Growing evidence continues to show that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) offers similar — or in some cases even superior — results compared with longer, lower-intensity workouts. With HIIT, you exercise for a short burst at near-maximum effort followed by a brief rest period, and then you continue to repeat the cycle over the next 10 to 15 minutes.
The main advantage of HIIT is that it takes less time than the traditional workout of 20 to 30 minutes or longer.
It turns out that you can condense that time to only five minutes if you approach your workout the right way, the key is to ensure proper intensity with a focus on all the major muscle groups.
Shorter HIIT workouts can also offer a strong psychological component since it's easy to track your progress.
You can immediately know how well you did and note which exercises were easy or a challenge, this makes it easier to measure your success and compare the results from week to week, which helps build confidence.
Five By Five
Here is a five-exercise routine that covers all the key areas for an all-around workout: upper body, lower body, and core. You work for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. Try to complete as many reps as possible during those 20 seconds. Repeat each of the exercises twice before moving to the next one.
Don't worry if parts of the routine are too challenging at first. Only do them for 10 seconds and take longer breaks, if necessary. On the flip side, as you progress and the routine becomes easier, perform each exercise only once for 30 to 45 seconds and then rest for the remainder of the minute.
These warm up the body for your workout as well as help build lower-body strength. Stand with your feet together and arms at your sides. Jump while raising your arms and separating your legs to the sides. Land with legs apart and arms overhead so you resemble an "X." Jump again as you lower your arms to your sides and bring your legs back together. Repeat the back-and-forth movement in a fluid motion.
Squats build your leg and hip muscles. Begin either with a shoulder-width stance with your feet pointed straight ahead, or a wider stance where your feet are farther apart than your shoulders and pointed outward at a 45° angle. Reach your arms straight out for balance. Keep your back straight as you bend your knees and lower your torso as far as comfortable or until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold for a second and then return to standing to complete one rep.
These work the shoulders, triceps, and chest. Begin on the floor with your arms extended, palms flat on the floor and just below shoulder level, and your feet about 12 inches apart. Keep your back straight. Lower your body until your elbows are at 90° (or go to the floor to rest) and then push back up to complete one rep. Take two seconds to go down and one second to go up. If you can't do a regular push-up, perform on your knees or against the wall with your body at a 45° angle.
Standing banded rows
These strengthen the upper back and improve shoulder range of motion. Loop a resistance band around a pole or secure in a closed-door at chest height. Grab each end of the band and step back until your arms fully reach forward and there is a little bit of tension. Pull the band toward you until it touches your stomach. Hold for one second and then return to the starting position to complete one rep.
Planks work your core. Assume a push-up position. Don't raise or dip your hips as you hold the pose while engaging your abdominal muscles. Another option is to place your forearms on the ground with your elbows aligned below your shoulders. You can also hold either position from your knees if needed.