HIIT Workouts at Your Desk: Progress, Not Perfection

Prioritizing fitness and making lifestyle changes can be difficult, especially if you don’t have enough time to get to the gym multiple times per week. But there are ways to stay fit, focus on progress, and stop worrying about perfection—even when you’re in a time crunch. HIIT workouts are quicker than the usual exercise session and burn fat more effectively with the help of strategic rest periods.

Read on to learn the basics of a HIIT workout, what the benefits are, and how you can adapt movements to get a session in at your desk!

What is HIIT?

The basics of a HIIT workout are simple, and you can even try one or two at your desk.

HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is a widely-used approach to aerobic exercise centered on the concept of afterburn. Afterburn happens when your body needs more oxygen during your recovery process, which uses more calories and makes HIIT a better fat-burning method.  

Your body reaches this stage when you complete bursts of fast, intense, full-effort exercise followed by short recovery periods. By alternating between these two states during HIIT, your body asks for more oxygen during recovery, leading to more effective weight loss.

HIIT workouts have a wide variety of other benefits:

  • They increase your metabolism.
  • They’re convenient because they require little time.
  • There is no need for extra equipment, just your body!

How can you do a HIIT workout at your desk?

The basics of a HIIT workout are simple, and you can even try one or two at your desk.

While HIIT workouts are convenient and effective for most people at home or the gym, they’re also easy to adapt to a working lifestyle. Experts like Sean Foy suggest a 4-3-2-1 approach for a 10-minute total workout. This includes four minutes of aerobic exercise, three minutes of strength training, two minutes of core workouts, and one minute of stretching and breathing.

There are a few exercises you can do in your office to get your heart rate up and improve your metabolism with this method.

Air Boxing

Air boxing is an aerobic workout that’s great for speeding up your heart rate and burning calories. By boxing without a partner or punching bag, you’re forced to control the power and speed of your movements. To get started, try closing your office door to get in a few intervals of punching, kicking, and ducking. Don’t forget to take a recovery period in between rounds!

Chair Jogging

Jogging in your chair may sound like an oxymoron, but it can be a great HIIT workout. While you’re seated at work, sit on the edge of your chair and move your legs in an up-and-down jogging motion. Doing this in full-effort intervals separated by recovery periods can get your heart rate up, work your core, and help you reach afterburn.

Marching in Place

This is exactly what it sounds like! Besides being a classic Simon Says move, marching in place can be a great calorie-burning exercise. When you do this movement in 100% effort intervals with short periods of active recovery between, it can create an easy HIIT workout you can do in the office.

Wall Push-ups

Push-ups are a great strength training workout for the upper body but can be tough to do at work. Wall push-ups are easier to do in your office and can be a great part of a HIIT session. Incorporate an interval of 10 to 15 push-ups among short recovery spurts to get a well-rounded workout for your arms, chest, and core.

Staying healthy and in shape doesn’t have to be totally time-consuming. With the help of these HIIT workout exercises, you can make time for fitness on a short break at work. Combine these exercises at your desk to increase your heart rate and metabolism!