High intensity exercise is where it’s at.
At least that’s what science is continuing to show us.
A large body of research has revealed that when we exercise at higher levels of intensity, we gain important health benefits like improved cardiovascular, respiratory and metabolic functions. Oh and not to mention, compared to moderately paced exercise, we burn quite bit more calories, too.
And contrary to popular belief, you don’t need a gym membership (or any equipment at all for that matter) to perform a high-intensity workout. You can get your heart rate up high enough to reap all the fitness benefits of intense exercise with simple, bodyweight exercises that can be executed anywhere you choose (Except maybe in your walk-up apartment, we doubt your downstairs neighbors will appreciate your squat jumps.)
The following equipment-free exercises (all you need is a sturdy bench, chair or similar surface that you can step up onto) combine both strength and cardio exercise and come together to create a truly intense total-body workout.
They will get your heart rate up and put your muscles to work so that you can build strength, stamina and speed while also generating a big calorie burn.
Just remember, you only need to perform high-intensity workouts just one or two times a week, and make sure to allow for at least 24 hours of recovery between intense workout sessions.
For this workout, perform each move for the recommended amount of repetitions and repeat the entire series of exercises three times, with one minute of rest between each round.
Start standing tall with your feet hip-width distance apart and your core engaged. Leading with your right leg, jump into a lunge position. (Make sure both knees form 90-degree angles upon landing, with your forward knee landing directly above the ankle.) Immediately after landing jump back up and alternate your legs so that next time you land your feet have switched positions (left in front, right in back). Repeat this sequence for 20 reps (one jump equals one rep).
Start standing tall with your feet about hip-width distance apart. When you’re ready to begin, reach your arms straight up above your head as you jump up off the ground as high as you can. When you land, immediately crouch down and place your hands on the ground in front of your feet. Quickly thrust your feet back behind you so that you land in a high-plank position. (To make the exercise more advanced you can add a push-up at this point.) From here, immediately jump your feet back in towards your chest and then quickly jump back up as high as you can, reaching your hands above your head again. See also: How to Do a Burpee.