We’ve all heard of HIIT, or High Intensity Interval Training, by now. Chances are, you’ve probably lunge-jumped your way though a few sweat-filled HIIT sessions yourself! True HIIT is meant to be performed at an all-out maximum effort, and is great for staving off workout boredom because the pace is fast. We can work for shorter amounts of time, condition the heart, burn body fat, increase metabolism, tone the body, and burn tons of calories due to the intensity of the movement. Think: tuck jumps, high knee sprinters, and oh-so-many burpees.
I love this form of exercise for my clients (busy women) with little time and big goals! A typical HIIT session is only about 20-40 minutes long. HIIT sessions are short bursts of very hard work, followed by rest. Basically, the more intense the exercise, the more fat is burned. This is what has my clients shouting out some big Hallelujahs! HIIT workouts can involve bodyweight, or added weight like kettlebells or dumbbells. This all adds up to a very efficient form of exercise that yields big results in a small amount of time, and that’s good news when time is so precious. So, how does one get started incorporating HIIT workouts into a fitness regime? The answer is: Slowly! As beneficial as HIIT can be, its’ intensity can also be quite stressful on ligaments, tendons, muscles, and joints.
Start by making your periods of work short, and rest periods longer: 20 seconds of work; 40 seconds of rest. As you progress, work periods will increase as rest periods decrease.
Don’t perform HIIT on consecutive days; allow 2 days of rest between HIIT sessions.
Start with bodyweight exercises only, then advance to using added weights.
Always warm up before beginning a HIIT session, and leave plenty of time for cool down and stretching.
Modify your moves, if needed. If you’re not ready for 20-30 seconds of burpees, try a plank walkout instead. Your only competition is yourself, so work within your limits, and then work up from there!
Try thIs beginner’s HIIT workout at home, or with a pal:
Warm up for 5 minutes with a light walk around the house or up and down the stairs.
Perform each move for 20 seconds, then rest for 40 seconds. Repeat entire circuit 2-3 times through. As you get stronger, increase the work period, and decrease the rest period!
Jog in place, or high knees
Push ups on knees or on toes
Prisoner squat jumps
Triceps dips on a chair or stair
Be sure to cool down, and stretch those hard worked muscles! Give it a shot and let me know how it goes!