By: Rudy A. Ciccotti Staff
If the acronym “HIIT” or high-intensity interval training makes you cringe, check out these three tips on how to reap the benefits of a high-intensity workout routine minus the high impact:
Warming up before a workout not only preps your muscles, joints and tendons but your brain; completing a short but targeted warm-up will allow your brain to recognize movement patterns while gradually increasing your body temperature: stiffness decreases when muscles fill up with blood. Slow, dynamic stretching is key. An example of a simple and effective warm-up is walking at a moderate pace on the treadmill for three minutes while swinging your arms forward and back, in a controlled manner, to add some upper body mobility in the mix.
Modify Your Jumps
Softly land with your knees slightly bent knees to avoid strain on hip and ankle joints. If your knees are straight, then all the impact falls on cartilage called Menisci. Menisci are our natural knee shock absorbers, but muscles are meant to absorb some of that shock. Try landing without making a peep. Pretend your downstairs neighbor’s sleep quality depends on it. Feel free to keep jumps lower to the ground, so you’ll have more control over them or don’t leave the ground at all; bend your knees as if you’re going to jump but instead, simply stand up and press up onto your tiptoes while reaching your arms up with pizzaz.
At the start of each new circuit or exercise, commit to doing your first few repetitions slower than usual. Once you get the form right, speed the move up. Focus on engaging your core muscles, pulling your navel towards your spine throughout the whole workout routine. If there’s a mirror around, keep an eye on your form. If your movements become sloppy, slow them down to decrease the risk of injuring yourself.
For more information on HIIT group exercise classes or personal training services, please visit the Member Services Desk.
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