Short and quick may not always mean light and easy

By Nadine Halili | Photo by Guillaume Bolduc/Umsplash

HIIT or high-intensity interval training is a popular, time-efficient workout that focuses on short bursts of exercise mixed with periods of rest. While a regular HIIT workout can last for as short as 30 minutes, a new HIIT iteration is making waves that challenges what we know (and love) about HIIT.

“Micro HIIT helps you perform the intervals the way they were intended, with short duration high impact activity followed by a longer recovery period,” Matt Delaney, national manager of innovation at Equinox, tells Evening Standard. 

Micro HIIT’s  appeal lies in the fact that its sessions can be completed in 15 minutes or less. You can even sneak in a micro HIIT session between your morning routine or whatever downtime you have in the day. 

Now that gyms are closed and social distancing is being practiced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, the people who have the privilege of staying indoors are turning to home workouts to stay fit. Luckily for those who want to give HIIT a go, you won’t need any gym equipment. Like any HIIT workout, micro HIIT still focuses on small bursts of high impact activity with longer rest periods. Aside from this, the sets are easier to remember since each is usually composed of three types of exercise and rest.

This study gives an example of a micro HIIT workout that can be done in four minutes: 

  • 40 seconds of squats
  • 20 seconds of rest
  • 40 seconds of pull-ups
  • 20 seconds of rest
  • 40 seconds of mountain climbers
  • 20 seconds of rest

Following micro HIIT’s principles, it’s easier to make—and strictly follow—your own routine. After all, it’s only four minutes long. However, shorter doesn’t always mean easier. The intensity of HIIT requires maximum effort throughout for you to feel the effects. 

Some people mix this up with their longer workout routines for additional gains. This can be quite challenging for some, especially beginners who are just starting to transition into a more active lifestyle. So make sure to be conscious of and respect your body’s limits; you may be putting your body under too much stress already. Like every fitness goal, ideal results may take time. Although HIIT will drive you to push yourself, you need to focus on the right form and pacing in order to get the best  possible outcome.

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