Try Olympic-Bound Surfer Carissa Moore's Favorite HIIT Cardio Moves to Do at Home

Courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool
Courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool

Carissa Moore is one of a handful of athletes who, despite the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics, have a secured berth after she won the 2019 World Surf League championship title (she, along with teammate Caroline Marks, is provisionally qualified). If all goes as planned, surfing will make its debut this summer, and Moore, a four-time world champion from Honolulu, has her eyes set both on gold and on the waves, ready to read the ocean heat by heat.

"Being a surfer, you have to be very well-rounded," the 28-year-old told POPSUGAR in an interview promoting Red Bull's Discover Your Wiiings AR game, which she's featured in until March 31. (Download the Red Bull AR app, select the surfing game, and unlock it by scanning a Red Bull can.) "So it's not only your core, but you have to have great agility, good responsiveness, good cardio, good endurance, strength, power."

A surfer's training schedule, she said, is very fluid, but she typically tries to go out and surf every day with anywhere between one-hour rides to two-hour double sessions. Moore, who's also training for the 2021 Women's Championship Tour slated to resume in Australia next month, currently has an online trainer, whom she works with three to four times per week; she attends Pilates classes nearby whenever she can (she started Pilates last year to help with foundational movements and core strength); and she exercises on her own twice a week. Moore's favorite way to train at home involves HIIT workouts because they keep her the "most engaged."

Moore loves to sweat — really, she does! — and though she often includes medicine balls, bands, or other resistance equipment in her workouts, she's a fan of bodyweight movements. For a HIIT workout, she'll use a timer on her phone and do intervals of 45 seconds of work followed by a 15-second rest. Her go-to moves are skaters, high knees, burpees, lunge hops, and mountain climbers.

Ahead, check out five key cardio exercises Moore incorporates into her high-intensity circuits. Though this in itself isn't a fully fleshed-out HIIT workout, you can use them as inspiration for your next sweat session!

To learn more about all the Olympic hopefuls, visit Watch the Tokyo Olympics this summer on NBC.

Side Skater
POPSUGAR Photography

Side Skater

  • Start in a slight squat with your knees bent.
  • Jump sideways to the right, landing on your right leg. Bring your left leg behind you, but don't let your left foot touch the floor. Keep your chest up, and deepen the bend in your right knee.
  • Reverse directions by jumping over to the left and leading with your left leg, allowing your arms to swing to the sides as you jump sideways. Land on your left foot.
  • This completes one rep.
High Knees
POPSUGAR Photography | Kyle Hartman

High Knees

  • Run in place while lifting your knees high to the level of your waist (or belly button). Engage your abs as your knees comes up, and pump your arms to warm up your upper body.
  • If you want a more advanced move, try combining high knees with skaters to do lateral bound to lateral high-knee run.
Courtesy of Nicci Robinson


  • Start standing with your feet shoulder-width distance apart.
  • Bend at both your hips and knees, placing your hands on the floor in front of your feet. Make sure to keep your spine in a neutral position.
  • Jump both of your feet backward so your legs are completely extended behind you, resting on the balls of your feet. Your body should be in one straight line from your head to your heels. This is a plank position.
  • Next, jump both of your feet up to your chest, once again ensuring that your feet remain shoulder-width distance apart.
  • Jump up into the air, extending your arms above your head.
  • Land with control back in the starting position.
  • This counts as one rep.
  • To make this move easier, do a squat thrust (a burpee without the jump). To make this move harder, drop your body to the floor or do a push-up at the bottom of the move.
Reverse Lunge and Hop
POPSUGAR Photography

Reverse Lunge and Hop

  • Stand with feet together. Take a controlled lunge (or large step) backward with your left foot. As you lunge back with your left foot, drive your left arm forward to maintain your balance. Your knees should be bent at 90-degree angles.
  • Your right knee should be positioned directly over your ankle, and your left heel should be lifted.
  • From the ground, drive your left knee up and come into a hop in the air with your left leg lifted at a 90-degree angle. Simultaneously drive your right arm up to maintain your balance.
  • Land softly back in a lunge.
  • This completes on rep. Do the same amount of reps on both sides.
  • If the hop is too much for you, try doing reverse lunge with a knee drive.
Mountain Climber
POPSUGAR Photography | Kyle Hartman

Mountain Climber

  • Place both hands on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Fully extend your legs so that your body is in one straight line from head to toe. You should be resting on the balls of your feet. Pull your belly button into your spine to engage your core. This plank is your starting position.
  • Keeping your left foot on the floor, bend your right knee and bring it in toward your chest. Then extend your right leg to return to the starting position.
  • Keeping your right foot on the floor, bend your left knee and bring it in toward your chest. Then extend your left leg to return to the starting position.
  • This is one rep; continue alternating.
  • As you become more familiar with the movement, begin to pick up the pace. It should feel like you're running in place. Don't forget to drive your knees to your elbows, always picking your feet up and off the mat.
  • Try twisted mountain climbers for a different variation.