If January was more like a wellness trial run, no worries! Mona Jane is here to help with full-body HIIT workouts — amazing at getting your heart rate to hit the roof, and to feel balanced and tight all over!
This post comes to you from Hawaii-based, Kiwi mama, Mona Jane, who will be introducing us to cardio, strength & conditioning with full-body HIIT home workouts, all month long!
For most people, the New Year brings out our most ambitious selves, setting great new goals for health and fitness, with plans to eat well, exercise more and feel good. We are so pumped for that better and improved us. But, let’s be honest — in January most of us are still cooling down from the holiday fun and warming up for the rest of the year.
If January was more like a trial run, considering your goals but maybe still getting into the swing of things (or not getting to them at all), no worries! This month, we are so excited to help you crush those goals. It’s not too late or too hard to start with this series of simple at-home workouts, no equipment required, that are quick for the ‘on-the-go’ gang. I’ll be sharing a combination of cardio, strength and conditioning with full-body HIIT workouts as well as more specific workouts targeting the booty and core. If you are starting for the first time, or simply starting over, this is for you! Get creative with it if you like, personalize it… as these can really be as easy or as hard as you want them to be. Keep your form a top priority to really benefit, but most of all enjoy yourself and have fun with it!
Full-body HIIT workouts are amazing at getting your heart rate to hit the roof, and to feel balanced and tight all over! I love to do these in the morning — it wakes you right up, gets the blood flowing and has you energized for the rest of the day.
When it comes to exercise, intensity matters! This one is a quick 20-35 min (depending how many rounds you do), so don’t be shy to give it all ya got! Here are 6 movements that target more than one area at a time and use all the major muscle groups in the body and, needless to say, can really get you drenched in such little time! Not to mention the aftereffects of HIIT circuits — they ensure your body is still burning the fat, even after you have finished. Remember, to get the most out of the exercise (or any exercise for that matter) you want to be sure you have the correct form going on, so if you need to make modifications, absolutely do so where necessary. Give this a go and get a jumpstart on your day!
Do each exercise for 45 seconds, with 15 seconds of rest between. Rest for 1 minute at the end of the round. Repeat for 3-5 rounds.
Alternating Jump Lunges
This exercise when done correctly will target the glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves. These help increase explosive power in the lower body, as well as stability throughout the body by engaging the muscles that stabilize the core, hips, ankle and knee joints.
Starting in a split stance position, torso upright, core engaged, push off both feet into an upward jump whilst alternating legs in midair and landing in a basic lunge with the opposite foot now in front. Repeat the motion continuously without resting between the switches. Aim to keep a 90-degree angle at the front knee ensuring the knee does not go over the toes and also the back knee bent directly underneath the body. If jumping is too much, stick to the basic alternating forward lunges pushing off the ground through the front heel and back into standing position, then repeating on the other side.
Hand Release Burpee Tuck Jumps
Burpees are an insane full-body exercise that really get the heart rate up as well as strength transferred throughout the whole kinetic chain. You will develop a love-hate relationship with these, I’m sure.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, weight in your heels, and your arms at your sides. Push your hips back, bend your knees, and lower your body into a squat. Place your hands on the floor directly in front of, and just inside, your feet as you shift your weight onto them. Engaging your core jump your feet back to softly land on the balls of your feet in a plank position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to heels. Be careful not to let your back sag or your butt stick up in the air, that way you are effectively working your core. With control bending at the elbows, lower your chest onto the ground, release the hands from the ground and reach them long out in front keeping the head in neutral spine. Bring your hands back to the sides of your chest and push up into high plank position.
Using your core, jump your feet back so that they land just outside of your hands and explosively jump up into the air, tucking the knees towards the outer side of the chest, landing softly and immediately lowering back into a squat for your next rep.
Adjustments you can make if needed are: to step the feet back and in one by one instead of jumping them out and in; also, just doing a standard jump without the knee tuck, or just standing up into starting position with no jump at all.
Wide Climbers + Commando
This exercise targets the core as well as strength through the shoulders, back and chest, all while elevating the heart rate for some cardio work.
Start in high plank position, palms flat on the floor and directly under shoulders, body aligned from head to heel. Engaging at the core the entire time, bring the right foot to the outside of the right hand bending at the knee. Then simultaneously take the right foot back into starting position as you bring the left foot to the outside of the left hand. Alternate 5 times, then put the foot back into starting position. Keep the shoulders down and away from the ears, drop down one by one onto forearms, then push back up one by one into starting position and repeat the wide climbers.
Oblique Side Plank Dips
These work the entire core and lower back, targeting more at the obliques as well as stability and strength through the shoulder.
Start by lying on one side, propped up on one elbow placed directly under the shoulder, keeping body in a straight line, hips square to the front, feet stacked on top of one another, hips lifted. Lower slowly down until hip barely touches the ground, then lift back up squeezing through the obliques. Switch sides at halfway. Option to place the lower knee onto floor for extra support.
Alternating Lateral Lunge
The lateral lunge is a great exercise to include in your leg workouts because it makes each side work independently. During squats, your dominant leg can tend take on more of the work, but the side lunge forces each to handle the same load.
Starting in standing position with feet hip-width apart, lift your right leg and step to the side. Once your foot is fully planted, sit your hips back and bend your right knee to lower into a lunge with your weight in the heel. Descend until your right thigh is about parallel to the floor, then as you push off, bring your hips forward and straighten the knee to come back up. Return your right foot to the starting position and then repeat on the other side and continue back and forth between sides. Keep the core engaged, back straight and chest and head up, avoiding rounding forward through the back. Also pay attention to the the knee that it stays in line with the toes and not in front of.
Split Squat w/ High Knees
This one is a cardio blaster with some deep lower body glute, hamstring, quad and inner thigh activation, and explosive power as well as unilateral stability.
Beginning in standing position, feet hip width apart with toes pointing forward, jump both feet out as you lower into a squat, bending at the knees and sitting the butt back. Make sure to keep the knees in line with the toes and chest and head up similar to the lateral lunges. As you jump up out of the squat land on one foot by jumping one foot into starting position whilst driving the opposite knee toward chest like a running action. Proceed to do four high knee runs, engaging the core as you drive the knees toward the chest, ending on one foot for a split second before jumping both feet out into the squat again and repeating from there.
If stability is difficult, take control by simply doing a basic squat down and up, then 4 alternating knee marches without the jumping. Then include the jump when comfortable.