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HIIT 21 Day Challenge

he saying goes that it takes 21 days to build a habit. So kick start your year with this 21-day HIIT challenge to get your heart pumping and torch fat!
These workouts are great for all fitness levels. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced, you’ll find these moves are challenging but doable. Plus, each workout is only a 10-minute time commitment each day – perfect for your busy schedule.

Even though these workouts are short, it’s not great for your body to do HIIT for 21 days in a row, so you’re going to mix it up with recovery days. This low-intensity stretch routine will help you recover and re-energize for the next day.

I’ve found that the optimal schedule for HIIT training is 2 days in a row, followed by 1 day of rest. That way you end up training at least 4-5 times per week, but no more than 2 workout days back to back.

For this challenge you’ll be doing the Upper Body HIIT Workout, the Lower Body HIIT Workout, and the Low Intensity Recovery seven times each, following the alternating schedule below:

high intensity interval training workout schedule

Since these are HIIT workouts, you’ll be doing as many reps as you can within a given timeframe.

Depending on your fitness level:

  • Advanced do more reps and move faster.
  • Beginners do fewer reps and move slower.

You got this!

Upper Body HIIT Routine

  • Set timer for: 30 seconds on | 30 seconds recovery
  • Complete each of the 5 exercises in order (from 1-5) for as many reps as you can in 30 seconds. Rest 30 seconds between exercises. Repeat circuit 2X.

1. Chair Push-Ups

chair push-ups
Place hands on the outer edges of the chair.

Keep your body in a straight plank position.

Lower chest towards the front edge of the chair, then press up, straighten and flex arms.

2. Chair Tricep Dips

chair tricep dips
Sit on the chair facing out.

Grab the outer front edges of the chair and straighten legs.

Shift forward so butt comes off the front of the chair.

Lower down until arms form a 90° bend, then press back up to the top, fully straightening arms.

3. Chair Angled Leg Lifts

chair leg lifts
Sit on the front edge of the chair and lean back so that your shoulders almost touch the back of the chair. Grab on to the front corners of the chair to secure your position.

Keep head, neck and shoulders straight and in alignment, making sure you don’t round over. Point toes and straighten legs.

Using your lower ab muscles, lift your legs up into the air as high as you can. Exhale with each rep and focus on lower abs.

4. Seated Dumbbell Rear Flyes

seated dumbbell flyes
Sit on the front edge of the chair and lean forward so that your chest almost touches your knees.

Hold dumbbells just near your ankles. Lift dumbbells away from your midline, with elbows just slightly bent.

5. Seated Dumbbell Curl

dumbbell curl
Sit on the front edge of the chair and make sure your spine is straight and your head up.

Hold dumbbells by your side with palms facing the front.

Curl weights up towards shoulders, focusing on the bicep contraction. Lower down with control and repeat.

Lower Body HIIT Routine

  • Set timer for: 30 seconds on | 30 seconds recovery
  • Complete each of the 5 exercises in order (from 1-5) for as many reps as you can in 30 seconds. Rest 30 seconds between exercises. Repeat circuit 2X.

1. Squats

Start with feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Make sure your weight is planted firmly in your heels.

Sit down and back as if you were sitting onto a chair. Pause when your thighs reach parallel with the ground, then stand back up again.

Make sure that your spine stays in a neutral position and keep your chin up.

2. Reverse Lunges

reverse lunges
Start standing with feet together.

Take a big step back and lower your back knee towards the ground. You should make a 90° angle with your front knee.

3. Mountain Climbers

mountain climbers
Start in a high plank position, like the top of a push-up.

Step one leg forward, so that your knee almost touches the back of your arm.

Lightly tap your toe to the ground, then return back to that plank position. Switch sides and continue for the duration of the timed interval.

4. High Knees Run in Place

high knees
Lift one knee as high as you can, preferably higher than hip level.

At the same time as you lower that knee, hop and switch to raise the other knee.

Continue like this, running in place for the duration of the timed interval.

5. Skaters

Start by balancing on one foot while crossing the other leg behind you without touching it to the ground.

Touch your toe with the opposite hand. Now hop to the other foot and touch the other toe.

Continue hopping back and forth for the duration of the timed interval.

Low Intensity Recovery Routine

  • Hold each stretch for 50 seconds (25 seconds per side on 1-sided stretches) + 10 seconds between stretches.
  • Repeat circuit 2X.

1. Hamstring-Calf Stretch

calf stretch
Stand with feet together. Bend at hips to reach down toward your toes.

Step one foot out in front of you, about 6 inches in front of the other foot.

Flex your toes towards you and reach with your fingers to touch that toe.

Breath and hold stretch for 25 seconds per side.

2. Quad Stretch

quad stretch
Start by standing tall with feet together.

Bend one knee, bringing your foot just behind your butt. Catch that foot with your hand and pull it towards you.

Make sure you knee is pointing down towards the ground. Hold stretch for 25 seconds per side.

3. Figure-4 Stretch

figure 4 stretch
Stand on one foot and find your balance. Then cross your ankle over the knee of the standing leg.

Hold your heel with one hand, then press down on the bent knee with your other hand. Hold this stretch for 25 seconds per side.

4. Wide Squat Spine Rotation

squat stretch
Take a wide squat stance with toes pointed outward.

Press hands into the inside of your knees and twist to look over one shoulder.

Switch and repeat on the other side. Hold for 25 seconds per side.

5. Chest-Shoulder Stretch

chest stretch
Reach your hands behind your back and interlace fingers. Turn palms facing out and straighten arms.

Press your chest forward to open up the chest and shoulders. Hold for 50 seconds, breathing deeply and stretching your hands a bit further away from your body with each breath.

high intensity interval training workout
(Your Next Workout: Arm Attack Dumbbell Workout)


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