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Why Hotel & In-Home HIIT Workouts Are Best for Travelers

11/26/2019
By Sam Davis, BHS, CPT, FNS

If you’re even remotely interested in fitness, you’ve probably heard about high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Some people avoid HIIT because they fear the high intensity. But, it doesn’t have to be done with exercises that are difficult. That said, as the name suggests, in order to get the full benefits of your quick 20-minute fat-torching session, it has to be intense—and it needs to be done right. So, how should you structure your hotel and home HIIT workouts?

Woman doing lunges indoors as part of her home hiit workouts.
Try These In-Home HIIT Workouts (Image Source: Pexels)

We love HIIT training because, unlike more redundant cardio exercises for fat loss, it is a quick and effective way to work out anywhere in the world. You don’t need equipment, and you don’t need a gym—which leaves you with no excuses, no matter where you are! And with HIIT training, you’ll continue to burn calories at an accelerated rate post-workout.

What Is HIIT?

High-intensity interval training is a type of training that involves going all out for a short burst of time. After you complete 30-90 seconds of your exercise, you take a brief moment to recover and bring your heart rate down. Then, you do it again, and again, and again for 20-30 minutes.

HIIT combines two of the best fat-burning methods: maximum oxygen use and maximum effort. Multiple studies show that HIIT workouts burn more calories both during and after exercise. More calories burned equals more fat lost—gotta love that!

During HIIT, you’re pushing your body extremely hard (to 70-80% of your maximum heart rate), so you’ll experience a muscle burn that comes from a build-up of lactic acid. As the oxygen in your body becomes depleted, it forces your body to work a bit longer to build those stores of oxygen back up. This is known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Your body is building these stores back up for 16-24 hours after your HIIT session, which burns those extra calories.

And because of the intensity of HIIT workouts, there’s a significant increase in fat-burning hormones within your body—hormones that are activated when the body is stressed. These hormones help mobilize the body’s fat stores so they can be used as fuel.

Benefits of HIIT

1. Quick and effective

2. You might find HIIT more enjoyable than steady-state, long-distance cardio

3. Burns belly fat effectively

4. Builds a stronger & better heart

5. Causes fat loss with minimal muscle loss

HIIT Exercises

There are many options when it comes to picking out your exercises for your HIIT workouts. Just remember: when you’re doing these exercises, you need to have an all-out mentality. If you choose high knees, for instance, you are not jogging; you are sprinting, driving those knees up as high as possible and pumping your arms just as hard. Really push for those 30-90 seconds. If you’re thinking about taking it easy or slacking halfway through your set, just think about all the fat burning you’re missing out on!

Here is a list of exercises to choose from. Go for 30-90 seconds exercise intervals (depending on your fitness level), followed by 30 second periods of rest. Choose 5 exercises, and complete 5-8 rounds each.

Butt Kicks

  • Stand with feet slightly apart
  • Start jogging in place
  • Kick left foot to left glute
  • Kick your right foot to right glute
  • Repeat as quickly as possible
How to Butt-Kick with Proper Form – Get Healthy U – with Chris Freytag

High Knees

  • Stand with your feet just slightly apart
  • Drive one knee to torso
  • Switch knees
  • Perform as quickly as possible, and don’t forget to pump your arms as if you’re sprinting
How to do proper High Knees – Jenny Schatzle

Mountain Climbers

  • Start in high plank
  • Drive your right knee to chest, then back to starting position
  • Drive your left knee to chest, then back to starting position
  • Repeat as fast as you can
Mountain Climber Exercise – EVOLVE FITNESS & HEALTH

Crossbody Mountain Climbers

  • Same as mountain climbers, but instead of driving knees straight forward, drive left knee to right elbow and right knee to left elbow
Crossbody Mountain Climbers – BodyRock TV – Sweatflix

Burpees

  • Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and bring your palms to the floor.
  • Jump your feet back so that you are in high plank, keeping your core tight and your hips lifted.
  • Do one push up
  • Jump feet to the outside of your hands, and jump up towards the roof with hands up
The Burpee – Renown Health

Jump Squats

  • Start with legs hip distance apart
  • Keeping your chest up, drop your glutes towards the ground
  • Hands can be out in front or crossed across your chest
  • Drive through the balls of your feet and jump into the air
  • Land as softly as possible back to starting position
How to Increase Endurance with Jump Squats – ehowhealth

Body Squats

  • Start with legs hip-distance apart
  • Keeping your chest up, drop your glutes towards the ground
  • Hands can be out in front or crossed across your chest
  • Drive through your heels back to starting position
This Is How To Master The Bodyweight Squat – Dr. Chris Raynor

Side Lunges

  • Start with your feet together
  • Sidestep to the left, keeping your right leg straight, and bend the left knee
  • Drive-up back to a standing position
  • Repeat on the right side
How to Do Side Lunges for Lean Legs – Health Magazine

Jump Lunges

  • Start in the full lunge position (bring one leg forward with the knee bent and foot flat on the ground,  and position the other leg behind)
  • Make sure knees are not over your toes
  • Jump up and land softly, touching your back knee to the ground
  • To make it harder, switch legs each time you jump
How to Do a Jumping Lunge – Howcast

Plank Jacks

  • Start in high plank
  • Keeping the core engaged, jump your feet in and out like a jumping jack
Plank Jack – Exercise Tutorial – Fitgurlmel

Give Hotel and Home HIIT Workouts a Try

All of these exercises may be done at the gym, in your hotel room, or at home. Give hotel and home HIIT workouts a try and stay on track with your fitness routine.

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