You’ve heard of high-intensity interval training and you’ve burpeed your way through a 7 a.m. HIIT class, but have you ever stopped to think about how all that punching, jumping, planking and lunging can actually help you get stronger in everyday life? Contrary to popular belief, no two HIIT workouts are alike. And if you’re looking to move a little easier while getting the most out of your routine, functional HIIT training is the way to go.
According to Scott Thompson, the Global Athletics Director of high-intensity workout studio F45 Training, HIIT training “allows participants to maintain high-intensity exercise for longer periods of time than during continuous exercise.” When compared to steady-state workouts, it’s also shown to lead to “greater improvements in aerobic fitness and body composition,” per Thompson. Now, that’s all well and good. But if you’re not a professional athlete looking to PR at your next competition, the functionality component is key.
The goal of functional HIIT training is to target multiple muscle groups—the big ones and the small, stabilizing ones—while mimicking everyday movements like squatting, jumping, pushing and pulling. And by mixing bodyweight strength with cardio exercises, you’ll burn more calories, reduce blood pressure, increase post-exercise fat oxidation and increase muscle growth and neural adaption (so you’ll actually be able to feel your glutes engage every time you squat down to pick something up).
To help you get started, we tapped the experts at F45 for a 30-minute functional HIIT workout featuring some of our favorite moves including hip thrusters, bicycle crunches and inchworms. And with zero equipment required, you can tackle this workout outside, at the gym or in the comfort of your own home.