Student Life

HIIT it off at home

With the coronavirus pandemic leaving many stuck at home, the last thing on some students’ minds is exercise. However, according to Medline, taking a quick break from sitting at your desk all day can help improve your mood and get you out of your bed.

One way to stay fit under quarantine is high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This type of training consists of exercises performed at high levels of effort in quick succession with little rest in between. The objective of HIIT is to keep workouts short and to the point, so these sessions only last between five to eight minutes for beginners. 

Below are some exercises commonly found in HIIT and have been sourced from Jeff Cavalier, founder of the fitness channel ATHLEAN-X. Each exercise requires perfect form and constant repetition for 40 seconds. Between each exercise is 20 seconds of rest. For those starting out in HIIT, a recommended regimen is intervals of squats, burpees, mountain climbers, planks and push-ups, all in that order. If you’re looking for a more intensive form of exercise, a sequence of one-and-a-half bottomed-out squats, burpees with push ups, leg raises, bicycle crunches, and push-ups is recommended.

Recommended exercises to include in HIIT:


Stand with your feet spread a little bit wider than the width of your shoulders. Put your arms straight away from your face; it should look as if you are pushing an object. Then, bring your body down and bend your knees until they are at around 90 degrees, ensuring that your back is as straight as possible. Hold for two to three seconds in this position and come back up to the starting position.


Start standing. Then, quickly bend down and put both hands on the ground. Jump back to a standing position then return quickly into a crouched position. Repeat until the 40 second interval ends.

Mountain climbers

On the ground, put both hands on the ground and lift your body until it is at a 45 degree angle with the floor. Lift one foot and bring your knee to your elbow on the same side. Keep repeating this on both sides, one after another.


Lay parallel with the ground, face-down, supporting your body with your toes and your forearms, to form a straight line. Clench your abdominal muscles, as hard as you can. Make sure your back is straight and that your butt is not sticking out too much.

Push ups 

Balance your body on the ground on all four limbs with your palms flat on the ground. Lower your body by decreasing the angle of your elbows, making sure to use your chest and triceps. Once you feel your nose almost touching the ground, push back to the starting position.

One-and-a-half bottomed-out squats 

Squat all the way down with your feet flat on the ground. Come up halfway and do a regular squat. Hold this pose for two to three seconds before returning to the starting position.

Burpees with push ups

This is a regular burpee with a few modifications. When you are in the crouched position on the ground, move into a plank formation then do a push up before jumping your legs back into crouching position.

Leg raises

Lie down on the ground with your back flat at all times. Raise your legs to a little less than 90 degrees above the ground.

Bicycle crunch

Lie down on the ground, face-up, with your legs bent so that your knees are pointed towards your face, making sure your back stays flat. Put your hands behind your head and bend your torso upwards. While extending the left leg, roll the right one back with your knees towards your left elbow and make the two touch. Repeat the same movement for the right leg and left elbow.


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