“Working out anchors my day.” –  Dwayne Johnson

Staying at home or only being allowed to go outdoors for short walks or to run necessary errands can do far more than make people “stir crazy” – it can lead to a lack of sufficient exercise and the loss of fitness.

But for many people, especially those accustomed to working out at a gym or fitness club, trying to “exercise at home” might seem grossly insufficient or even impossible for them to do without the machines and equipment they normally make use of.

A recent article in GQ magazine, while expressing the frustration many have from trying to stay in shape while having to stay at home, offers some good news,  

“Luckily for you, one of the best workouts to do from home is also the quickest. Enter high-intensity interval training (HIIT).

As the name suggests, HIIT training involves intense, max-effort movements followed by short rest periods. Those bursts are a proven way to improve both overall cardiovascular health and athletic performance. You’ll burn calories rapidly, and the burn continues long after the typically short workout is finished. It’s ideal if you don’t want to spend hours on end working out—which seems likely enough if you’re working out in your living room.”

We’ve discussed aspects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) here and actively promote our own Vasper system, a great addition to our company and one that provides the same benefits of HIIT workouts.

However, as wonderful as the Vasper system is, it only helps if you can use it. Sheltering at home means finding alternatives and more “old school” approaches to high-intensity interval training.

HIIT at Home

As the GQ article points out, HIIT is one of the best workouts to do from home and it’s quick. And, possibly best of all, no equipment is needed.

A no-equipment HIIT workout can be accomplished with a wide variety of movements and exercises. Here is one suggested workout based on Tabata, a style of HIIT developed by Japanese professor Dr. Izumi Tabata in the late 1990s.

The routine requires doing three sets of a four-minute workout, in which each set is composed of movements for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, then repeat for a total of four minutes. Once a set is completed, rest for two minutes before moving to the next exercise.

person doing high intensity interval training (HIIT)
[Image courtesy Jaykayfit]

If followed as described, the entire workout can be completed in under 20 minutes. 

Any exercises can be used, but here are a number of popular ones you can incorporate into your workouts.

Side to Side Runs

Standing up, jump to the right, landing on the right foot and using your abs to pull your left knee up to waist height. Then jump to the left, landing on the left foot and pulling your right knee up. Repeat.

Ab Lower and Lift

Lying face up, pull your navel in towards your spine and lift your legs straight up to the ceiling, making a 90 degree angle with your body. Lower your legs down a few inches or halfway down towards the ground, and bring them back up to the starting position. Keep your lower back straight, not arched, for the duration of this exercise.

Jump Squat

Start standing with your feet slightly wider than hip-width distance, with toes turned out. Lower down into a squat position until your butt is just below your knees. Jump up quickly, landing as softly as possible back into a squat, keeping your knees pointing away from each other.


Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Squat down and place your hands on the floor with your elbows inside your knees, then jump your feet back so that you’re in a high plank. Do one push-up, then jump your feet back to your hands, (elbows inside your knees) and from this crouched position jump up as high as you can.

High Plank

Start on your hands and knees and then press up into a high plank position with your shoulders over your wrists, while creating a straight line with your body from shoulders to heels. Reach forward through the crown of your head and reach back through your heels while pulling your abs up and in. 

For some it may be tempting to do HIIT workouts every day, however, this really is not a good idea. Your risk of getting injured because of overtraining increases dramatically when you don’t give your muscle tissue enough time to repair and grow.

According to an article at Greatist.com, certified personal trainer Dalton Wong says that two to three days a week is a solid amount of HIIT as long as you build in 24 hours of rest and recovery between sessions.

“So if your goal is to work out four times per week, he recommends two HIIT sessions and two resistance training sessions. Whether you go full-body on those resistance days or break it into an upper-body day and a lower-body day is up to you.”

Staying Pain-Free While Staying In Shape

Are you in pain after working out? It may well be that you really are “overdoing it.”

We invite you to call for an appointment and, during your initial consultation and assessment at Pain and Performance Solutions, we’ll take the time to learn about your present pain and condition, along with any history of discomfort, along with your current level of physical activity.

Treating and relieving your pain starts once we understand where and how your pain started. A full examination will help us determine which form of treatment is best suited to get you on your road to recovery. Your trust in us is key, as is your honesty. Ultimately, getting your body healthy and working properly is the only way to achieve total recovery.

Our goal is to work through the sequence of pain and dysfunction in order to get your body healthy and working properly and to achieve total recovery.

Don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to help and will answer any questions that you may have. You can reach us at (707) 636-4404 or by filling out our online contact form.