Your Guide to HIIT

What is High Intensity Interval Training?

Over the last several years, researchers have slowly but surely reached the consensus that high intensity interval training (HIIT), which is characterized by relatively short bursts of intense exercise followed by periods of rest, far outperforms conventional aerobic endurance type exercises.

Not only does it beat conventional cardio as the most effective and efficient form of exercise, it also provides health benefits you simply cannot get from regular aerobics, such as a tremendous boost in human growth hormone (HGH), aka the “fitness hormone.”

Perhaps best of all, HIIT requires only minutes, compared to hours, each week.

You have three different types of muscle fibers: slow, fast, and super-fast. Only ONE of these muscles, the super-fast fibers, will impact your production of human growth hormone (HGH), which is KEY for strength, health, and longevity. The vast majority of people, including many athletes such as marathon runners, only train using their slow muscle fibers. In fact, neither traditionally performed aerobic cardio nor strength training will work anything but your slow muscles. These are the red muscles, which are filled with capillaries and mitochondria, and hence a lot of oxygen. Power training, or plyometric burst-type exercises, will engage these fast muscles and they’re 10 times faster than slow fibers, activating them is the key to producing growth hormone!

Source: Mercola.com

Benefits of HIIT

- Some studies have shown that HIIT burns up to nine times more fat than traditional cardiovascular exercise and keeps your metabolism elevated for more than 24 hours afterwards. This means you are going to keep burning calories long after you have finished exercising.

Sample HIIT Work-Out

Beginner: 20 seconds of work 40 seconds recovery (10 reps)

Intermediate: 30 seconds of work 30 seconds of recovery (10 reps)

Advanced: 40 seconds of work 20 seconds of recovery (10 reps)

Make sure the “work” portion is at your highest exertion level possible.

Work-to-Rest Ratios: The ideal work-to-recovery ratio for interval training is to rest for 50% of the working time frame as outlined in the advanced option. If doing this correctly its very difficult, you can try one of the other programs with slightly longer recovery times.

Try it Post-Workout: There is an added benefit to doing these intervals after your resistance training. This deeply depletes your carbohydrate stores to put your body into fat burning mode faster. Remember this workout is for your lean phase to get ripped quick, not for your bulking phase where you are trying to maximize size. I wouldn’t recommend this workout after a hard leg session.

Source Muscleandfitness.com

20 Minute Booty Burn

5 Exercises, 3 mins each, 5 days per week

Do as many reps as you can in good form!

Start by using 10lb weights but in time work your way up, for example week 1- 10lbs, week 2-15lbs, week 3- 20lbs. The heavier the weight the more you’ll build the size of the muscle, but if you over do it you’ll just end up injured, so respect your body and where it’s at today!

 Kettle Bell Swing

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and toes pointed out at a 45 degree angle, holding your weight/kettlebell hinge at the hips, keep your back flat and your gaze forward, lift the weight over your head then come back down.

 Squats

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and toes straight, keep the shoulders drawn down and the chest open. Sit back like your in a chair then lift back up.

 Lunges

Begin in a regular standing position then take a big step forward bringing your knee directly over top of your ankle, your back knee comes an inch off the ground. Step the back foot forward in your next step and repeat.

 Leg Lifts

Laying on your side bend the top leg over the bottom extended leg, place a weight on the lower leg and pulse, change sides after a minute and a half.

 Dead Lifts

Begin with feet hip width apart and a 20 to 40 pound barbell on the floor in front of you. Hinge at the hips and lift the barbell from the middle of the shins up to the middle of thighs, repeat.

Try to move from exercise to exercise swiftly, however pause if you need to- over time as you gain strength you’ll need to pause less often.

How to do a headstand.

how to do a headstand, yoga, headstand, yoga headstandTodays post is about how you can incorporate some more advanced inversions into your yoga practice.

I guess the simplest way to describe an inversion would be when your heart is below your head. If you’ve been to a yoga class then  most likely you’ve practiced the basic inversions like down dog or a forward fold. But what about some of the more advanced ones? Like head-stands, hand-stands or Scorpio pose?

The reason I thought it was important to talk about is because they are insanely good for you! Some of the most hard core traditional yogis do a practice that consists of just meditation and an inversion. But often times you won’t see these poses in regular classes because there are risks of injury if they aren’t practiced safely, but the average person without any existing conditions and a normal body mass index shouldn’t have any problems.

To be honest I have been practicing yoga regularly for almost 10 years and I just started doing headstands about a year ago,  the thing is I’ve probably had the functional core strength for most of that time, but because I let my ego get in the way and didn’t want to be embarrassed so I wouldn’t even try them, and I see a lot of that in yoga classes.

