It's all too easy to say you're too busy to exercise, but with the rise of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) there really is no excuse. That's because routinely doing just a few minutes of this fast-paced exercise programme will show results in no time. And even better, there are loads of great free videos on YouTube so you can see just how it's done.
If you're just getting started with HIIT you'll no doubt be pleased to know that most routines can be done at home without the need for expensive equipment as the majority of exercises use your own bodyweight. A good pair of trainers is a must though as these workouts tend to include a lot of jumps and lunges. And you might want to use an exercise or yoga mat to cushion the impact and protect your joints, especially if you'll be working out on hard wooden floors. A digital watch or interval timer will come in useful if you decide to go it alone and unguided, but there are even apps and online tools that can help you programme your workout for free.
Thanks to YouTube, HIIT has risen in popularity over the last couple of years, with a host of great trainers such as Joe Wicks and Kayla Itsines becoming stars in their own right. This not only means you have more choice between workout styles, but also that you should be able to find a trainer with the right personality for you, whether that's someone gentle and encouraging or more up-beat and challenging.
For me, one of the most encouraging aspects of HIIT videos on YouTube is that the trainers go through the exercises as you do, and you can see that they feel the burn too. But they don't give up, which can be seriously motivating when you're starting out.
It's easy to get the HIIT bug and want to fit in a workout everyday, but it's recommended that you leave a couple of days in between workouts so your body can rest and restore itself. And, like with all workouts it's important to warm up first, but even that can be done speedily too.
Scroll down for our favourite speedy but effective HIIT workouts!
YouTube: Dolly Video
Kayla Itsines has taken the HIIT world by storm with her BBG - Bikini Body Guide. Always energetic and upbeat, Kayla wants her followers to truly feel good about themselves and what they can achieve so she shares their amazing transformation images on Instagram.
YouTube: Christine Salus
This 15 minute workout focuses on toning your abs but you'll still be using your whole body. Made up of 15 exercises, you'll do each for 50 seconds with 10 second rest intervals, so it's probably one to build up to if you're a beginner.
YouTube: Betty Rocker
If you're really pushed for time then this energising video is for you. Using just seven exercises and working through them all twice means that you can stop half way through without feeling like you've given up completely.
This video might look lo-fi, but it's got all sorts of handy gadgets included, such as a visual countdown and guide to the next exercise, and a handy water break at the mid-point.
YouTube: The Body Coach
Yes HIIT incorporates rest time, but it's minimal. This Tabata-style training session means you'll put in 20 seconds of exercise, take a 10 second rest and then start again.
Opening image: Instagram @Kayla_Itsines
What do you think? Let us know your favourite HIIT workouts in the comments below!