With the ever-rising awareness of fitness and sports and their effects on the overall health of the human body and mind, people are nowadays wondering about the best exercise or activity to achieve optimal health and well-being. And because many different workouts are available, choosing which type is the best for your personal goals might be challenging. However, the best way to choose between various fitness programs is to dive into the details and techniques of each one. And today, we will talk about HIIT specifically. And to be more specific, we will discuss the upper body HIIT circuit. What is it? What health benefits should you expect and so much more? But first of all,
What is a HIIT workout?
HIIT stands for high-intensity interval training. This type of workout consists of fast, intense bursts of activity and short recovery periods between each exercise and the other. Which is a time-efficient way to work out. (1)
You’re pushing your body to its limit for a short period (typically a few minutes) rather than your average 40 to 60 minutes moderate-intensity cardio workout. (2)
Usually, it goes like this: for beginners, there is a 1-minute unit per exercise. They work out for 30 seconds, then recover for 30 seconds, and so on. This results in sweating, elevated heart rate to the optimal fat-burning level, and increased breathing rate.
Benefits of HIIT workout
- Fat burn
The sudden intense bursts of energy the individual exerts in this type of workout elevate the heart rate to a certain level optimal for fat burning.
Making the body break down fats faster than it would with other low to moderate-intensity workout techniques like cardio. ( 4), (5)
Also, HIIT is the workout of choice for people with low insulin sensitivity or people with depression. That’s because it increases epinephrine and norepinephrine.
- Metabolism and energy
HIIT improves the body’s ability to take in oxygen and utilize it in the working muscles.
Many researchers (6) discovered that it increases during HIIT more by measuring oxygen uptake than other moderate-intensity workout techniques.
Moreover, HIIT increases the anaerobic threshold.
Which is the level of oxygen the body consumes above which the regular energy production using oxygen is replaced by anaerobic energy production.
This causes lactate increase, which is unhealthy for the muscles and overall body health as it may cause acidosis.
Increasing BIncreasingathe anaerobic threshold, teams that anaerobic energy production is delayed., which has a tremendous impact on the body’s overall health while working out.
- Cardiac health
As we mentioned earlier, HIIT workout increases maximum oxygen intake by the body. That directly affects the heart and lungs positively(7)
- Muscle health
Short, intense bursts of energy require fast twitches from the muscle fibers.
This technique forces the muscle to be stronger and bigger than the type of growth that allow-intensity workout offers in the same time window. (8),(9)
- Impact on blood sugar levels
Different studies concluded that HIIT is beneficial for people at risk of diabetes.
Studies also showed it reduces blood sugar levels, especially in type 2 diabetes patients. And as we mentioned earlier, HIIT improves insulin sensitivity and helps with insulin resistance. ( 10)
And specifically, upper-body HIIT workout help strengthen and tone the arms and shoulder muscles more rapidly compared to other upper-body workout techniques.
But let’s be more specific, what workouts do people usually do in the upper body HIIT circuit?
Upper body HIIT circuit workouts
After thorough research, we came up with the health instructors’ most preferred and most effective upper body HIIT workouts and how you should execute them in detail.
But before explaining them, we have to talk about the rules for executing this training program flawlessly.
First, you should always engage the right muscle for every workout.
The MMind-muscle connection is how your mind controls your muscles and body by mindfully engaging the power you are working on.
Your brain thinks about tucking the muscle you are targeting and gives it another order to engage in the workout.
For example, in the upper body HIIT circuit, you should engage your shoulders, arms, and chest, tuck your core, and, most importantly, always remember to breathe regular deep breaths to avoid cramps and exhaustion.
Secondly, some of these workouts use weights and dumbbells. Although this may ensure a faster result, if you have any back injury or other physical issues, you should replace these exercises with ones that do not require using weights and consult your healthcare provider regarding these workouts and their effect on your health.
Last, you should always consider your posture and how your body should look while executing these exercises.
For example, a wrong posture, like not maintaining a straight-back fan, results in serious injuries. That’s why we will dive into details concerning the correct posture for every workout.
Upper body HIIT workout circuit
You can choose between the many workouts we mention in each round. But it should go like this:
- First workout: 40 seconds
- Rest: 15 second
- Second workout: 40 seconds
- Rest: 15 seconds
- Third workout: 40 seconds
- Rest: 15 seconds
- Fourth workout: 40 seconds
- Rest: 35 seconds
You repeat this cycle up to 5 times. That would be eprecisely20 minutes of HIIT circuit.
We recommend alternating between non-weight and weight workouts to avoid severe muscle strain, especially for beginners.
