There are a plethora of health/fitness benefits to high intensity interval training (i.e., HIIT), such as improved explosive power (i.e., a combination of strength and speed), and improved reaction time (which has numerous benefits and has been linked to fall prevention) to name two of many. Therefore, almost all exercise programs should include some HIIT elements to ensure you are experiencing all of the wonderful health/fitness outcomes possible.
This week a HIIT Circuit is presented. It is fun, effective, and challenging and only requires a BOSU Balance Trainer, Step Platform, and a Medicine Ball. The circuit does not take up much space and the format is flexible in terms of duration. For example, you may choose to perform the circuit multiple times in one session or multiple times each week, preferably on two/three non-consecutive days/week. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
HIIT Circuit Set-Up – set up the BOSU and step prior to beginning the circuit and make sure the space is free of obstacles. Each station is 60’ in duration with a 15-30 second active recovery interval between stations. Repeat the circuit 5-10x through in the suggested sequence. If you would like to add duration, then perform 10-20x through, or to shorten duration perform 2-5x through. Remember, to qualify for a true HIIT exertion status, you must become completely winded during the final 30 seconds of the exertion phase and it should take you the entire recovery phase to adequately recover in order to exert again. Warm-up for 3-5 minutes by rehearsing each drill at a low intensity level.
Station #1 – Power Squats – BOSU – HIIT – all out! – position the handles of the BOSU at 12 and 6:00 so you avoid stepping off onto the handles. Begin with both feet on top of the BOSU. Lower to one side of the BOSU into a squat position keeping the opposite foot on top of the BOSU, then push up explosively and switch to the other side. One foot is always on the BOSU, land into a squat toe/ball/heel and think of “getting some air” as you switch sides.
Station #2 – Unilateral Power Knees – 4-to-10-inch height – step is set up lengthwise – begin with your left foot in the center of the step. Driving through the left heel, jump vertically off of the step as high as you are able to and drive the right knee up and towards your chest, return to beginning position and repeat for 30 seconds before switching to your right leg. Be sure to land softly, toe ball heel but do not pause at the top or bottom of the movement. Think speed and power!
Station #3 – Across the Top – BOSU – med. ball toss – HIIT – all out! – position handles at 12:00 and 6:00 then stand at 9:00 or 3:00. Choose a light/moderate medicine ball. Walk the inside foot on top of the BOSU, then the outside foot and then the inside foot walks to the floor and then the outside foot taps on the floor. Once you have mastered the skill, then you may add power to the drill. At this point, toss the ball up slightly as you go across the BOSU. You must keep your eyes on the ball.