodyrock.tv website and I'm hooked!! Love the varied exercises, love that they are short, love that they kick my tail! Thanks for the suggestions!

    • Paula

      Thanks for the invite. I finally had a chance to pop over there today. 🙂 How's your exercise routine going?

    • Paula

      Kick your tail is right! I always look forward to Mondays (after my rest day on Sunday) because that first workout for the week helps me stay on track. You just feel sooo good when you're done! So glad you're enjoying it!

    • Alecia

      I like the idea of only working out 15-20 min a day! My husband and I are doing Insanity. And trust me it lives up to it's name!! The workouts are high intensity but for 45-60. My body feels like jello when I'm done, but I'm seeing amazing results. When we are done with this I will have to try HIIT.

    • Michelle @ Changed By The Maker

      I think I could really enjoy these workouts (not that I could actually do all that they are doing!), but I am thoroughly disgusted by the image, clothing, and yes, the names of the workouts! I know, you warned us. I wanted to pin it so that I have it for reference, but felt that I didn't want to spread it around too much. That's too bad because, clearly, they are on to something, and I would have liked to have my sons workout with me, but there's no way I'm letting them look at these videos! Bummer. Anyway, I do run and bike, but I need strength training, and I like these short bursts of hard work — I can do that. I found your blog at Hearts 4 Home, and I'm following you on fb!

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