With gyms set to open up again soon, we all need to make sure we take it slow and ease ourselves back in.
After months of working out at home, not using weights, or taking a break from our rigid routines, throwing ourselves back into something high-intensity could lead to injury or burnout.
Which is why now is the perfect time to try out a hybrid workout.
Although they might not seem like natural bedfellows, HIIT and yoga can be combined to create a gentle but effective workout – and it could be just what you need as we emerge from lockdown.
‘HIIT-Yoga marries centuries-old yoga postures with a modern approach to improving wellbeing, primarily through enhancing both postural awareness and core strength capabilities whilst also promoting relaxation to counter stress,’ Dean tells Metro.co.uk.
‘The key component is awareness as this workout initiates and requires a profound inwardly directed focus. It is both non-judgemental and non-competitive so there is no emphasis on how much you can lift, how many reps you can perform, how fast you can go, etc. making it ideal for exercise novices and seasoned yogis alike.’
Dean adds that Western exercise often concentrates on dividing the body into target areas for attention, but Eastern-based philosophies treat the body as a whole unit.
‘This has greater application to “real-life” situations,’ he explains. ‘In addition, Western exercise has come to view flexibility as the poor second-cousin to strength training, but HIIT Yoga promises to enhance balance by seeking the flexibility to move freely, but also the strength to control the stability of such movement.’
The benefits of HIIT-yoga
Dean explains that there are many benefits to this style of exercise:
– Enhancing muscle tone and usable strength.
– Developing flexibility to give a greater range of motion around the joints.
– Improving posture, so reducing risk of back pain.
– Facilitating the ability to optimally function at work and at play.
Hiit-yoga workout to try at home or in the gym
The following exercises are from ‘RISE’, a HIIT-Yoga programme that features on TRUCONNECT by TV.FIT.
It is a circuit training format, so perform each exercise once, then move onto the next exercise.
After completing one set of all 5 exercises, repeat for the next round.
Choose your timing option dependent upon your current fitness level, your yoga experience and importantly, how you feel at that moment:2 rounds of 30-seconds work, 30-seconds rest on each exercise 3 rounds of 30-seconds work, 30-seconds rest on each exercise 3 rounds of 45-seconds work, 15-seconds rest on each exercise
Always warm-up with around 5 minutes of gentle mobilising exercises such as rotating the wrists and ankles, circling the hips, knee lifts, arm circles and jogging on the spot building up to high knees.
Chair to plank
Start in a squat position with feet hip width apart and heels down, both arms reaching above your head, tummy pulled in and tail bone pulled down.
Bend forward and down to put your hands on the floor then either jump or walk the feet out behind you into a plank (press up) position.
Now reverse, either walking or jumping the feet close to the hands before lifting up to return to the starting position.
Assume a full plank position with hands directly under your shoulders, feet together and so there’s just a small curve in your lower spine, avoiding your hips sagging or sticking your bum in the air.
Alternately take the hands out wide and return and then do the same with the feet.
You can jump both hands or both feet out and in together or walk them one at a time but try to keep your hips fixed in place by strongly engaging your core muscles.
Goddess to low lunge
Stand with the feet wide, toes pointing slightly outwards, knees bent and arms up like a strongman biceps pose but palms open and facing inwards.
Bend down and forwards to place your hands apart on the floor, just in front of your right foot then place your left foot on the floor as far behind as you can reach.
Reverse the motion to return to the start position by bringing your left foot out to the side again and raising your upper body with arms up.
Repeat on the other side.
Downward dog to crunch
Assume an inverted V position on all-fours with your hips raised up and your head dropped between your arms, looking back at your knees.
Feet could be flat or not and knees may be straight or not, depends upon your flexibility but both are correct.
Under control, lift one straight leg high behind you, now without putting it down bend the knee and draw it into your chest, lift it high behind again, then place it back on the floor.
Repeat on the other leg.
Canoe to boat
Lay on your back with hands reaching behind your head as though stretching the length of your entire body but with your hands and feet just slightly off the ground and your tummy pulled in as tight as you can.
Now use the momentum of throwing your arms forward and pulling your knees in to sit up into an upright position with knees bent and close to your chest, feet just off or resting on the floor, hands pointing forwards outside your knees with palms facing inwards.
Return to the start position.
A cool-down is important to avoid dizziness.
Cool down by performing similar exercises to the warm-up but gradually bringing the intensity down.
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