Home HIIT- Modified for the Over 40s


What is HIIT? 

HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. The idea is that you do short bursts of intense exercise, followed by rest periods.  For under 40s, this means 3 minutes of intense exercise, followed by a rest.  This is repeated 5 times, totaling 15 minutes, and is practiced once a week.  HIIT has a great many benefits. These include: improved fitness; toning; slowing down the aging process; and improved vascular function. It also helps with weight control by increasing metabolism.  

However, HIIT is not usually recommended for the over 40s, especially where you have any medical condition or are not used to exercising.

The exercises below are my take on a HIIT session. However, it is vital that you talk to a qualified medical practitioner before starting this, or any other, exercise programme.

This session includes shorter bursts of exercise than in conventional HIIT- 30 seconds to 1 minute of Mountain Climbers is quite enough for me, thank you very much! The session is designed so that you can gradually build up intensity as you become fitter. Go at your own pace and listen to your body - remember, you know your body best.

Each of the exercises in this routine are performed for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Half Jacks 

Begin in a standing position. Briskly tap your right foot out to the side as you take your right arm over to the left, and then quickly come back to centre.  Repeat with the left arm and left leg, and then continue again on the right side.  
Rest until your breathing and heart rate have returned to normal.

Mountain Climbers

Begin on all fours, hands under your shoulders, knees under your hips. Move into a Plank position (see picture). Rapidly draw your right knee to your chest, and then return to Plank. Repeat on the other side. Continue to quickly alternate right and left legs. 
If you are unable to hold your body in a Plank position, stay on all fours and draw your knees into your chest as described above. 
Rest until your breathing and heart rate have returned to normal.

Skier One



Stand with your feet apart, arms straight.  Take your right foot back and towards the left, as you bend your left knee a little.  At the same time, reach down towards the floor on your right with your left hand.  Return to start position, switch sides and continue.  As you get fitter, you will be able to reach nearer the ground.  
Rest until your breathing and heart rate have returned to normal.

Skier Two



 Stand with your hands in fists, elbows bent, right arm and right leg behind, left arm and left leg in front. The front knee is bent (see picture). Rapidly switch sides with a jumping motion, bringing your left arm and left leg behind, and right leg and right arm in front. Continue switching sides. Speed up or slow down according to your level of fitness. 
Rest until your breathing and heart rate have returned to normal.

Scissor Twist 



Stand with your feet together, elbows bent outwards and lifted to chest height, middle fingers touching. Jump your feet to the right as you twist your arms to the left and continue. Speed up or slow down as necessary. If you are unable to jump the feet, keep your feet still and twist the torso left and right.

Rest until your breathing and heart rate have returned to normal.

Happy HIIT! 





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