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And a couple of others. These are relatively low impact exercises that can be continued endlessly for over an hour without too many negative repercussions. That said, even just jogging for that long will have some negative impacts on your health and particularly on your knees.
Conversely, HIIT workouts are ideal because they break the exercise up into smaller, more palatable chunks. This means that you can exercise using more intensive and potentially impactful moves and not fatigue your joints or your muscles too quickly.
For example, you can’t use press ups for a steady state cardio workout. But you can use press ups during a HIIT workout.
Likewise, you can’t use weights for a CV workout but you can use them for a HIIT workout!
If you use a split where you go all-out for 30 seconds and then rest for 1 minute, there’s nothing to stop you using even compound movements like deadlifts and bench press (well, there is a caveat here, which we’ll get to in a moment).
Now you are combining a resistance (weights) workout with a cardio workout. By doing both at the same time, you’re performing what is sometimes referred to as ‘resistance cardio’ and also known as ‘concurrent training’.
Concurrent training immediately forces you to use more explosive power. In order to move your limbs against weights or other resistance, you need to recruit more of your explosive, fast-twitch muscle fibers than you do when there is no resistance like this. Fast twitch muscle fiber requires more energy (because it contains more mitochondria) and therefore, you are forced to use more energy.
Simply by performing concurrent training, you are now burning more calories than you otherwise would be!
And what’s more, you are now causing more muscle damage. Concurrent training causes microtears in the muscle fiber and it causes the build-up of metabolites in the muscle (which create the feeling of ‘pump’). This means that you’re able to build muscle as well as burning fat and it causes the release of anabolic hormones to trigger this.
But anabolic hormones don’t only build muscle, they also burn fat. And so simply by including resistance work in your cardio, you will burn more fat and more calories than you otherwise would have.
Then there’s the added bonus that concurrent training allows you to tone up your muscle. This has two benefits: for starters, it is actually the more effective way to get a shapely and toned body. A lot of people believe that they need to lose weight in order to get great abs and thinner legs but actually, it’s often muscle that they’re looking for.
For example, did you know that toning muscle is by far the more effective way to get rid of cellulite? If you just lose weight but don’t tone, then you’re not going to lose the wrinkles that come from cellulite.
Likewise, if you have a gut that you feel hangs out, the best way to improve that is actually to strengthen and tone your transverse abdominis. This is the band of muscle that runs around your midsection. The job of this muscle is to support your lower spine and help you maintain an upright posture but it is also to hold your stomach and organs in. This is a great way to improve your posture and to give you a washboard stomach.
If you want to be ‘sexy’, then it isn’t enough to just burn calories!
And finally, toning muscle like this also has the added advantage of increasing your resting calorie burn. Muscle is more ‘metabolically active’ as compared with fat and that means that simply having more muscle means that you burn calories. When you’re sleeping, if you have a muscular frame you will actually lose a lot of weight as you rest!
Thus, just like HIIT itself, concurrent training is useful for boosting your weight loss both in the immediate aftermath and in the time that follows.
The Best Form of Concurrent Training for HIIT
So what is the best type of concurrent training for HIIT? If your aim is to burn fat while building muscle, what is a good exercise to use?
There are plenty of options and some good ones include punching a heavy bag or using battle ropes.
Perhaps the best option of all though, is to use kettlebell swings. A kettlebell is a large iron ball with a handle on the end, that has the interesting advantage of moving the center of gravity while you use it. As you curl, the direction of the resistance changes and thereby you keep challenging the body in different directions to challenge the smaller supporting muscles and the balance.
What’s more, is that this allows you to build up momentum and you’ll find that the kettlebell eventually swings on its own accord almost. Your job is simply to keep up the pendulum motion, which is zero impact and an ideal form of resistance training for maintaining for longer periods.
Kettlebell swings also build the muscles in the legs, buttocks and lower back. Specifically, they work the ‘posterior chain’, which means that you’ll be able to not only improve your athletic explosiveness for jumping and running but also that you’ll be able to build a very attractive posterior! A lot of people swear by kettlebell swings in order to get sexy legs, bums and tums.Other Details
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