Target all your muscles – especially the idle ones – with this HIIT workout demonstrated by Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw. What you get: maximum impact on fat burn, and minimum impact on joints.
To get lean, you have to train mean. And that involves doing strength-based high-intensity interval training (HIIT), like those of athletes’. While such HIIT workouts are big on movement and speed, they don’t always have to be high-impact.
We got Reagan Kang, director of boutique gym Haus Athletics, to design a low-impact HIIT workout that’s safe for all – even those with bad knees – so the only ache you’ll experience is in your muscles, not the joints. And you’re going to love it. While many HIIT routines focus on repetition, this one is all about variety. “The 13 exercises will take you from standing to going on all fours, so you’ll be having fun throughout instead of staring at the timer,” says Reagan.
A modified and condensed version of Leanout, one of Haus Athletics’ signature programmes, this Shape-exclusive workout demonstrated by Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw emphasises lateral movements to target the oft-neglected side muscles, such as your glutes and inner thighs, for all-over shaping. According to Reagan, “many women don’t do enough of these moves. The combination of total-body strength training and explosive bursts of cardio in this plan will help you develop long, lean muscles and turn you into a fat-burning machine.”
Because this efficient workout takes just 30 minutes or less, here’s the catch: You have to go all out, to the point where you can’t say a word and feel like giving up. Start by doing it twice a week, then build up to thrice weekly with rest days in between sessions to allow your body to recover. Remember, each workout will only make you stronger than the last.
Model Aimee Cheng-Bradshaw demonstrates the moves in this workout video.
Follow the instructions for these sections in order.
- Tabata 1
- Tabata 2
- Arms + core
TOTAL TIME: 25 minutes
WARM-UP (3 minutes)
Do each exercise for 30 seconds in this order without rest. Repeat for another round.
Stand with feet wider than hip-width. Push butt back and down to knee level as you lower body. Knees are bent at about 90 degrees. Keep weight on heels.
From standing position, bend knees and place palms shoulder-width apart on ground in front of feet. Walk palms forward until you come into a high plank. Reverse move by walking palms back towards feet, returning to standing position.
Lunge with arm reach
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Step right leg back and lower body, bending both knees at 90 degrees. Back knee should be hovering a few centimetres above ground. Reach right arm overhead and bend towards the left to stretch the right side. Hold for 2 seconds. Switch sides.
ENDURANCE (8 minutes)
Do each exercise for 30 seconds, back to back. Increase speed for the last exercise to rev up fat burn. Rest for 30 seconds after each set. Repeat for another round.
Dumbbell squat press
Works whole bodyStand with feet wider than hip-width. Bend elbows and bring dumbbells to front of shoulders, keeping elbows close to ribs. Lower into squat, pushing butt back and down to knee level to start [A]. Using energy from legs, stand and drive dumbbells towards ceiling in a swift motion, elbows slightly bent [B]. Keep core tight and chest up.
Works legs, back and armsStand with feet hip-width apart. Hinge forward from hips as you hold dumbbells, palms facing each other [A]. Pull dumbbells towards ribs [B]. Keep back straight and core tight.
Works quads, hamstrings, calves and core
Stand with feet wider than hip-width. Push butt back and down to knee level as you lower body. Knees are bent at about 90 degrees. Keep weight on heels [shown].
Works lower body, shoulders and coreStand with feet hip-width apart. Hold dumbbells in front of shoulders, keeping elbows in [A]. Step right leg back and bend both knees at 90 degrees, as you drive dumbbells towards ceiling [B]. Keep core tight and chest up. Repeat on other side, stepping right leg forward and left leg back.
Works chest and coreStart in high plank: Hands slightly wider than shoulders, feet hip-width apart [A]. Tighten core and squeeze butt as you lower chest to elbow height, elbows bent at 90 degrees [B]. Push ground away and straighten arms as you return to starting position. To scale down, lower knees to ground.
Works lower body and cardio
Stand with feet hip-width apart, hands on hips. Step left leg back and lower body, bending both knees at 90 degrees. Back knee should be hovering a few centimetres above ground [shown]. Repeat on other side, stepping left leg forward and right leg back.
TABATA 1 (4 minutes)
Do each move for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Complete 4 rounds. Rest for 60 seconds before moving to TABATA 2.
Lateral bear crawl
Works whole body
Get on all fours: Hands under shoulders, knees under hips. Engage core and lift knees slightly above ground [shown]. Keeping back straight and chin in, shuffle three steps to the right, and three steps back to the left.
Works inner thighs, core and cardioStart in wide squat position, fingers pointing downwards [A]. As quickly as possible, bring feet in and rise, extending arms overhead [B].
TABATA 2 (4 minutes)
Do each move for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Complete 4 rounds. Rest for 60 seconds before moving to ARMS + CORE.
Works whole bodyStart in high plank with hands directly under shoulders [A]. Drive knees in towards chest, one at a time. Do this as quickly as possible while maintaining a straight back [B].
Works glutes, core and cardioStart in squat position [A]. Bend knees and place palms on ground in front of you [B]. Jump both feet back into plank [C]. Reverse move: Immediately jump feet back towards hands [B], then get into squat position [A] to complete one rep.
ARMS + CORE (6 minutes)
Do each exercise for 30 seconds, back to back. Rest for 30 seconds. Complete 3 rounds.
Dumbbell bicep curl
Works arms and coreStand with feet hip-width apart, holding dumbbells outside thighs to start [A]. With palms facing up, bend elbows and lift dumbbells to front of shoulders [B]. Keep elbows under shoulders throughout.
Works triceps and coreGet into push-up position on knees [A]. Tighten core and squeeze butt as you lower body until elbows are next to ribs [B]. Push ground away and straighten arms as you return to starting position. To scale up, lift knees off ground and start in plank position.
Works whole body
Lie down, facing up. Extend arms overhead, keeping biceps close to ears. Squeeze butt and legs together as you lift shoulder blades and legs off ground about 45 degrees, maintaining a hollow position [shown]. Breathe normally throughout. To scale down, bend knees at 90 degrees.