So you've heard of high-intensity interval training, unless you've been living under a rock. 😉 But have you heard of LOW-IMPACT HIIT? Yes, I know it sounds like a bit of a contradiction, something being low-impact but high-intensity, but it's actually the perfect compromise you should be doing for just about every workout. Let me explain why…
HIIT is pretty darn amazing. As you probably already know, the reason why it's so great is because it improves your aerobic capacity, which reduces your risk of heart problems. In fact, there was one study done on people in their 70s who were already in the early stages of heart failure, but still able to exercise.
Half of them just did regular moderate exercise that didn't add these high-intensity intervals, while the other half of them did HIIT.
While both groups noticed improvement, and fortunately nobody passed away during the study, the people in the HIIT group noticed that they could do things they could never ordinarily do, like do all their errands on their own, run around with their grandchildren…They basically just noticed an improvement in quality of life that they had thought was impossible!
They think of HIIT as a miracle, and honestly, I do too!
The study was 12 weeks long, and over the course of it, measurements showed that this group improved their aerobic fitness by over 50%! Yes, you heard that right, OVER 50%!
But HIIT isn't ALL totally positive and awesome. It's great, don't get me wrong, and it saved these people's lives.
But also, keep in mind that HIIT is just about getting to 70% of your max heart rate…and for an older person, their max heart rate is LOWER. So getting to their max heart rate is less intense than, say, a 20-year-old getting to their max heart rate.
What is my point in saying this?
Well, that these old folks were actually not doing all that incredibly INTENSE of an exercise, even though it was HIIT.
For those of us who are younger, we are doing very INTENSE HIIT, moving very, very fast and repetitively. Why is that bad? Because it makes us old. 😉It's bad on our joints, especially our knees.
So what is the solution to that? You guessed it! It's what we were talking about at the beginning of this article: low-impact HIIT, also called HILIT.
Why is this so cool? Well, as the website Well and Good says, people who exercise frequently have often been divided into two categories: the chill ones who love yoga, pilates, barre, etc. …And then the super intense CrossFit people who are so sore and achy they have to take foam-rolling classes too…because otherwise they couldn't even walk!!
Kind of funny, but not really…because people who do high-impact HIIT a lot have been getting lots of injuries and even long-term trauma.
How do you avoid that? By making it, well, low-impact HIIT instead. And your main question now is probably, "How the heck do I do that??" It's as simple as never having both feet off the ground at the same time.
No running, jumping, or burpees. These are all hard on your joints. There are lots of examples of low-impact HIIT, then, from stationary bike and elliptical exercises, to mountain climbers, to intense yoga sessions.
But how about something that COMBINES all of these?
Without further ado, I give you, Beachbody Barre Blend. This blends – as you can tell by the name 😉 – yoga, pilates, and barre from ballet. This is such an awesome program because you've got the toning, targeted exercise of small muscle groups that ballerinas do…but you also get the cardio from pilates. And this is not hard on your joints at all! As CrossFitters are ending up with joint trauma and getting knee surgeries, people are turning to alternative high-intensity but low-impact exercises…like Beachbody Barre Blend.