HIIT Wins Again; An At Home Workout!
For a few years in a row now High Intensity Interval Training has made the “fitness trends of the year” lists. The Huffington Post rates HIIT as the number 1 trend because of it’s accessibility to all levels and ability to produce results. The American College of Sports Medicine rates HIIT as number 2, preceded only by body weight exercise, which we are also big fans of here at Nourish Northwest. There was also an article in this month’s Natural Awakenings about the health benefits of HIIT, citing a study in the Journal of Obesity that showed 3 HIIT sessions a week reduced abdominal fat, improved aerobic and anaerobic fitness and lowered levels of inulin resistance. This shows that HIIT is more than just a “trend.” It’s been the object of many well done scientific studies and the results are always in favor of intense, fast exercise.
If you are unfamiliar with this style of exercise, please read this post I wrote last year. In a nutshell, it involves doing short bursts of physical activity followed by even shorter rest periods. I love it because it’s not only effective, but incredibly time efficient and you can do it just about anywhere, including the comfort of your living room. Here’s a sample HIIT workout to try at home but also be sure and join us for a class to learn some new moves! I teach HIIT here at Nourish Northwest on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:45-6:15.
4 Exercise Body Weight HIIT Routine
Download a free Tabata app on your smart phone. This is a timer that is designed specifically to tell you when to start and stop your 20 second intervals. You will do each exercise a series of 8 times in a row. You are then done with that exercise and will move on to the next. This 4 exercise workout is designed to keep your heart rate elevated, while you strengthen your legs, upper body and core. Make sure to warm up (jogging in place, jumping jacks etc) for a few minutes and cool down in the same manner after. Although this is intended for all levels, it can be very intense for the beginner, so take it at your own pace. Just keep moving during the 20 second intervals, whether that means pushing it as hard as possible, or slowing it down. And as always, consult your doctor if you have an cardiac or other health issues that you think may prevent you from safely doing this exercise.
Eight 20 second intervals. Below is your starting position. Keep your head up and back straight. Move from side to side by changing alternating the positioning of your legs. Add a big hop in between if you can.
Eight 20 second intervals. Push ups are no joke. They are a very advanced exercise, so take them from your knees if you need. Keep those elbows at 90 degree angles.
Eight 20 second intervals. Start in a squat (pictured left) and then hop up and reach up. Your legs will be on fire by the end!
Eight 20 second intervals. Start in a plank position and bring your left knee to meet your left elbow as you look back towards your knee, feeling a crunch in your obliques. Repeat with your right knee and continue to alternate until the interval is up.