High intensity interval training (more commonly referred to as “HIIT” training) refers to a workout that alternates between periods of high intensity work output and short rest periods. HIIT training can provide numerous health benefits, including increasing your metabolism and promoting fat loss over muscle loss. These workouts can be created with unlimited combinations of body weight and weighted exercises, and can provide you with a total body workout in about 15 minutes. Check out this kettlebell focused 15 minute HIIT workout!
For this workout, we will use an interval format often referred to as an “EMOM,” which stands for every minute on the minute. Perform the first exercise at the start of the first minute and complete the number of repetitions listed. Then rest the remainder of the minute, and begin the next exercise at the start of the next minute until you complete all five exercises. Repeat two more times through for a 15 minute total workout. Each exercise should take you about 35 to 40 seconds of work, allowing you 20 to 25 seconds of rest. If you find yourself working for less than 35 seconds during any given round, add a repetition. If you find that you don’t have at least 20 seconds of rest during any exercise, take one repetition off.
For any movements that you are unfamiliar with, please have a fitness professional check your form before you begin the workout to correct form and prevent injuries.
Double Half Snatch - 10 repetitions
Begin with the kettlebells about a foot in front of you. Have your feet about shoulder-width apart. Hinge back into your hips as if you were going to set up to do a deadlift. Grab the handles of the kettlebells in each hand and tilt the kettlebells back toward the body about 45 degrees. Pull your lat muscles down, drive your heels down, and maintain a slight arch in the back.
Hike both kettlebells back between your legs as if you are hiking a football behind you. As soon as the kettlebells start to come forward, drive your hips forward and squeeze your glutes and lock your arms out straight above your head. Your arms should pull up and punch out, as if you are pulling up on a zipper on the way up. This will keep the kettlebells closer to your body’s center of gravity and will prevent the kettlebells from flopping over onto the wrists as you land in the lockout position. In the lockout position, your arms should be locked above your head with your biceps in line with your ears. Your lat muscles should be engaged and your abs should be tight. Your glutes and quads should also be engaged and your body should be in one straight line. Once you have hit that lockout position, bring both kettlebells down to chest height in the rack position, and then swing them back behind you to initiate the next repetition.
Burpee Deadlift - 8 repetitions
Begin with two competition-size kettlebells between your feet. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart. Place the hands on the handles of the kettlebells and then step or hop back into a plank position. If you are comfortable with performing a push up on the handles of the kettlebells, perform one push up, and then step or hop the feet back to the starting position, keeping your hands on the handles of the kettlebells. Make sure you are hinging back into your hips and you have an arch in the back. Then drive your hips forward to bring yourself up to a standing position with the kettlebells in each hand. At the top of the deadlift, your abs, glutes and quads should all be locked in place. Keep your lats engaged as you hinge back into your hips to bring the kettlebells back down to the ground in your starting position.
Alternating Double Racked Reverse Lunge - 6 repetitions per side
Start with the kettlebells up at chest height in the rack position and your feet right underneath your hips. Pull the lats down, brace your abs, and keep both muscle groups engaged during the entire duration of this set. Step one leg back and sink down into a lunge, keeping the kettlebells close to the chest and the lats and abs locked in place. As you push back up out of the lunge position, return your back leg to the start position. Repeat the movement by stepping the opposite leg back into the lunge position. Alternate legs with each repetition.
One Arm Swings - 10 repetitions per side
Begin with the feet just slightly wider than hip-width apart and the kettlebell about one foot in front of the feet. Grab the handle of the kettlebell with one hand, lock that lat muscles into place, and hinge into your hips to set up the one arm swing. Hike the kettlebell back behind you as if you are hiking a football behind you.
As the kettlebell begins to swing forward, drive your hips forward and squeeze your glutes, abs and quads. The kettlebell should float up to about chest height, but no higher. Maintain that locked, standing position as the kettlebell begins to descend down. As soon as your forearm connects to the trunk of your body, hinge the hips back to begin the next repetition. After you complete all 10 repetitions on one side, switch hands and complete all 10 repetitions on the other side.
Kettlebell Leg Raise - 8 repetitions
Lie on the back and press one kettlebell above your chest using both hands. Keep your head and neck up during the duration of this exercise to help keep your abs engaged and your low back on the ground. Begin with both legs pointing straight up toward the ceiling. Slowly bring your legs down toward the ground, allowing them to come down just a couple inches above the ground. Activate your abs to help pull your legs back up to the starting position.
These five exercises will work all of the major muscle groups in the body and, when placed in an interval format, will get the heart rate up and will provide you with a great workout in just 15 minutes!
Lauren Weiss is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor based out of Long Beach, CA. She specializes in kettlebell training and unconventional workouts and has been working with both types of fitness for over a year. Lauren has her BOLT Kettlebell Sport Certification through the USA Kettlebell League and has expertise working with kettlebells, barbells, dumbbells and several unconventional fitness tools. Lauren received her BA in Journalism and uses her writing expertise to craft thought-provoking articles about trending fitness, health & wellness topics. Follow Lauren on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.
Main Photo Credit: Dragon Images/shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit: plantic/shutterstock.com; Third Photo Credit: Impact Photography/shutterstock.com