HIIT The Weights

Hate cardio? This is for you!

Attention cardio dreaders…I have a conditioning routine for you! This program lets you skip the boring cardio machines and spend more time in the weight room. Personally, that’s where I’d rather be! However, since we still need cardiovascular activity of some sort to stay fit and heart healthy, I thought I’d put together a program cardio haters can enjoy!

In this routine, I’ve used some of my favorite glute training devices—the Smith machine and kettlebell. I stripped the plates off the Smith, picked up a lighter kettlebell (20lbs) and increased reps to focus on endurance and calorie burn. These little tweaks turned my weight routine into a quick HIIT cardio interval. Time went by fast, and I didn’t feel like I was setting aside “cardio” time apart from my weights. Here’s what I did:

Step 1 – Smith Machine Reverse Lunge

With your upper back leaning against the Smith Machine bar and feet out in front of you slightly, alternate stepping back into a lunge. Perform 20 lunges all together (10 each leg).

Note: Make sure that when you start, your feet are NOT positioned directly underneath you with the bar resting pressing against your neck. You want your feet out in front slightly and the bar on your upper back.

Step 2 – Kettlebell Swing

Holding a kettlebell with two hands, tighten your abs and release the kettlebell back between your knees. Drive your hips forward propelling the kettlebell forward. Squeeze your glutes hard at the top. Perform 20 swings at a medium pace.

Step 3 – Weighted Hops

Holding the kettlebell between your legs, tighten core and lower into a squat with your weight in your heels. Pushing through your heels, hop/jump into the air and then land back in the starting squat position. These hops don’t need to be high—focus on keeping your weight in your heels and your chest up. Complete 20 hops/jumps.

Perform this program 5 times!

Jessica James is a IFBB Bikini Pro and Bodybuilding.com Sponsored Athlete, as well as an online fitness coach and certified personal trainer. Growing up in a competitive cheer gym owned by her family, she has been instructing and providing guidance to athletes of all ages for 12 years. Email Jessica for general fitness counseling, food and workout plans.

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