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Last Updated on January 21, 2021

Beginners’ Guide To HIIT: How To Choose The Best Moves For Your HIIT Workout

Beginners’ Guide To HIIT: How To Choose The Best Moves For Your HIIT Workout

If you want to burn calories and fat, you may benefit from a HIIT routine. HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is one of the most popular form of exercise in the fitness world right now, and it appears that it is a more effective way to burn calories than simply cardio.

However if you want to build your own HIIT routine it is important to understand the concept behind HIIT, as well as how it can benefit you personally. This is the first step to creating your HIIT routine.

The Concept Of HIIT

So what is HIIT? HIIT is a cardio training style where you will work out intensely for a short period of time before taking a break. One of the most popular methods is repeating a series of exercises for 30 seconds before taking a quick break to breathe and let your body recover. Another popular method is doing a few different exercises for a minute before taking a short break, but this is very intense!

The breaks allow you to put a high level of energy into the quick 30 second work outs, which could be why this is a more effective fat burner than normal cardio. If you want to try a HIIT routine it is important to remember that you must put all of your energy into the brief workouts, as this will raise your heart rate and burn calories.

The Length Of A HIIT Workout

Most people plan HIIT workouts that are 15 minutes or 30 minutes long. This is because it is an intense form of working out, so exercising for too long may leave you feeling weak and drained. It is also more effective to work out for a shorter period of time as you will put more energy into your workout.

If you only want to work out one area, such as your arms, a 15 minute HIIT routine can be created to target that one area. If you want a full body workout it is best to work out for 30 minutes so that you can dedicate time to each part of your body.

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HIIT Intervals

Intervals are an essential part of your HIIT routine. A 1996 study by scientist Izumi Tabata found that one of the most effective options is a 20 minute on, 10 minute off routine, as this boosted conditioning in professional athletes.[1]

However if you are doing more intense moves you will need more frequent breaks. A shorter option is six 30 second workouts followed by a 4 minute rest period.[2] These breaks are essentials as they raise your heart rate, blood and muscle lactate.

Choosing Moves That Work For You

There are a variety of different moves that you can choose to use. These moves will work out different parts of your body, and it is best to combine a range of lower body, upper body, core and cardio moves so that you are following a complete HIIT workout.

Here are some exercises that you could include in your work out.

Upper Body Exercises

The Up And Down Plank

This is a great variation on the classic plank that uses your body weight to help build muscle. It can be difficult holding this move for a long time, but you should aim to hold the position for at least 30 seconds. If you are struggling to hold the position keep your knees on the ground.

Find out how to do an up and down plank here.

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The Push up

The push up is a classic work out move that is a great way to burn fat as you build muscle.

Find out how to do a push up here.

Core Exercise

The Bicycle Crunch

A bicycle crunch is a modified crunch that strengthens your obliques and abs.

Find out how to do a bicycle crunch here.

Lower Body Exercise

Jump Squats

Jump squats are very difficult to do, but they are a great way to burn fat and build muscle. Aim for 30 seconds of jump squats!

Find out how to do a jump squat here.

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Total Body Exercises

Burpees

A burpee is a plyometric move that will raise your heart rate to burn calories. The exercise has three parts to it; you lower your hands to the ground, you jump your legs back into a plank, you do a push up and then you go back to standing position.

Find out how to do a burpee here.

Useful Infographics To Help You Build Your Own HIIT Workout

Here are five handy infographics that include more information about HIIT routines so that you can create the perfect personalized HIIT workout.

1. The Divas Run For Bling HIIT Workout

    2. The Flora Foodie HIIT Workout

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      3. The Fitfluential HIIT Workout

        4. The Bree HIIT Workout

          5. The Daily Burn HIIT Workout

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            Reference

            More by this author

            Amy Johnson

            Amy is a writer who blogs about relationships and lifestyle advice.

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            Published on July 23, 2021

            7 Best Foam Rollers for Muscle Relaxation

            7 Best Foam Rollers for Muscle Relaxation

            Foam rollers are one of those pieces of equipment where if you do it right, they can provide you with a deep-tissue massage. They’re commonly cylinder-shaped and they push up against sore muscles while you lay on the floor.

            Because foam rollers are such handy tools, there is a wide selection of foam rollers you can choose from. Depending on what kind of exercises you do, a foam roller can aid in relaxing different muscles in your body. Below, I picked out the best foam rollers available on the market depending on the types of exercises and needs that you have.

            How I Picked the Best Foam Rollers

            Before jumping into the list, here are the criteria that I used when putting together this list of best foam rollers.

            • Weight – Foam rollers, as their name suggests, are designed to be light enough for you to roll around without exerting effort.
            • Compact – Because you’re laying on the ground, you want to have plenty of space. As such, a roller should allow you to lay down and easily perform the exercises you need without too much issue.
            • High-density – The material should also be dense enough so that you won’t accidentally crush the roller under your own weight. The rollers on this list are very durable.

