We have compiled a list of tips to ensure you are using the correct methods to get the best out of your HIIT sessions!
Gone are the days of standard paced 60 minute exercise classes: now high-intensity interval training is the go to work out for those who want to get fit and fast.
You can now find a HIIT class in most nationwide gyms demonstrating that more and more of us are fans of a shorter more intense style of exercise.
You can even do the sessions in the comfort of your own home by following YouTube videos from instructors such as Joe Wicks.
However, the fast, heart rate-boosting nature of HIIT means there’s plenty of opportunity to do it incorrectly and end up with either a short or long term injury.
Fuel up – and refuel
As with any type of exercise, you should drink lots of water throughout to stay hydrated. If you’re doing a cardio-based HIIT eat something light and no closer than two hours before the class starts. For strength-based sessions stick to lean protein and some fibrous carbohydrates up to an hour before.
Choose breathable gymwear
You can’t avoid getting sweaty when it comes to HIIT session so opt for very breathable gymwear like shorts, vest tops, and lightweight leggings. A comfortable and well fitted pair of trainers is also essential.
Perfect your technique
Take it slow at first to ensure you’re getting each movement right. Once you’ve nailed your technique you can then speed things up.
This isn’t so important with exercises such as sprint work, but it’s essential with more weight based movements.
Dont get ahead of yourself
It always feels good to challenge ourselves but sometimes doing the easier level of an exercise to begin with is wise.
You will still be working your body and burning calories: your trainer will let you know when you’re ready to crank it up a notch.
Keep your heart rate up
This is one type of exercise where the aim is to work out to your full potential. Your ideal top heart rate level depends on age and gender but 80-90% is a good goal.
Many HIIT classes use heart-rate monitoring belts, with results often broadcasted on a big screen. No pressure!
Care for your joints
Dr Sarah Brewer, Medical Nutritionist states that: “A personalised program that includes glucosamine, chondroitin, hydrolysed collagen, hyaluronic acid, vitamins, minerals and selected extracts such as ginger root and/or turmeric is likely to pay long-term dividends, in supporting your joints. You can take different tablets to obtain these, or take a liquid formation that combines them in a drink such as LQ Liquid Health Joint Care (£24.99, Boots).”
It’s in the form of a daily shot and combined with ingredients such as Glucosamine and chondroitin which are great for providing strength/elasticity to the joints. Take daily for best results.
You may find it difficult to do some of the moves in HIIT if you are a little stiff in areas. Being mobile and flexible is essential to doing HIIT safely and effectively. Improve flexibility with classes such as yoga or pilates.
Warm up and recovery
Taking time to warm-up and cool-down is so vital in order to prevent unnecessary injury. It’s really important to get your muscles ready before working them hard.
After class giving your muscles, tendons and ligaments a stretch is essential as they have been under severe strain during your workout.