HIIT, or high impact intensive training, has been the rage at gyms for a couple of years now. Go to any gym at any point of the day and you will see someone running at top speed on the treadmill. While that sort of workout is great for some people, it can be harmful for others. And the inability to do a high impact intensive session doesn’t mean that you can’t be just as fit. There are a lot of benefits of low impact training which may outweigh those of HIIT.
There are two forms of low impact training which are gaining popularity – LISS (low impact steady state) and HILIT (high intensity low impact training). These are the latest trends in the fitness industry and they definitely deserve your attention.
Here’s why you should give low impact training a shot.
1. Your joints will thank you for it
When you’re jumping or running, your joints do bear the brunt of it all. If your joints hurt at all, especially your ankles or knees, don’t run on the treadmill or do countless jumping jacks. You’re only hurting yourself. Low impact exercises counter that stress on the joints and give you the same benefits of high intensity training.
2. Your muscle flexibility will improve
Low impact exercises like Pilates, yoga and other bodyweight workouts help in improving muscle flexibility. These movements also help in building a better mind-body balance which has great benefits as your age advances.
3. You’ll be less prone to injuries
Because of the lack of jumping and running, you will be less prone to injuries. If you’re recovering from an injury, especially one that has affected your joints, low impact exercises are the best way to recover. If you’ve had a couple of falls in your life, you’ll know how valuable it is to be able to work out and reduce the risk of injury.
4. It will help you build strength and endurance
A low impact training schedule is easier to sustain for someone who’s not particularly motivated to hit the gym hard every day. Low impact workouts are easier to begin with for rookies and easier to maintain as a lifestyle rather than a short-term plan.
What kind of LISS workouts can you do?
The main point of low impact, steady state exercises is to reduce the impact on your joints and maintain a steady heart rate instead of one that spikes quickly.
Here are some examples of LISS exercises which should be done for 40-60 minutes to see any benefits:
- Walking at a moderate pace
- Walking on a treadmill at an incline
- Cycling at a moderate pace
- Using the rowing machine and elliptical trainer
- Hiking, if you have a beautiful nature trail around
You just need to make sure that your level of exercise is steady through the duration of your session. These workouts are doable even for those with hectic schedules. Take an hour out to walk outside or go to the local gym if you have one.
What kind of HILIT workouts can you do?
HILIT should be the next step of your low impact workout journey. These workouts require a little bit more dedication from you but lesser time per session, so that’s great. Start with a combination of LISS and a couple of HILIT workouts like:
- Body weight squats
- Sumo squats + burpees without jumping
- Mountain climbers
Time your exercises and do 30 seconds of each set with a 10 second break between each set. Use resistance bands to increase the intensity of the workouts gradually. Eventually, you can do variations of these exercises and reduce the time you allow yourself to finish them. With a combination of LISS and HILIT, you will be burning fat, improving your metabolism, and building strength. In other words, a full body workout without feeling any aches and pains in your joints the next day.