Struggling to find time for a workout? Fear not, for BESTFIT’s Karina Nielsen is on the case to deliver big results in just 20 minutes
One of the biggest and easiest excuses for not exercising is a lack of time. Work, kids, TV, socialising… whatever your jam, it can be genuinely hard to squeeze the necessary level of activity you’re continually told you need into your day.
Fear not, for we come with good news! “Twenty minutes high-intensity interval training (HIIT) burns as much as an hour on the treadmill,” explains Personal Trainer and Bikini Fitness athlete Karina Nielsen. “It’s fun, effective and with very little recovery time it keeps your heart rate up and leads to a great fat burning effect even after the session.”
Karina’s HIIT routine consists of just six essential exercises. “A lot of my clients want to lose fat, particular around the stomach area, but unfortunately sit-ups won’t do that,” Karina continues. “The more muscle groups you work the more energy required, therefore you’ll burn more from doing full-body exercises such as burpees. “By adding a bit of resistance, for instance a power bag or kettlebell swings, you’ll force your body to work harder because you’re shifting more weight.
“Another way of increasing the intensity is to add Plyometric exercises such as box jumps and jumping lunges,” she continues. “It raises your heart rate and requires a lot of power from your lower body. The exercises force you to activate fast-twitch muscle fibres and are therefore ideal to build strength and definition in your legs. The fast pace and co-ordination element challenges your core, while you’ll get a great fat burning effect from the biggest muscles in your body, your quads and glutes.”
For optimal effect, Karina suggests trying this HIIT routine twice a week combined with a tailored resistance program and a healthy diet. “Change your training routine every four to six weeks so as not to plateau. Mix it up, try new things and enjoy it – that’s the best way to get and stay fit”
<10 x power bag over-head throw into burpees
Stand tall, keep core engaged. Lift power bag or weight overhead and throw it down in front of you with maximum force from your triceps. Jump down to into a burpee, pick up bag and repeat as fast as you can.
<20 x kettle bell swings
Feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. With core engaged, hold Kettlebell with both hands and make sure arms are extended fully all the way through. Drive movement from your pelvis, explode through the hips to create a pendulum effect as you swing Kettlebell up to chest height and back in-between legs. Keep neutral spine all the way through.
<10 x box jumps
Stand with your feet hip-width apart at a comfortable distance from the box. Quickly drop into a quarter squat, then extend your hips, swing your arms, and push your feet through the floor to propel yourself onto the box. Jump down and repeat.
<20 x mountain climbers
Start in a neutral plank position. Keep core engaged throughout; squeeze one knee at a time to opposite elbow. Aiming for your elbow rather than chest, encourage maximum contraction of your lower abdominals and target your obliques.
<20 (10 each leg) alternating jumping lunges
Lunge to a 90-degree angle between both knees, core engaged, body upright. Push from your front heel and glutes in your back leg; explode up in the air and change leg.
<30-second battle rope waves
Stand in a quarter squat position, core engaged. Make continuous waves as vigorous possible without moving your lower body.