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Home Gym: Tips for a Budget-Friendly HIIT Workout


One of the most appealing benefits about high intensity interval training (HIIT) is the fact that you can do it anywhere with a limited amount of space and your own body weight. If you have a small space you’d like to dedicate to your home gym, here are some tips for accomplishing this in a cost-friendly manner. Building a home gym can be a daunting yet very fun adventure.


Pick a cardio option that you know you’ll enjoy and do often. For this one, the investment can range from a free run around your neighborhood to a $3,000 treadmill. Evaluate your budget and determine how much you’d like to dedicate to your cardio investment. Some options: a fitness jump rope (fantastic for intervals), treadmill, indoor rower, spin bike, plyometric blocks. I don’t recommend ellipticals as they’re not the most functional piece of fitness equipment. Ellipticals were originally intended for rehabilitation purposes before becoming popular fitness equipment. I only recommend frequent elliptical use if you’re recovering from an injury.

Freebie Cardio

Bodyweight plyometrics, burpees, butt kicks, high knees, jumping lunges, squat jumps, jogging in place, and basketball throws will get your heart rate up quickly while providing cardiovascular and fitness benefits. There are low-impact versions, too, if you’re trying to minimize joint pounding. The key is to create height and level dynamics without impact. Try reaching for the floor, bending your knees into a deep squat and stand up quickly, reaching your arms up toward the ceiling and coming onto your tip toes. Repeat quickly—you’ll be surprised at how quickly it can elevate your heart rate.

  • Jump rope. Your only expense is the cost of the jump rope (around $10) and you can get a killer Rocky-style cardio workout at home. (Bonus: you don’t have to chase after any chickens.) My favorite method is to do intervals (of course) with 15 seconds on, 15 seconds rest, for 20 minutes. It looks easy on paper, but you will be drenched in sweat! The short intervals make the session fly by, and you can also get fancy with cross-country feet, double unders, or high knees as you jump rope.
  • Outdoor running. If you have a nearby track or safe spot in your neighborhood to run or walk briskly, this is one of the most effective types of freebie cardio. To add in strength blitzes, you can stop every couple of minutes to do some push-ups, tricep dips, walking lunges, burpees, or a plank. No one will think you’re weird…just awesome. The three main tools for an effective strength and cardio workout are determination, a solid plan, and your own body weight.