Wellness

This living room HIIT workout is intense — but requires no equipment

All you need is a space the size of a yoga mat to feel the gains of these simple circuits.

All you need is a space the size of a yoga mat to feel the gains of these simple circuits

(Credit: iStock/Getty Images)

Melissa-Jane Shaw, founder of Soul Fuel fitness studio, thinks we can adjust our routines to safely get fit while keeping our social distance, and she shares a fun HIIT workout below that will do the trick, even if you have no equipment.

"Working out is one of the few things we can do, and it's great for our physical and mental health," says Shaw. Most of us will be able to cobble together enough heavy objects at home to build strength. And anyone can get a good workout including strength training with minimal or no equipment, just using their bodyweight.

Space and equipment are two important things to consider. "You may need to get creative with your workout space, depending on your situation. I worked with a client who did the workout from her bathroom, for example," says Shaw. She also says that a lot of basic equipment can be improvised. "Fill a backpack and make it a kettlebell. Grab cans. You can fill old bottles as dumbbells. Be creative." If you're a spinner or a treadmill runner, says Shaw, get on your bike or start running outside. Or don't. The workout below requires no equipment other than some space on the floor.

The joyful no-equipment HIIT workout

This high-intensity interval workout is challenging, but fun. "You'll have to work, but I try to bring some joy into the work," says Shaw. 

There are four circuits, each with four exercises.

Perform each exercise in the circuit for 30 seconds, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat once. 

Rest for one minute before moving on to the next circuit.

This workout is great to get your heart pumping and to build strength.

Circuit 1: The sporty circuit

30 secs - Footballers: Take a wide stance and do small quick runs as quick as you can.
30 secs - Ski moguls: Keep your feet close together and hop side to side with imaginary poles.
30 secs - Skater slides: Get low and jump/slide side-to-side tapping the toe behind you.
30 secs - Basketballer jumps: Jump up and shoot your ball in the hoop, over and over.
Recover for 30 seconds and repeat this circuit one more time.
Recover for one minute between circuits.

Circuit 2: The plank parade

30 secs - Shoulder taps + push ups: Start in push-up position. Tap each shoulder with the opposite hand, then do a push-up.
30 secs - Side plank with hip dips on right: From side plank position (balancing on one forearm and both feet), dip your hips toward the ground then come back up to a straight position. 
30 secs - Side plank with hip dips on left
30 secs - Plank jacks: Do a forearm plank and jump your legs open like a jumping jack and back in. 
Recover for 30 seconds and repeat this circuit one more time.
Recover for one minute between circuits.

Circuit 3: Lunge party

30 secs - Lunge right with knee driver: step your right leg back going into a lunge position (with your left leg forward). Come back up to standing driving your back knee up and in front of you. 
30 secs - Lunge left with knee driver: same but on your left. 
30 secs - Lateral lunge right with knee driver: do a side-lunge do your right. When you come back up to standing, pull your right knee up in front of you, balancing on your left leg. 
30 secs - Lateral lunge left with knee driver: same but on your left. 
Recover for 30 seconds and repeat this circuit one more time.
Recover for one minute between circuits.

Circuit 4: The adventure round

30 secs - Burpees: From standing, crouch down and then jump your legs out into a into a push-up position. Do a push-up, jump your legs back in and jump back up to standing. 
30 secs - Commandos: Go up and down from forearm plank to hand plank, one arm after the other.
30 secs - Russian twists: Sit on your bum, legs bent with heels on the ground or in the air, lean back 45 degrees and twist through your core from side-to-side.
30 secs - Turkish sit-ups: Do full sit ups from your back reaching the arms above the head at the top.
Recover for 30 seconds and repeat this circuit one more time.
Cool down and stretch.


Clifton Mark writes about philosophy, psychology, politics, and other life-related topics. Find him @Clifton_Mark on Twitter.

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