If you’re a fan of HIIT or functional training, you’ve probably heard of F45 Training.
F45 is a global fitness company with a love for high-intensity intervals and a focus on functional training, or training inspired by the usual movements you make day to day. F45 has studios around the world. Due to the pandemic, the team began offering at-home workouts so its community members could stay active and still enjoy F45’s signature workout. (Check out their at-home features on the F45 site. Gympass members can book a live-streamed F45 home workout through our Live Classes feature.)
Whether you’re working out in the studio or with F45 virtually, it’s all about getting your heart rate up and working hard. We chatted with Cory George, an athlete, trainer, and F45 athletic director (who’s also known as “the face of F45”) to learn about his favorite HIIT exercises for anyone wanting to shake up their next home cardio workout.
Cory George, “the face of F45”
Check out his list of go-to moves below. Please note that the descriptions here are just an introduction. Your F45 instructor will be able to offer guidance on form and intensity so you can perform the move effectively and avoid injury.
Lateral shoot throughs
How to do it: Start on all fours on your hands and feet. Turn your body to the right, keeping your right foot and your left hand on the ground. In the same motion, lift your right hand up and push your left foot and leg out like you’re kicking to the side across your body. Repeat the move on the other side. (This one is a bit difficult to describe so if you need help, check out this video from an F45 studio that gives a demonstration.)
The benefits: Cory pointed out that this move requires a higher level of coordination than others. But taking on exercises like this in your F45 training can help you “develop better range of motion in the hips, more stability from your core, and more muscular endurance from the shoulders and arms.” Modified moves that can assist with lateral shoot throughs include mountain climbers, burpees, planks, and speed sprawls (we’ll get to those later).
High knees on the spot
How to do it: Think of high knees on the spot as running in place with a boost. As you do it, make sure you bring your knees up to around hip or waist level. You can keep your hands there to motivate you to make contact with every move. Anyone who needs a modification can take out the hop and work on high steps with alternating arms instead.
The benefits: According to Cory, high knees are a great way to work on your balance and coordination and encourage your upper and lower body to work in sync. He has three tips for the move: “Brace the midline, maintain posture with an upright chest, and keep the vision forward.”
How to do it: Start in a crouched position with your feet on the ground and your hands up. Throw your feet back so you’re in a push-up plank position then quickly return to the crouched position. Repeat and remember, it’s all in the speed!
The benefits: Speed sprawls are all about hip mobility and shoulder stability, and they’re a great full-body exercise.
“Learning how to shift your body weight from lower to upper [body] while maintaining control of the midline is ultimate for a full-body blast!” Cory said.
He noted that a simple modification would be to start in a push-up plank position and slowly step each leg up individually past the wrists, and then walk them back to the original position. Repeat at your own pace.
How to do it: Channel your inner Olympian and use your legs to leap side to side.
The benefits: Ice skaters are an effective way to shake up the movement in your workout. Instead of moving forward, back, up, and down, as Cory pointed out, this move requires you to move side to side. You’ll work on your coordination while maintaining balance and control on each leg. If you’re looking for a modification, take out the hop and step into the movement instead.
How to do it: Start in a standing position. Begin walking your hands on the ground in front of you. For a modification, walk your hands out until you’re in a push-up plank position. To do the full exercise, walk your hands out farther (past your ears). Then, walk your hands back and stand back up.
The benefits: Cory likes including the inchworm as part of a HIIT workout because it includes “a little bit of everything.” This move strengthens the shoulders, chest, core, and arms, and can also increase flexibility throughout your hamstrings.
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Photos courtesy of F45 Training