You can also reduce the time of weight workouts from 40 seconds to tto30 seconds with maintaining the same 15 seconds of Rest time in between if the exercise gets too challenging to hold for 40 seconds.
Now, let’s get into the upper body hiit circuit workouts:
- Bear Crawl
You start this workout by sitting on all fours on the ground. Then leave your knees off the ground at a 90 degrees angle, keep your back straight, and make sure your knees are hip-width apart.
Also, your hands should be shoulder-width apart.
Then move your right hand and left foot forward simultaneously while maintaining your posture.
After that, do the same with your left hand and right foot; this completes one rep.
You should repeat this movement for 40 seconds to a minute.
- Push up burpee
Start this workout standing on your feet shoulder with apart and your arms by your side.
Then squat to the floor, reach your hands forward, place them on the floor shoulder width apart, and keep them straight.
After that, kick your legs straight behind you with your toes on the ground.
And then, bend your elbows, lower your chest, and straighten them again, completing one push-up.
Finally, jump your feet closer to your still-straightened hands. That will result in having your lower body in a squat position. Jump up in the air so you will end up standing with your hands up.
You repeat this move for 40 seconds to 1 minute.
- Dumbbell renegade row push-up.
Begin the workout with a high plank holding an appropriate-weight dumbbell that is not too heavy.
Hold your dumbbells in each hand resting on the floor shoulder-width apart. Your elbows should be straight so should your back.
Also, your legs should be straight behind you while slightly wider than your hip’s width to maintain stability.
After this, bend your right elbow, raise your hands, and hold the dumbbell to your chest. Your elbow should not pass your torso.
Then, lower your right hand back to the original position.
Right after, bend both your elbows with your chest straight and lowered towards the floor to do a push-up.
And then, push your body back up by straightening your elbows to return to a plank position.
Finally, repeat the whole process, but this time start by bending your left elbow back instead of your right. Repeat this cycle for about 40 seconds.
- High blank rotation
Start by getting into a high plank. Ensure your wrists are shoulder width apart, your arms are extended, and your body is straight from your shoulders to your toes. This is very important to avoid any back injuries.
Then, shift your weight to the left side, turning your body to the right.
That happens when your left arm is straight beneath you, and your hand rests on the ground, while your right arm should be straight up in the air, forming a straight line with your left hand.
Also, your right leg should form a straight line with your torso. Ensure your hips are straight with your whole body and not sagging toward the ground.
After that, return to the plank position but don’t let both your hands touch the ground simultaneously.
Once you place your right hand back on the ground, rotate by lifting your left hand. Get into the same position as before but with your right hand supporting you and your left hand up in the air.
Your left leg should form a straight line with your torso in this position.
Remember that the other leg in this position also supports your weight behind the straightened leg.
Finally, repeat this cycle for about 40 seconds.
- Wide grip push up
Begin with a push-up position. Your body should form a straight line from your head to your toes.
The only difference between regular push up and this one is that the distance between both your hands should be more comprehensive than shoulder width. This targets more upper body muscles than a regular push-up does.
After that, you also do a regular push-up cycle for 40 seconds as ever; if you are up for the extra challenge, add a weight plate on your back while doing this workout. But make sure it is not uncomfortably heavy for your body.
- Triceps dip
Start by sitting with your legs bent in front of you and your knees on the same level as your chest.
Your arms should be straight, supporting your body weight, your wrists right below your shoulders, fingers pointing towards your heels, and your back inclined above the ground.
Also, your feet should be flat on the ground with your knees still bent.
After that, bend your elbows, lowering your body into a dip without letting your hips touch the ground. Your arms should be the central moving part in this process, letting you up and down.
Finally, repeat this cycle for about 40 seconds.
- Up and down the plank
Start this workout with an essential plank position. As usual, your body should be straight from head to toe with your hands and feet shoulder-width apart.
Also, make sure your pelvis and core are tight.
Then, shift your weight to your right arm as you move from your left forearm to your left hand. After that, turn your weight to your left arm as you move from your right forearm to your right hand. It would be best if you ended up in a high plank position.
Afterward, return to the forearm plank.
Finally, repeat this for 40 seconds.
- Plank arm raise
Begin with a high plank position holding an appropriate-weight dumbbell in each hand resting on the ground.
Ensure your abdominal muscles are tight and engaged; raise your right hand, holding the dumbbell up, forming a straight line in front of your face.
Afterward, switch to your other arm before lowering it back again.
Finally, repeat this for 40 seconds.
- Shoulder press
To start up, get onto your hands and toes.
