The ultimate HIIT workout: Just two exercises in 15 minutes (or less)
The ultimate HIIT workout is the magic word.
Can you get more out of a 15-minute muscle workout than many gym-goers get out of a 45-minute workout? And boost fat burning at the same time? With only two exercises?
That does not work?
Many of us carry a full tray with us every day – the things we still want to do today are arranged on it. Our problem: the day would have to have 48 instead of 24 hours to fit everything.
For this reason, short, crisp, and highly effective training plans have always fascinated me.
Rusty Moore surprised me recently when I read about one of his HIIT workouts. One of America’s top trainers, he’s an expert in short, high-intensity workouts, and he’s come up with a HIIT workout that uses just two exercises to tone and tone your muscles and cardiovascular system while also getting your fat-burning going.
You only need a kettlebell or dumbbells – perfect for training at home.
This is how the ultimate HIIT workout is structured: a kettlebell swing and a squat thrust.
And this is how the ultimate HIIT workout is structured:
- 15 repetitions of the kettlebell swing
- 15 repetitions of the “Squat Thrust” (see below)
- 14 reps kettlebell swing
- 14 reps squat thrust
- 1 rep kettlebell swing
- 1 rep squat thrust
You perform the exercises one after the other without a break at a relatively high speed.
Pocket calculator unpacked: If you have completed the 15 rounds, you will do 120 repetitions per exercise, i.e., 240 repetitions.
You not only set an intensive training stimulus, but you also challenge your entire body because both exercises together address almost all muscle groups.
Also, your breathing muscles, because I promise you, will work up a sweat and gasp for air.
Sounds too easy to you? I thought so, too, at first.
Tip: Try it out before you pass judgment.
You may even not get through it all the way. That’s okay.
Then just start with a smaller number of reps, say 7, and gradually work your way up to 15 and more as you get fitter.
How effective is this HIIT workout?
I can even claim that with this HIIT training, you burn more energy than jogging.
You engage a lot more muscle than you can ever activate while running. And: The unit is highly intensive, so your metabolism will continue to run at full speed for hours after the workout.
Since both exercises neither strain the tendons nor the joints as much as running, this HIIT workout is also perfect for those who – still – have a few kilos too much on their hips.
So is this workout plan better than cardio on the whole?
Certainly not, but if my goal is to burn as much fat as possible in just 15 minutes of training and as gently as possible (and you’re not exactly an elite 5000-meter runner), then this training plan will cover every short run.
Are you ready? Then let’s get started!
To get started, you can start with 8 sets without a break, so:
- 8x kettlebell swings
- 8x squat thrusts
- 7x kettlebell swings
- 7x Squat Thrust
- 1 x kettlebell swing
- 1x squat thrust
The same rule applies as with the CrossFit workout:
Form comes before the performance!
If you get messy with the exercise, stop.
Next time you adjust the number of sets: you do as many repetitions as you did the last time properly. From there, you work your way forward, sentence by sentence.
So the next time, you do a set with one rep on top.
One last thing:
This quarter-hour training plan does not replace real strength training in the sense of the MBSC formula.
It is intended as a supplement that you can slip in anytime, almost anywhere, especially when you’re short on time. Now let’s go through the exercises in peace.
The Ultimate HIIT Workout Exercise #1: Kettlebell Swing
This is how the kettlebell swing works (you can watch the explanatory video below):
- Bend forward at your hips and grab the kettlebell in front of you at arm’s length with both hands
- Lean back slightly with your buttocks so that you pull the kettlebell towards you and between your legs
- Tighten your glutes (“gluteus maximus”) and push your hips forward while swinging the kettlebell to shoulder height
- Attention: The height comes ONLY from the momentum, without you actively lifting the kettlebell with your muscles.
- The movement continues in reverse until the kettlebell is back between your legs. This is a repeat.
- Make sure your back stays straight at all times. Your lower back, in particular, should never be round!
You will learn the kettlebell swing step by step in this video.
The Ultimate HIIT Workout Exercise #2: Squat Thrust
Squat stands for ” knee bend, “thrust for “push.” How to perform the squat thrust:
- Stand up straight with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart.
- Squat down and lower your torso by bending your hips forward until your hands can touch the floor.
- Push your legs back into a push-up position.
- Now it’s the other way around: jump back into the squat with your legs and complete the squat.
- This is a repeat.
- Heavier Variation: Perform the squat explosively, culminating in a jump (closely related to the burpee).
Watch the video to learn the squat thrust move. You can find multiple variants on YouTube. Try them all if you like them. My favorite instead of the squat thrust is jumping rope! This exercise is having the same effect and only 15 minutes of jumping rope burns the same amount of calories as a 1-hour strength training. Try it out. Here is my favorite jump rope with adjustable weight.
The 15 Minutes HIIT Workout – Conclusion
“Only 15 minutes. That’s not enough for a workout.” This argument no longer applies!
That’s me after HIIT training no matter how long I train. It always ends like this 😉
Now you know an alternative to HIIT training on the cardio machine or the running track, with which you can also boost your fat-burning at home and at the same time address the muscles of your entire body.