Interval training is a great way to train for all ages and fitness levels. Keep reading for exercises to start out.
Once reserved for serious athletes, interval training—periods of high-intensity activity followed immediately by periods of rest—is now widely used by everyone from cardiac patients to those wanting to lose weight. Why not try it?
Interval training may sound intense, but fear not, you may be currently doing intervals and not even know it. For example, walk/run programs—running for a specified time and recovering with a walk—are interval programs. Any group exercise class consists of performing intervals for the whole hour. Even yoga has forms of intervals in it, with hard-to-hold poses accompanied by the child’s pose to recover.
Try these exercises to start out.
Keep your hands wider apart than your shoulders and your core engaged. Either do a traditional push-up from the toes, a modified push-up from the knees, or an advanced push-up with your hands on an upside-down BOSU ball or on a wobble board.
Stand with your feet hip-width apart, core engaged. Squat rearward, pressing the bum back and tracking the knees with the toes. As you come up and out of the squat, propel yourself upward, jumping in the air. Land softly back on your feet and immediately do another squat jump. Do not rest!
Lean forward on a weight bench or ball, keeping the back level with the ground and supporting yourself with your nonworking hand and one knee. Start with the working arm straight down and pull the dumbbell up, with your elbow brushing by your side.
Quick lunge crossovers
Start in a split lunge position, with staggered stance and neutral spine. Drop down into a lunge, and as you come up, propel yourself up in the air, changing lead legs. Land firmly and perform again with the leg that was behind you and is now in front. Lunge as low and as fast as you can.
Position yourself on the floor in a full straight-arm plank, balancing on your toes and hands. Keep your shoulders over your hands and your spine neutral. Step around to your left side with your left foot. Keep the bum down; plant the left foot close to the left hand. Step back and perform with the right leg. Go as fast as you can.
Perform on a ball, a BOSU, or the ground. Use your abdominals to curl up and slowly roll back down. Keep hands light behind the ears.