Compound exercise movements involve engaging multiple muscle groups in one exercise. An example would be a squat to an overhead press or a lunge with a bicep curl. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) involves short, intense bursts of cardio exercise, followed by brief periods of rest. An example would be performing jump squats for 30 sec, resting for 15 seconds and repeating that four times. You can get an amazing workout in a short amount of time by combining compound strength training with HIIT. I will often perform compound strength training movements for several minutes, do a set of HIIT exercises for a few minutes and keep alternating the two formats, changing up the exercises each round, or I might incorporate HIIT into one of my runs, bikes, or swims by alternating periods of high intensity with short rounds of rest and follow up those workouts with a few compound bodyweight exercises if there is time. Remember that all of these exercises can be modified or progressed to meet your needs. If you are just starting a fitness program, you will want to build into the compound exercises (breaking up the movements and building strength and balance on each component of the move before combining them. The same goes for the intensity of the HIIT. I usually recommend that my clients perform no more than 100 jumping movements per workout when they first start, and to increase that number by no more than 10 percent each week. Remember – there is no rush! Listen to your body, take your time in mastering the exercises (focusing on form and range of motion as you progress your exercises), and progress at your own pace.
For those days where scheduling a workout might seem impossible, I encourage people to seize the moment and add in efforts where they can: calf raises in line at the store, pull ups at the park with the kids, squats as cooking dinner, plank/pushups as you play with the kids on floor, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther from the store, going for a 10 min walk at lunch…every effort throughout the day is accumulative and small changes to behavior can add up fast!