There are times when its hard to get a HIIT workout in, as you may be away from your equipment. Conversely, you might be focused on functional fitness and maintain a low to no equipment gym. Whatever the case, these HIIT no equipment required workouts are easy to incorporate whether at home or on the road. Dive right in and start sweating with explainers and videos for each HIIT no equipment drill.
For those building their HIIT gym with equipment, check out the top 11 best HIIT exercise equipment guide.
Incorporating explosive HIIT exercises like the jump squat into your HIIT no equipment workouts is a fantastic way to increase your body’s ability to absorb impact and stabilize the joints. It will improve your running by building up your glutes and hips, giving you more power with each step and reducing the strain on your body.
To get in the perfect jump squat, start with your feet directly under your shoulders, and your feet turned slightly outward. As you lower yourself down before takeoff, keep your knees directly over the ankles. Use your breath as you go through the movement! Breathe in deeply as you squat down and then out sharply as you drive your body upward, jumping up as high as you can. Keep your legs straight to ensure you are prepared to land safely, touching down with the balls of your feet first.
Maybe you love them, maybe you hate them. Either way, you’re going to see results. Burpees are a classic of HIIT drills, and will instantly up the intensity of your HIIT workouts. The burpee is a full-body exercise, working the lower body, core, and upper body all in one motion. By including this workout in your HIIT without equipment workouts, you’ll be increasing your muscular and cardio endurance, enhancing strength and stability for better, stronger running.
This combination move is best done with good form in mind. You’re essentially combining the jump squat and a push-up, both exercises where the form is important to keep you safe from injury. Make sure your push-up stays strong, and you’re not putting unnecessary pressure on the lower back! Also, remember the breathing techniques from the jump squat and try not to hold your breath as you move from position to position.
HIIT is a complement to your running training because your cardio endurance is enabled by a strong, stable core. By developing the core in your HIIT drills, you’ll be allowing the work for your hips and back to be more fluid. It also improves balance, meaning you’ll be less likely to regain footing in case of a misstep!
Plank jacks incorporate a cardio element into the traditional plank, giving you a HIIT Without Equipment double-whammy! As you hop your feet apart and then together again, keep your upper body from slumping down. You want to keep a straight line from the top of your head down to your heels.
Doing high knees exaggerates the motion you make when running. It will help you improve knee lift and cardio endurance. This is one of those HIIT exercises that both improve strength while also improving your running form. It will work your abs, your glutes, and your hip flexors.
To maintain form during high knees, keep your back straight, and your eyes focused straight ahead. Make sure you don’t sacrifice form in pursuit of speed. Increase your speed as you get more comfortable with the movement.
Lunges are unilateral motions, which is the same type of motion we use when running. Doing lunges and lunge variations will help you build strength, coordination, and balance. However, doing lunges with bad form can lead to knee joint stress and is counterproductive for your running practice.
Make sure as you perform the lunge, you use your core and keep your upper body lifted. Ensure the knee of the front leg in the lunge does not extend beyond the toes and tracks over your ankle. If you are new to lunges, it can be easier to start with a reverse lunge to develop your coordination. Then move on to forward lunges and weighted lunges as you become more comfortable.
Mountain climbers will get your heart rate up while also boosting your quads, glutes, and core strength. There’s the added bonus of improving your upper body strength while you’re at it! This is another exercise that improves your overall strength and agility by causing multiple muscle groups to work together, making for more integrated and supportive movement while running.
To nail this exercise in your next HIIT workout, make sure you start with a good base. Distribute your weight evenly between your hands and your feet. Keep your back straight, and engage your core for the duration of the exercise. Be aware of hip height. Your hips will want to pop up as you perform the motion; focus on trying to keep your hips down.
Another explosive, full-body exercise, the tuck jump, is the next level of the squat jump. The flexion of the hips, knees, and ankles makes it a higher impact exercise but one that is impressively effective. It increases lower body power while also raising your heart rate. You’ll see benefits for your glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves, and core. Improving all these muscles will directly influence your running workouts.
When it comes to approaching this workout, the experts say to make sure you’re ready. Make sure you’re comfortable with other jumping motions before moving up to a high-impact exercise like this one.
If you plan on doing tuck jumps continuously without resetting between each one, make sure to pay attention to the way you lean as you jump. Continue to tuck your knees up towards your chest as opposed to letting yourself lean forwards towards your knees.
Be mindful of how you land. Attempt to land as softly as you can, touching down with the ball of your feet first and allowing easy bending in the knees to cushion the impact.
The rotation of the Russian Twist means that you build strength in the core and the back, helping to make you more agile and safe during your runs. It also works some of the smaller core muscles that may be unreached by your run-of-the-mill crunches, making it a great complement to a more general core workout.
When performing this exercise, pay attention to the spine and its shape. You’ll tend to round forward as you move; try to keep your back straight and your core engaged. Doing this exercise with bad form can be detrimental, so move only as quickly as is appropriate. Additionally, try to focus rotation in the upper back. Don’t wrench your lower back around trying to over-twist in the motion.
The glutes are a powerhouse for your running, and incorporating a Bridge Lift into your HIIT workout will give you the opportunity to focus specifically on this area.
To get the most out of your bridge lift, engage the glute muscles as you lift from the ground. Then, when you reach the top of the pose, think about extending your hip points up and towards the ceiling, lifting your chest towards your head, and your chin towards the ceiling. That extension will help create strength and flexibility in the hips, improving your stability while running.
The side or lateral lunge is a great way to develop your balance while building strength in your thighs. Targeting the leg muscles from a unique angle will help protect from injury and give your legs a more complete strength profile.
Get the most out of the side lunge during your HIIT workout by keeping your back straight and really engaging your core muscles as you move through the exercise. Move only as quickly as you can while maintaining good form! Your chest should not be leaning too far forward, and watch that your knee does not extend in front of the toes. As you come up from the lunge, support your back and core by squeezing the glute.
HIIT is all about getting an intense, full-body workout. As a runner, developing strength over the whole body will translate into better results in your runs, even if it’s not just working your legs. Push-ups are phenomenal for building up the upper body and the core. The diamond push-up is a variation that specifically targets the chest and triceps while challenging your shoulders to build strength from a different angle.
To stay safe while doing diamond pushups, pay attention to the position of your back. Don’t overextend! Keep your core engaged, and squeeze the glutes as you move through the exercise.
With the aforementioned HIIT exercises, you can see that HIIT is more about the workout structure than the equipment. In fact, your body weight is one of the best pieces of equipment you have to take on HIIT no other equipment is required for these workouts. As always, check with your doctor before beginning any exercise routine. There are so many options with HIIT, but if you need a break, consider lacing your shoes on and heading out for a run or hitting the trails.