            1. Best Overall: LuxFit Premium High-Density Foam Roller

              From dealing with sports injuries to relieving tension points in your body post-workout, this premium high-density foam roller is the best. This foam roller is entirely made from molded polypropylene foam, which means that it has a high density and won’t be losing its shape for a very long time, even if you use it daily.

              Beyond that, it can also repel liquid so it won’t get soggy or wet if you’re particularly sweaty or you’re using the roller near water.

              It comes in three different sizes and can be used to assist your core, cover spinal stabilization, balance, re-educating your muscles, and boost stamina.

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              Pick up LuxFit’s foam roller here.

              2. Best Grid: TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

                If you’re new to foam rollers, this one might be the best choice for you. The reason for that is that each purchase of these TriggerPoint GRID foam rollers comes with a free online instructional video. This video shows you the best practices and how to use a foam roller properly.

                As for the roller itself, the big benefit here is the overall design. It has a rigid hollow core, and the materials used to make this roller are rigid so it won’t be breaking down easily.

                Another aspect to it is its multi-dimensional surface, making it a go-to roller for masseuses to athletes. These rollers can also assist in oxygen flow and heal tissues.

                Pick up TriggerPoint’s foam roller here.

                3. Best for Physical Therapy: Rolling With It Therapeutic Grade Premium EVA Foam Roller

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                  Even though this roller is fantastic for physical therapy, it can also be helpful for general use, particularly before you go to work out. By rolling in advance, you’re allowing your muscles to get warmed up for the exercises that you’re doing.

                  This is big because when muscles are more relaxed, you’ll be able to extend the period of your workout. You’ll want to care about this if you normally do high-impact routines such as Crossfit, bodybuilding, or general weight training.

                  Using this regularly is smart and unlike LuxFit’s roller, this one is eco-friendly and resists flaking and chipping.

                  Buy Rolling With It Therapeutic’s foam roller here.

                  4. Best Half Roller: OPTP PRO-ROLLER Soft Density Foam Roller

                    While rollers are nice, they do have a tendency to slip and slide around. If you prefer to stay still and relax your muscles, OPTP’s half-roller will be a good fit. It’s highly durable with its cross-linked, closed-cell foam. Because of that, it has a perfect balance between softness and firmness.

                    Beyond that, because it’s a half roller, you have the option between a flat surface or a rounded surface for versatility. If you’re looking for a softer roller, this one is a good option.

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                    Buy OPTP’s foam roller here.

                    5. Best Stick: Tiger Tail Massage Stick

                    While your standard rollers are great for back rolling, they’re only able to cover large areas of muscles. This becomes an issue if you’re looking to relieve tension to smaller muscles or in specific areas.

                    This is where massage sticks are able to shine as they pinpoint specific areas in your body. Out of the various massage sticks we’ve checked, the one from Tiger Tail is ideal. It has three size options to pick from (11-inch, 18-inch, and 22-inch) letting you have good flexibility in what you’re looking for.

                    The Tiger Tail is made from a high-quality, non-absorbent, and non-deteriorating closed-cell foam. This ensures that it won’t hurt your skin when using it, making cleaning easier, too. It’s also ergonomically designed so that your hands won’t tire out when using it.

                    Buy Tiger Tail’s massage stick here.

                    6. Best for Cyclists: Kieba Massage Lacrosse Balls for Myofascial Release

                      While it’s no foam roller, lacrosse balls are excellent ways to relieve tension in areas where foam rollers are awkward to reach, such as shoulders, glutes, and neck. All in all, they’re a great addition to your muscle relaxation routine.

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                      Every purchase of these lacrosse balls provides you with two balls to use. Through these durable balls, you’ll be able to reach smaller muscle groups easier than you could with any typical foam roller.

                      Purchase Kieba’s massage lacrosse balls here.

                      7. Best for Shoulders: RumbleRoller Beastie Bar and Stands

                        Lastly, if you’re looking for a great way to relax your shoulders, this product from RumbleRoller is ideal. The thing with foam rollers is that reaching your shoulders with these rollers can be awkward. Paired up with shoulders tend to carry a lot of stress, we’re more likely to experience muscle pain in that area.

                        Instead of pulling out your roller, this option could be significantly better. This wand features two “Beasties,” which are spiky foam massage balls. Similar to Lacrosse balls, these are able to target small pressure points on your body—in this case, your shoulders and neck.

                        It comes with stands that are detachable so you can use just the ball to relieve various points over your body too if need be. Each of the balls is durable and firm so you shouldn’t have issues in relieving muscle pain.

                        Buy RumbleRoller’s beastie bar here.

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                        Final Thoughts

                        You don’t need to be constantly seeing a masseuse whenever you experience muscle pain. In many cases, it’s simply that you put your body through a bit too much stress. Whether it’s from your posture or from working out, foam rollers and other physical therapy tools can help you in dealing with those aches and pains. Just try out a few products from this list of the best foam rollers out there, and choose one that best fits your needs.

                        Featured photo credit: Ambitious Creative Co. – Rick Barrett via unsplash.com

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