Get LIIT! Cardio Exercises for Considerate High-rise Dwellers

Are you eager to get a good sweat in from the comfort of your own home, but also want to be considerate of any earth-shattering exercise impact your downstairs neighbours may hear or feel? Here’s the solution: low-intensity interval training, also known as LIIT. LIIT refers to a type of workout that uses exercises that are challenging and sweat-inducing, but require no high impact activities like jumping, which makes them especially perfect for people with joint pain, or who just don’t want to send their floor crashing down on their downstairs neighbours. Whether you’re in a dorm, an apartment, or just at home, this is one of many great ways to get active at home right now!

To build a workout, choose exercises from the examples below. Then, determine a ratio of time ‘working’ and time ‘resting’. For example, you could choose to do each exercise for 30 seconds at a time during your ‘work’ period and then rest for another 30.

To challenge yourself, try to increase your amount of ‘work’ time and decrease your amount of ‘rest’ time. Work your way through the work/rest blocks of your selected exercises, and repeat as needed!

1. Step jacks

Take a traditional jumping jack but make it down-stairs neighbour friendly! Instead of jumping both legs out when your arms meet each other in a jumping jack, try stepping a leg out and quickly shifting your weight to the outside foot, Repeat and pick up speed!

2. Crossover toe touches

Take a wide-legged stance and hold your arms out beside you in a T-shape. Pushing your hips back, bend over and twist your torso to bring your arm to the opposite leg. Returning to the upright T-position and repeat on the other side. Continue the movement, alternating sides and picking up speed. See the image below for a great example of the importance of cross-over agility:

3. Squat to calf raise

Take a wide-legged squat stance and sit back, keeping the weight in your heels. Push your hips back, keep your chest up, and sit back into a squat. When you stand up out of the squat, push up onto your toes into a calf raise. Really focus on engaging the muscles in the back of your legs. Return to flat feet and repeat.

4. Low lateral steps

Sit back into a squat position, keeping your head and chest lifted and take two steps to shuffle over to one side. Stay low, then shuffle and to the other side, and repeat. Preferably, listen to Ariana Grande’s “Side to Side” while doing this exercise (bonus points for ponytail flips, no ponytail necessary).

5. Plank to knee tap

Start in a high plank position, then pike your hips back and alternate touching your hands to your alternate knee, returning to high plank in between. Feel your core becoming as strong as this woman looks:

6. Reverse lunge to airplane position

Step back one leg into a reverse lunge position, and from the bottom of your lunge gently push off the ground extend your leg towards the back wall while levelling your torso to also be parallel to the ground. Extend your arms out sideways for better balance and an authentic airplane look!


Exercise circuits like these are one of many great ways you can focus on moving more regularly during the school year, which could play a part in improving mental health through UBC’s THRIVE month. You can incorporate them anywhere into your current exercise routine for some silent-but-deadly sweats.

Get LIIT and have fun!