Have a bad knee, back or other injury? People are afraid to aggravate old injuries. Therefore, they pass up HIIT workouts every day which has prevented many from experiencing the numerous benefits of HIIT training. If you train in a balanced style of interval training you can stay injury free and get in the fitness game. Here are 5 ways to keep your HIIT workout safe and balanced
1) Mix Up Your Interval Mode
Do not do the same exercise for your interval training! If you are running one day make sure to do a workout that includes swimming or biking for your other interval days.
2) Mix Up Your Direction
If you cannot change your mode of exercise change your direction. Instead of doing burpees as your only form of intervals change it up to ski jumps or mountain climbers. If you always use the same exercise for your intervals you are prone to an overuse injury.
3) Mix Up Your Muscle Use
Think of your body in quadrants “Right” and “Left” and “Upper” and “Lower”. You need to mix up your interval exercises so that you do not overstrain a particular quadrant. If you do Right lunges with a hop make sure to balance it out with Left lunges to a hop. If you do explosive pushups make sure you do a lower body focused interval next like box jumps. This will keep your body going strong and balanced.
4) Mind Body Matters
Make sure you are stretching by doing Pilates and Yoga as a part of your workout before or after your interval set. One idea we like to use in our 5XM training is to use Yoga/Pilates as rest periods in between interval sets. Mind Body exercises will keep your core strong and your joint stabilizing muscles strong for the stress that HIIT can cause on your body.
5) Nutrition and Rest
Many like to go all out in their HIIT workout and that is great! However, it can be too much of a good thing. Make sure you provide your body with adequate recovery time and rest between HIIT workouts. Science recommends performing HIIT workouts no more than 4 times a week with rest in between. Also, nutrition is key so make sure you eat something at least within an hour after your workout to shed fat and refuel your body. We only recommend to workout fasting if you are up first thing in the morning and if you are not diabetic. If you have diabetes and/or struggle with managing your blood sugar and insulin levels then make sure to have something at least an hour before your workout to avoid being at risk for injury.
So enjoy your HIIT workouts but keep it safe by following these 5 tips!