You have bad joints. Pelvic floor problems. Bladder issues. You're pregnant. You have a chronic pain or an injury. There's any number of reasons that high impact training may be temporarily or permanently out of the question for you, but this doesn't mean you can't get a solid high intensity workout — especially if you're employing the fundamental tenets of interval training.
Interval Training & High Intensity Workouts
Interval training demands that you work at a really high intensity for a short period of time, followed by a shorter period of rest for a relatively brief succession of intervals. We're talking 12 minutes to 30 minutes, max, as opposed to standard cardiovascular or weight training that requires you to put in as much as an hour (sometimes more). And, this kind of interval training — known to millions as high intensity interval training (HIIT) — facilitates all the perks of long cardiovascular and resistance training sessions in that condensed amount of time. Again, it's all about working at the maximum intensity; pushing your body to the limit, and then dial it back. Then pushing it again. Then taking a break. Repeat. Studies show this is just as effective for fat loss, lean muscle gain and overall body health — if not more effective — than traditional steady state cardio or weight training sessions.
So, it's easy to see why pain, discomfort and other physical limitations would make missing out on this incredible form of training even more of a bummer. But you don't have to. While HIIT is high intensity by definition, it's not necessarily high impact. Sure, HIIT workouts often include high impact moves like burpees, jump squats, box jumps and tuck jumps — but they don't have to do include these things. In fact, you can get a killer, fat burning low impact HIIT workout with no jumping or bouncing whatsoever.
Resistance. If you can't add intensity through high impact plyometrics (explosive, jumping moves that require the muscle to stretch and contract in short sequence), then you can make up any exertion lost by picking up some weights. The exact amount of weight will depend on you and your current fitness level, but they should be as heavy as you can lift for the entire interval while performing the movement correctly. By your last round, you should be struggling, to be sure, but if you need to do a shoulder press, for instance, and can't lift your 20lb dumbbell over your head by the first 15 seconds of the first interval, chances are, it's too heavy. Lighten up. You need to feel the burn, but you also need to be able to do the workout.
Low Impact HIIT Workout for Fat Loss: Try This Circuit!
Here's a killer low impact HIIT workout for that loss that will help you torch calories during and after your workout. By building lean muscle mass, you turn your body into a fat torching machine. So, load up, and smash out this circuit. No excuses! (Just results.)
Tips: Keep the bend in your knees throughout the movement & keep your weight in your heels. Maintain a flat back, and relaxed shoulders — don’t hunch them up or forward.
Clean, Press + Lunge
Tips: Keep knee behind toes during the lunge. Don’t rush the movement: make sure it is controlled.
Bar Row + Raise
Tips: Keep core engaged throughout movement & spine flat. As you bring the bar up, ensure that you don’t shrug up your shoulders. Lock them down.
Tips: Tuck your belly button into your spine for optimal core engagement. Keep breathing fully and evenly in & out.
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