HIIT training is all the rage at the moment, and for very good reasons.
It’s the best way to effectively burn calories by boosting metabolic activity both in the long term and short term.
A HIIT or high-intensity interval training workout is performed by alternating short bursts of maximum effort exercise with a brief recovery interval to allow for another bout of maximum exertion.
There are no HIIT specific exercises meaning you can do anything as long as it pushes you to your physical limits for an intense anaerobic workout.
Regardless of this, proponents of hit tend to favor dynamic, explosive, often heavy impact exercises.
These tend to give the best access to the intensity levels required to put your metabolism through its paces.
But sometimes, these heavy strenuous exercises are best avoided.
Heavy impact, repeated over and over at maximum effort might not be such a great idea.
For one, you are putting your body at risk of injury.
Heavy impact drills send a shock through the joints and spine, this jolt in sudden mechanical pressure can lead to degradation over time, or an acute injury while performing the move.
For this reason, a high impact might not always be the best choice.
You also have people with d=certain medical conditions that make high impact, dynamic movements a no-no.
Pregnant women, those with arthritis, elderly people and people recovering from injury or surgery should avoid exercises that sent too much shock through the joints and body.
But what does this mean for their HIIT aspirations?
Well, we’re here to introduce you to a HIIT workout that can be enjoyed at a low impact, while still allowing you the benefits of a hefty anaerobic workout.
But before we do that, here are a few things to bear in mind.
A HIIT workout is a very individual experience.
While many HIIT based systems of training exist out there, from general group classes at your local fitness club, to entire branded workout systems, they don’t completely HIIT the nail on the head.
That’s because they work under the assumption that everyone’s intensity levels and recover requirements are the same and remain constant throughout a workout.
The thing is, your physical capabilities and requirements are as unique as your fingerprints.
A HIIT workout should comprise of you pushing yourself based on YOUR limits and you giving yourself a recovery interval based on YOUR needs.
What we can suggest is stick to each exercise for 3minutes and decide how to divide that time into work and rest based on your limits.
Also remember, this isn’t a rep based workout, it’s all about time intervals.
Lastly, remember, when done correctly, HIIT is a potent training method. You can easily overtrain if you don’t watch out.
Keep your HIIT workouts to no more than an hour.
This one is a 2 cycle circuit which will give you a 40-minute workout with a warm-up included.
Amazing 30 Minute Low Impact HIIT Workout.
A low impact substitute for the jumping jack.
Stand as you would for a jumping jack, but instead of performing a full jumping jack, you move all your limbs except one anchored leg.
Let’s say you start with your right, that means you stand on your right while rapidly raising your left leg and arms in the same motion as a JJ. bring them down, perform the same move, but this time you switch legs.
You get to experience a similar effect to performing a JJ, without the shock upon landing.
This one is a great ab workout that’s also going to push your cardio boundaries into the anaerobic zone.
While lying on your back with your arms and legs straight, simply bend upwards swiftly, keeping your butt on the floor as the central axis for your movement.
Aim to make a “V” shape at the top of the bend, then slowly lower down to the initial flat-back position to complete one rep.
Starting in a high plank, with your wrists stacked directly below your shoulders, perform a regular push up.
You can ramp this up with variations such as the diamond push up, where your hands are close together, or and incline to push up where you elevate the lower body for a more intense engagement.
Grip a suspension trainer such as a TRX band and lean back with your body straight and arms fully extended.
Keeping your body still, pull yourself up until your chest is in line with the band grips.
Slowly lower yourself back down to complete the rep.
You can scale intensity based on how deep the angle you lean back is.
While holding moderate weight, either in the form of kettlebells or dumbbells, standing feet shoulder-width apart, slide your left leg out straight while bending the right leg.
From here, slide your right leg back next to the left so that you’re back in the original stance.
Repeat the motion in the opposite direction to complete a rep.
Your feet shouldn’t leave the floor during this one as you’ll simply be sliding.
Standing upright with a neutral spine, hold a moderate weight in each hand with your arms placed straight by your side.
Dumbbells or weight plates will do for this.
Simply raise your arms up from your sides until you’re forming a “T” shape.
From here, bring them back down to your starting point to complete one rep.
HIIT can be low impact and still engaging, you just have to put in the effort to push your limits and challenge your current level.
Remember, as we mentioned, it has a profound effect on the body, so don’t go over 1 hour per session and try to keep it no more than 2 sessions a week