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HIIT the mat: workouts to do from the comfort of your mat

Updated: Mar 28, 2019



A trend in recent years has seen a growing number of people preferring to workout at home.


We’ve previously shared tips for doing yoga at home; today we share a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout to get your heart rate up, work up a sweat and burn fat.


Each workout has been designed to work your whole body; our bodies quickly adapt to workouts so the length and intensity of intervals varies between workout to mix it up!


Pre-flight checks

  • As the name hints, HIIT is high-intensity and generally involves fast movements; before starting, make sure you clear plenty of space around you;

  • Use a non-slip mat: particularly if you’re placing it on a hard surface to ensure that it does not slide when you move laterally on it. Rubber-based mats like Form's normally offer the best grip to the floor below;

  • If your mat is placed on thick carpet, move carefully as the excess cushioning can lead to twisted ankles or wrists;

It will also help to download an interval timer app: there are plenty available free on the Android or Apple app stores. Set up the timer to follow the timings specified for each workout below. If you don’t have an interval app, a timer or stopwatch app can also be used.


Warmup

As with any workout, it’s important to warm-up and stretch beforehand:

  • Jog on spot - 1 minute;

  • Low squats (slowly) – 12x;

  • Shoulder rotations: touch fingers on each shoulders and move elbow in rotating action around the shoulder – 20 on each side;

  • Repeat the above;

  • Full-body stretch.


The workouts

Each workout takes a total of 18 minutes and includes 6 exercises.


If you're not sure on a particular exercise, scroll down to the library below for an explanation on how to do it.





Exercise library


180 degree jump squats: you spin my head right round

Facing sideways off your mat, squat low then jump upwards with a clockwise rotating motion. You should spin 180 degrees facing behind your starting position. Spin back in a counter-clockwise to your starting position; it's important to change direction to stop yourself getting dizzy!


Bicycle crunch: get pedaling

Lying flat on your back, place your hands on either side of your head and lift your head to face your feet. Lift both legs off the ground then bring your left knee up towards your face while crunching and bringing your right elbow forward to meet your knee. Return your elbow and knee while keeping your head and feet off the floor at all times; repeat on the other side.


Burpees: everyone’s favourite…

From standing, drop and do a press-up; jump your feet forward to assume a crouching position then jump upwards into a pencil jump or star jump.


Flutter-kicks: kick it

Lie flat on your back with your head on the floor and hands at the side. Lift both feet off the floor while maintaining straight legs. Bring one leg up; as it returns down, bring the other foot up to create and kicking movement similar to when swimming front-crawl.


Froggers: hop up a sweat

From a press-up position, keeping your hands planted on the ground close together, jump your feet forward towards your hands. They should land slightly behind the hands and wider apart so you’re now in a frog-like pose. Keeping your hands fixed still, hop your feet back to the starting position.


Jumping lunges: get low, low, low, low

Standing at the back of your mat, step forward into a deep lunge. Push off the floor with both feet, swapping the position so the back foot is now at the front and visa versa. Land, lunge, repeat!


Jump squats: feel the burn

Squat low with your hands horizontal in front of you. Push hard off the ground as you move your arms down to your side pushing yourself off the ground. Land and repeat.

Be careful if you have low ceilings during the jumping part; remove the jumping part, just focusing on the low squat if needed.


Mountain climbers: peak performance

Assume press-up or high plank position staring at the mat between your hands. Pump your knees one at a time upwards towards you belly so you are running on the spot horizontally.


Press-ups: the classic

Not too much extra explanation needed here: if press-ups aren’t possible for you, try with your knees on the floor.


Running on the spot: getting nowhere fast

With your body upright, looking straight ahead, run pumping your legs fast on the spot. You have the option to do ‘butt-kicks’ kicking your feet up behind you or high-knees bringing each knee up to waist height.


Side lunges: the ice-skater

Facing sideways at the left end of your mat, leap rightwards to the other end of the mat landing on the right foot in a hop motion. Bring the left foot as you jump but don’t let it touch the floor. Jump back to the starting position, landing on the left foot only. As mentioned above, it is especially important your mat has good grip with the floor for this movement; if the grip isn't good enough, don't use a mat for this one.


Star jumps: shoot for the stars

Standing upright with your hands by your side and feet together, jump moving your feet to a wide-stance while lifting your hands to 2 and 10 o’clock above your head. Return your hands and feet to the starting position.


X crunch: a great one for the core

Lie on your back in the middle of your mat in a star shape with legs and arms straight and far apart forming an X shape with your body. Lift hands and feet off the ground and crunch both inwards towards your abdomen. Extend and repeat without returning your hands or feet to the floor.


Tricep dips

Using a sturdy table or sofa, place your hands on the edge with your fingertips facing forwards. Straighten your legs in front of you, with your heels on your mat. Your upper body should remain fairly upright and your legs straight as you bend your elbows lowering your bottom towards the floor. At the bottom, push up off the floor and return to the starting position.

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