The shape of your body should be an upside-down letter V. Your hips should be up in the air, the highest point of your body. Your upper and lower bodies will form a 90-degree angle with each other.
Moreover, ensure your feet are hip-width apart, your hands are shoulder-width apart, and your head is tilted between your arms.
Afterward, bend both your elbows, bringing your head towards the ground while maintaining it between your arms at the same position.
Finally, straighten your arms back up, returning to the original position. Repeat for 40 seconds.
- Dumbbell bent over fly.
Start this workout with your feet hip-width apart. Both hands should be on your side with your elbows bent at 45 degrees. Hold a relatively light dumbbell in each hand.
Then, bend your upper body forward with your knees bent slightly. Make sure your neck is in a comfortable position.
Also, make sure your back is flat, and your core is tight.
Raise your arms with your hands facing outwards from your body until your upper arms are in a straight line with your shoulders. Then pause for a second, bring your arms back down, and repeat for 40 seconds.
- Dumbbell biceps curl
Start by holding medium-weight dumbbells in each hand. Your arms should be straight down next to your body, and your palms with the dumbbells should be facing forwards.
Then, curl the dumbbells upwards towards your shoulders.
After that, you can add an extra step by rotating your palms so they can face the front again, and then push the weights up till your arms form a straight line above your body towards the ceiling.
Finally, reverse all these steps slowly and carefully until you return to the starting position.
- Dumbbell wood chop
Start with standing with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart. Hold a relatively light dumbbell with both hands.
Then, raise your arms diagonally in front of your body to the left side.
If you pause at this position, your body should form a diagonal line starting from your right leg stretched to the side and your right toes on the ground. Both hands hold the dumbbell up, creating a diagonal line starting from your right foot, going along your body, and to your stretched arms on the upper left side.
After that, bring your hands with the dumbbell down to the right side, bringing it across the body until you reach your hip’s right side. If you pause at this position, your knees should be slightly bent, your feet, your face, and your upper body should be facing the right side. It is better to focus on keeping your lower body stable while rotating your core.
Finally, keep alternating between both sides for about 40 seconds.
- Blast off plank shoulder tap.
Start this workout in a high plank position. As usual, your feet are hip-width apart, your hand right under your shoulders, and your legs straight behind you.
Maintain your body in a straight line position and engage your core.
Afterward, bend your knees and push your hips back. If you pause at this position, you should see that your rear end is touching your feet, your knees are on the ground, your upper body is resting on your thighs, your arms are fully stretched in the front of your body with your palms on the floor, and your face is facing the floor between your arms.
Then, spring your body forwards so you can return to the original high plank position you started with.
Finally, tap your left hand on your right shoulder while maintaining the high plank position. Alternate between both hands by placing the left hand on the ground while immediately removing your right hand and taping your left shoulder.
Repeat this rip for 40 seconds as well.
Now that we covered the workouts in detail. It’s time to talk about the other side of this fantastic exercising technique.
Who should not do HIIT workouts?
There are groups of people that straight up should not do HIIT workouts, these are:
- Pregnant women
- Postpartum women (3 to 6 months)
- People with heart conditions or people who underwent recent cardiac surgery
- People with physical injuries
- People on immunosuppressive medication
- Patients of osteopenia and osteoporosis
- People with inconvenience or pelvic floor weakness
- Physically weak people significantly do not work out at all.
To make some points clear.
Although we mentioned earlier that HIIT is good for cardiac health, it is so for healthy individuals or people trying to avoid the possibility of getting cardiac issues.
But people with certain heart conditions should never exert such a high effort that may affect their cardiac capacity.
For people with any cardiac issue, we advise consulting your healthcare provider.
On the other hand, healthy individuals who do not suffer from any health condition but have time network output should not stexercisingtyle with HIIT immediately.
Because upper body hiit circuit workouts are too hard to maintain for people with no essential strength or understanding of how physically demanding it may be initially.
People who start practicing HIIT immediately may suffer from burnout and lose interest in the process quickly.
On the other hand, people who begin slowly but steadily to change their lifestyle by starting with light cardio workouts to integrate the idea of working out into their routine and gain better strength and greater muscle control can naturally switch to HIIT without feeling burnt out as quickly.
To sum it up,
The upper body height circuit is a great way to achieve body goals and ent health for people who practice correctly right and regularly.
Individuals should know how to execute workouts to ensure optimal health and no injuries successfully. With the proper diet and willpower, you can change your life and achieve your goals faster and more intelligently. Let us know in the comments if you have any questions, and we will be more than happy to help. As always, stay safe.