How Long Can You HIIT?

Want to do something this summer that you can brag to all your friends about?

Its free, requires a small space and will improve your overall health. Welcome to your new summer activity called High Intensity Interval Training – otherwise known as HIIT. The technique is inspired by the principles of German coach Woldemar Gerschler and the Swedish physiologist Per-Olof Åstrand. It involves alternating short intervals at high speeds. Just 20 minutes a day, four times a week can help get you in great shape and keep a smile on your face.

I’m going to provide you with a HIIT circuit workout that can be done anywhere you choose. And since we are in the peak of summer, why not pick a spot outdoors. The Yukon has many scenic views to offer.

To begin, I would suggest bringing a yoga mat, or a towel or you can find a comfy spot on a bed of grass. Bring a watch or cell phone to time yourself, large tumbler of water and a towel because you will be drenched in sweat by the end, especially if the temperature is hot.

Make sure you are wearing running shoes, preferably a pair that has lots of cushion and good support.

Before you start the HIIT circuit it is important to warm up to avoid muscle fatigue. A simple way to warm up is to jog on the spot. Do this for 2 minutes. After you are done with the jog, march on the spot for one minute to bring your heart rate slightly back down. Take some water if you need to, and get ready to HIIT it.

There are many different ways to do HIIT workouts. I’ve selected six exercises to be performed at fast speeds for 40 seconds, rest for 20 seconds, going for a total of 5 rounds.

It is important to remember that this is your workout, so do what you feel comfortable doing. Do not over exert yourself. Challenges are always good, but you also want to keep proper form and pace yourself.

To begin, you are going to start with what I call an NFL shuffle. This exercise is commonly used in NFL practices, and is a great way to build up endurance. Stand up straight, with your feet at shoulder width. Squat just a little bit, your knees should be at an 180 degree angle. Lean slightly forward for balance. Then jog as fast as you can. Before you do this exercise set your timer. After 40 seconds you can stop. If you need to, decrease your intensity in order to finish the 40 seconds. You will build more endurance by decreasing the speed and maintaining the time instead of increasing the speed and cutting the time.

Rest for 20 seconds, and then do the next exercise: mountain climbers. You will need to position yourself correctly before starting this exercise. On your mat or grass spot, put your hands flat on the ground, your arms stretched straight, the tips of your toes on the ground. Your back should be straight, not tilted. You will bring one knee forward towards your hand as far as you can and then take it back. Repeat with the other side. Once again, you want to do this as fast as you can for 40 seconds, then rest for 20.

It is important to remember that during this exercise your feet should never be flat on the ground, the tips of your toes should only be touching the ground.

The third exercise is squat jumps. Stand upright to start with your legs shoulder-width apart. Squat down as low as you can with your hands either outstretched in front of you or clasped together. As soon as you get low into that squat jump up quickly. There should not be more than two seconds between the end of your squat and when your jump begins. Do this for 40 seconds, rest 20.

Moving on to Number 4. You might start to feel a tad bit winded, do not let that get to you, you have got this!

T-pushups are next. What is a t- pushup? Well, position yourself in a correct pushup form. Your hands should be aligned with your shoulders. Back straight, the toes of your feet firmly planted on the ground no more than 12 inches apart. When you lower yourself for the push up, drop your chest to the ground, extend your arms outward as if you are using your body to create a T shape. Bring the arms back with your palms on the ground aligned with your shoulder and push up. Speed is really key here to get your heart rate up, so do this as fast as you can, but correctly, or you risk injuring yourself. Be careful not to lose proper form while going fast. Some people let their form get a bit sloppy because they are so focussed on speed. This is how injuries can take place.

At this point if you feel you need to take a one minute break- that is ok. Grab water, catch your breath. We are moving on to lucky Number 5 with a boxing drill. Stand upright and maintain good posture. You are going to do high knee jogs. As you jog bring those knees up as high as you can. While you do this, you are going to use your arms to throw jab punches. What is a jab? Extend your arm out on a slight upward incline, your fist in a clenched shape, then retract quickly.

Finally, the last exercise. Time to tackle the core. Lie flat on your back. Put your knees together, lift them up in the air so they are at a 90 degree angle. Your arms are stretched out, palms facing the ground. You are going to do a sit up, except, as you come up, you are going to bring your arms in on each side, and bring your palms together so they touch in a prayer position. As you go back down, your palms separate and your arms come down and should be in an out stretched position when your back is on the ground. Get ready to speed it up.

Ok, so how do you feel after round one? I would suggest taking a two minute rest in between each round, but not more because you do not want to get your heart rate too low. During the exercises your pulse should be between 160-180 (depending on age). Try not to let your pulse go below 100 because you then drop out of the fat burning zone. Once you are done then you can bring your heart rate down to normal and stretch each muscle.

The purpose of a HIIT workout is to burn more fat in a shorter period of time, improve your fitness performance and improve cardiovascular health.

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