When you think of yoga and HIIT, two separate workouts probably come to mind. But combining them into one — now that’s pretty genius. You get the best of both top-notch fitness worlds: Intense, sweat-inducing intervals maximize your calorie and fat burn, while yoga poses provide active recovery plus the zen effect that comes with tuning into your breath. A stronger body and calmer mind in one workout? Sign us up!
One studio that’s been blending physical intensity and mindfulness for years now: CorePower Yoga, which now has 160 locations across the U.S. They’ve mastered the mind-body routine — and we’ve asked them to bring it right to your living room.
Amy Opielowski, CorePower’s program manager, created this exclusive routine that takes you through fast-paced bodyweight moves to rev your heart rate, followed by a yoga pose to bring you back to your breath. In other words, every time you push your body to the max, you get rewarded with a peaceful position that lets your muscles (and mind) recover. Say Namaste to your favorite new fusion workout.
Your Do-Anywhere Yoga HIIT Workout
Perform each high-intensity interval for 30 seconds, aiming for a perceived exertion rate of seven (on a scale of zero to 10). Then, hold each yoga pose for one minute, bringing your exertion rate down to at least five. Pay attention to how your body is feeling throughout the entire workout, and move to the beat of your breath. When you’ve completed the circuit, rest for one minute, then repeat once or twice.
RELATED: 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Yoga
Warm-Up (2 minutes)
Slowly move through cat/cow, forward fold and downward-facing dog poses. Switch positions on each inhale and exhale.
Combo 1: Standing Knee Driver / Dancer’s Pose
Standing Knee Driver (30 seconds)
Mimic how you’d take off for a sprint with this move that increases your heart rate, challenges your core stability and tones your lower half.
How to: Start standing. Step the right foot back so your toe taps the ground and draw the right arm forward, elbow bent (a). Hinge at the hips and drive the right knee forward, as you switch your arms (b). Move your right knee back again, tapping your foot on the ground behind you (c). Continue to drive your right knee back and forth and your arms front and back for 30 seconds.
Dancer’s Pose (1 minute)
Take at least 10 slow breaths during this position, which will lengthen your quads, biceps and triceps, as well as stretch your hip flexors, shoulders and chest.
How to: Start standing. Bend your right knee and lift your foot behind you (a). Reach back with your right hand to grab the inner arch of your right foot. Keep your left hand on your hip or lift it straight overhead for more of a challenge (b). Draw your inner thighs together and push into your hand with your foot. Hinge at the hips, roll your right shoulder open and kick your foot upward as high as you can (c). Hold for 10 breaths.
Repeat both moves on the left leg.
Combo 2: Star Jump / Horse with Oblique Twist
Star Jump (30 seconds)
Talk about elevating heart rate! This will get your blood flowing while working your core and lower body. To modify, do regular jumping jacks.
How to: Stand with feet hip-width apart, palms touching at the center of your chest (a). Bend your knees and push your hips back and down (b). Keep your chest lifted as you slightly hinge forward at the hips and explode up, creating an X with your arms and legs (c). Land softly back on your feet (d). Repeat for 30 seconds.
Horse with Oblique Twist (1 minute)
Picture your breath building strength in your pelvic floor, glutes, quads, hamstrings and obliques, while you loosen your upper body.
How to: Stand with your feet about three feet apart, toes angled slightly outward (a). Bend your knees about 90 degrees, keeping knees over ankles. Bring your hands behind your head, elbows wide (b). Inhale and twist right, then exhale and twist left (c). Repeat for at least 20 breaths.
Combo 3: Donkey Kicks / Locust Pose
Donkey Kicks (30 seconds)
Feel the burn in your back side. Don’t forget to keep your core engaged and move as quickly as possible to increase the cardio benefits.
How to: Start in downward-facing dog, hands shoulder-width apart. Shorten the distance between your hands and feet, so your shoulders are stacked over your wrists (a). Spread your fingers and distribute weight evenly through each one. Bend your knees, then pike your hips up over your shoulders, pushing off the ground with your toes and kicking your heels toward your butt (b). Land softly back on your toes. Repeat for 30 seconds.
Locust Pose (1 minute)
Correct your posture with this pose that lengthens the posterior muscles of your upper body.
How to: Start lying on your stomach. Bring your arms by your sides, palms facing down. Gaze down at the floor to maintain a long, neutral neck (a). Relax your shoulders away from your ears and gently pull your shoulder blades together and down your back. Lift your arms and legs (b). Hold for at least 10 breaths. Lower and lift as necessary.
Combo 4: Low Lunge Switch Jumps / Sphinx to Forearm Plank
Low Lunge Switch Jumps (30 seconds)
Like mountain climbers but with a better hip opener and more intensity, this works your entire body and improves your endurance. Keep your shoulders over your wrists for the entire exercise.
How to: Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the mat. Step your right foot back so you’re in a low lunge, both hands still on the mat (a). Press off your front left heel, pike your hips up and jump to switch your feet. (You should be in a low lunge on the opposite side.) (b) Continue alternating jumps for 30 seconds.
Sphinx to Forearm Plank (1 minute)
You’ll feel a nice stretch in your abs and back, as you build muscle around your midsection.
How to: Start lying on your stomach. Push up so your resting on your forearms, elbows in line with shoulders (a). Slowly lift your ribs, belly, hips, thighs and knees off the mat — stay in one straight line — to move into forearm plank (b). Hold for three to five breaths, then lower back to sphinx (c). Repeat for one minute.
Combo 5: Forearm Plank Jacks / Low Boat
Forearm Plank Jacks (30 seconds)
Get your heart pumping with this dynamic move that tests your stability and tightens your abs.
How to: Get in a forearm plank position, elbows underneath your shoulders and feet hip-width apart. Maintain a straight line from shoulders to hips to heels (a). Jump your feet out wide, then back to hip distance apart (b). Repeat for 30 seconds.
Low Boat (1 minute)
This targets your core, as well as your hip flexors — key spots every athlete needs to strengthen.
How to: Sit on your mat and bend your knees. Bring your hands behind your knees, lift your chest and draw your shoulder blades together (a). Lift one foot, then the other until your shins are parallel to the floor (b). Extend your legs straight so they’re about six inches off the floor and extend your arms forward (c). Hold for one minute, taking at least 10 deep breaths.
Cool Down (2 minutes)
Perform static stretches to really loosen up. Breathe deeply through a runner’s lunge, seated forward fold and supine twist. Then end your practice with a one minute Savasana.