5 Cardio HIIT Exercises with Esther Anu

Dynamic Chair Pose
Esther takes you through 5 simple cardio HIIT exercises from 30-day Countdown to Summer Curves – a feature fitness programme targeted at women of all sizes, to encourage you to celebrate and embrace your beauty through exercise and movement. These 5 exercises combined will: raise your heart rate, allow you to burn more fat, as well as, increase your overall fitness and core strength.


Rotating Squat Jump
1. Start with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width with your shoulders and elbows flexed to 90 degrees.
2. Keeping your chest up, jump vertically, extending through your hips and throwing your elbows forward.
3. Land softly in a squat position.
4. Stand and reset to the starting position before performing a 90 degree rotating jump clockwise.
5. Complete the set before moving on to the next exercise.

Key Points
 Keep chest up while fully extending hips during jump
 Land softly at the end of each jump
 Maintain your own pace and rhythm during the movement
Sets: 3
Time: 30 secs
Rest: 0

Lateral Steps
1. Place 2 cones approximately 4 yards apart. Starting at one cone with the other out to your side, stand in an athletic base position.
2. Drive your outside hip up, following with your inside hip and move your whole body laterally to the other cone.
3. Pause briefly before moving to the other cone.
4. Complete the set before moving on to the next exercise.

Key Points
 Keep heels off the floor & point your toes upwards.
 Raise your hips with each strike.
 Drive your arms to make use of coordination.

Push-up – to – Mountain Climber
1. Begin in a push-up position, with your hands beneath your shoulders and your legs straight behind you.
2. Bend your elbows to lower your body to the ground meanwhile keeping your torso stable and hips square to the ground.
3. Push yourself back up without touching the ground.
4. With your legs straight behind you, immediately drive your hips - one at a time - to your chest, to complete the mountain climber.
5. Reset to the starting position and continue the pattern for the remainder of the set, starting with the push-up.
Regression *If you are unable to complete a full push-up with your legs straight behind you, perform a half push-up by bending your knees and sitting them down on the ground. After lowering your body to the ground, complete the exercise from step 4*
Sets: 3
Time: 30 secs
Rest: 0

Knee Hikes
1. Stand tall with your arms at your sides.
2. Drive one knee up while you bring the opposite arm forward, and across to meet your lifted knee.
3. Immediately repeat the movement, lifting the opposite knee and exchanging arm positions.
4. Continue the movement for the prescribed time.

Key Points
 Initiate the movement from your glutes and focus on pushing your trailing foot through the ground as you fully extend your hips.
 Aim to get your knee as close to your elbow as possible.
 Keep your abs tight during the movement.

Sets: 3
Time: 30 secs
Rest: 0

Skip – to – Tuck Jump
1. Stand with your feet about 2 inches apart, rope in both hands with your hands just above your waist.
2. Swing the rope forward and jump over it as soon as it swings under your feet.
3. Stay on the balls of your feet as you complete the jumps.
4. Continue jumping as many times as you can in 30 seconds.
5. Immediately get into the starting position for the tuck jumps, by standing with your knees slightly bent, arms at your sides.
6. Dip down as quickly as possible to give you momentum before you jump.
7. Jump straight up as high as you can, aiming for your knees to reach your chest.
8. Land with your hips above your knees.
9. Return to the starting position and repeat the jump for the prescribed number of reps during the set.

Key Points
 Immediately go into the jumps after skipping.
 Drive your hips up as close to your chest as possible.
 Land softly on your toes.

Sets: 3
Time: 30 secs (skipping)
Reps: 10 (tuck jumps)
Rest: 1 minute

After all exercises are completed, rest for a maximum of 1 minute before starting again with the rotating squat jump.

Tips for Success:

  • Cardio HIIT workouts are great to add to your programme to increase intensity. As opposed to slow steady cardio, these type of workouts create a great after-burn effect – which means it increases your ability to burn fat when your body is at rest
  • Perform these 1-2 times per week for the best results
  • Stretch in-between sets
  • Try to perform the movements in as fluid motion as possible, without compromising form. As you become more proficient, increase the pace at which you perform the exercises
  • Avoid thinking. Focus on moving. Reinforcing the purpose behind these workouts will encourage you to keep going until the end. These workouts are higher intensity by nature
  • If you really feel like your body needs to rest, take a brief break before getting back into it
  • Re-fuel with a quality source of protein and a natural carb post-workout
  • Most importantly, enjoy it!
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