The good news is that once you start to practice a hard pose regularly you will see results! Even if it ‘s just for 5 minutes every evening your body does eventually follow suit.

How to Do a Head Stand Below

I have broken down headstand (the way that I have learned it, I’m sure other teachers have different just as effective methods!)

1. Begin in a traditional downward dog, and then come down onto your elbows so your hips are still high in the air.

2. Bring the top of your head down onto the floor and interlace your fingers together, palms are toward your head.

3. Now move your head towards your hands, the back of your head is basically pushed into your hands almost like a little net.

4. Bring your elbows in, they should be in your peripheral view.

5. Keep you hips lifted and come up onto your tippy toes, walk your feet as close to your body as you can.

6. Now lift one foot into the air, and keep that foot flexed.

7. Keeping your core engaged slowly lift up your other foot from the ground, try to keep both feet together and flexed.

8. You’ve done it! Or maybe not, even getting one foot off the ground is great, you can always progress.

Don’t be afraid of falling!! That was the hardest part for me, but after I fell a few (dozen) times you realize that it doesn’t hurt, and it’s actually kind of fun. Plus if you have kids they’ll love to practice with you. I would recommend not using a wall, lots of people begin this way but it actually just slows down your progress because your not engaging your core as much as you would without the wall. Don’t kick your legs up! This is just using momentum and you will more likely just roll right over, slowly lift one leg at a time. If you’re nervous get a friend to assist you, have them place their hands on the sole of your feet but just enough to steady you.

8 Reasons why you should be upside down.

 

  1. Bringing your head below your heart reverses the blood flow in the body and improves circulation. It also brings oxygen to your brain, which helps to improve mental capacity and focus.
  1. Increase your core and upper body strength, more women then men tend to practice yoga and typically our legs are more powerful, doing inversions such as head and hand-stands works deep into your core while also strengthening the shoulders and arms.
  1. Reduced Blood Pressure and Heart Rate, once your upside down the pressure in your body changes. Blood rushes to your head and the receptors in the brain signal the heart to lower its rate and pressure when pumping blood.
  1. Better Mood, studies have proved that inversions when practiced on a regular basis can improve your overall mood and lessen symptoms of depression.
  1. Improves balance, if you think it’s hard to balance on one leg well it’s a whole other ball game once you only have only your hands or shoulders to work with!
  1. Prevent Illness, the lymphatic system keeps the body healthy by eliminating toxins and bacteria through the lymph nodes. Lymphs move through muscle contractions and gravity so when you are upside down the lymphs can more easily travel through the respiratory system where the majority of toxins enter the body.
  1. Builds confidence, nothing feels better then when you can master some freaky yoga pose…also fun to break out at parties.
  1. Keeps you humble, learning a hard pose is a process and it doesn’t happen overnight, just strength alone will not get you there when it comes to a difficult inversion, it’s a combination of flexibility, power and confidence. The same way you feel empowered when you master a hard pose you feel humbled when you fall on your but a few dozen times!

 

 

 

5 Best Poses for a Great Butt

yoga poses for butt, bum exercises, butt exercises

Yoga for a Great Butt

Here’s a great sequence for anyone looking to tone and tighten their tush. Hold all of the poses for 5-10 breaths and do 2 sets. For best results try to practice most days, it shouldn’t take you longer then 20 minutes!

Single Leg Downward Dog

Begin in a regular down dog, hands shoulder width apart, fingers spread, press through the palms and lift the hips forming an upside down V, feet should be hip width apart. Now lift one leg off the mat, flex the foot and try to lift it as high as you can. On your inhale breath draw the knee into the chest and as you exhale press the foot back. Repeat for 5 breaths on each side, after your first sequence come down onto your knees and rest before beginning the second set.

Warrior 3

In this pose balance on one leg and try to bring your torso as close to parallel with the floor as you can, beginners keep your hands in prayer position at your heart, for a more advanced version draw your arms out over your head so they are inline with your torso, biceps should be at your ears.

Chair Pose

Keeping your feet hip width apart sit back like you would if you were sitting in a chair, the more of a bend in the knees the better. Open up your chest and lift your arms up to a 45 degree angle, biceps should be in line with your ears. To make it harder you can also come up onto your tiptoes.

Bridge Pose

While laying on your back bend your knees placing the soles of your feet onto the mat, lift your hips and draw the arms under your back, palms face down. Keep trying to lift your hips up as high as you can while squeezing your butt, if you want to make it more difficult lift one leg off of the mat and have the sole of the foot facing the sky.

Locust Pose

Lie face down on your mat, arms are behind your back with fingers interlaced and palms together. Now lift your chest up off the mat and at the same time try to draw your thighs off the mat, arms lift away from your back. Keep the neck long with shoulders away from your ears.